Congregational Church of the Evangel

1950 Bedford Avenue
Harold S. Granger of Nelson & Van Wagenen

The Gothic Revival style Congregational Church of the Evangel was the congregation’s first purpose-built home. Church members began worshipping together at this site in 1907, having moved south to the Prospect- Lefferts neighborhood from the Lewis Avenue Congregational Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant. By this time, Flatbush was rapidly developing from farmland into commuter suburbs, and the occupants of the tidy new rows of architectdesigned houses were building new places of worship consistent with the character of a desirable, middle-class community. The Church of the Evangel features the small scale, rustic materials palette, and irregular, picturesque massing of a medieval English parish church, which provided the formal basis of the Gothic Revival style as applied to American ecclesiastical architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Notable features include the crenellated tower, slate roofs, pointed-arch nave window and a c. 1927 Tiffany window located in the chancel (viewable from inside the church). Some of the building’s rough-faced stone is believed to have come from excavations for subway stations in Manhattan. As the Prospect-Lefferts area began to receive a significant number of Caribbean immigrants and African-American migrants by the mid-20th century, the Church of the Evangel’s membership changed in step with this demographic shift and in the 1960s was peacefully integrated. In 1977 the church’s first African-American pastor, the Reverend Charles Fisher, began leading the congregation. The Congregational Church of the Evangel is located on the listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.