November 8, 2009
Guess where I’ve spent the last half hour? In gospel church!
Union Baptist Church, to be precise
I had gotten milk and heard gospel singing while walking my bike back home.
I parked my bike right out front and went up the steps to peek in. They were really welcoming! I stayed by the door listening, clapping, and dancing a little, singing hallelujah!
I started to leave, and this warm large lady said, “Stay!” Even on the pulpit, they could see one white girl in the doorway and they motioned, “Come in, come in.” There was a keyboardist, a lady in a sequined dress singing, and another lady harmonizing, plus a little backup choir and about 40 people dispersed through nicely padded, permanent bench seats. Most were standing and clapping, some were sitting.
They even sang, “Clap your hands with me. Sing a praise with me. JUMP UP AND DOWN WITH ME.” It was really spirited!
I said, “My bike, I have my bike outside, but thanks.”
“Bring your bike in. Go on.”
“Thanks, I have milk.”
“We have a fridge. Come on in. Bring your bike up here.”
“I’ve got to get home, but thanks. Next time I’ll come dressed.”
“God doesn’t care what you wear.”
I danced and clapped a little more.
It was awesome! A little cultural tourism in my back yard. . . .
February 14, 2011
Massive 4 Alarm Fire Rips Through Union Baptist Church in Downtown New Rochelle
By eye on new roc on Mon, 02/14/2011 – 04:27
An early morning four-alarm fire has destroyed the Union Baptist Church on the corner of Locust and Main street in downtown New Rochelle. The church dated back to 1910 and has a rich history in the downtown. The 99-year old church was undergoing renovations in anticipation of the Church’s 100th anniversary.
Fire departments from Larchmont, Mamaroneck, White Plains, Mount Vernon and Yonkers were on the scene as the fire went to 4 alarms. The church fire started at 1:24 AM and is still not under control, The New Rochelle Building Department is on scene and will make a determination if the church might have to be torn down. The entire roof is gone and the walls are holding on but they are visibly shaking.
UPDATES: This story was originally posted at 4:30 AM and has been updated throughout the morning. We will continue to update this post until the fire is declared under control by NRFD.
3:03 AM – Main street is closed from North Avenue to Harrison Street, North Avenue is closed from Main Street to Huguenot Street.
3:42 AM – Monroe College dorms on Main Street were evacuated due to the heavy smoke conditions in the area. Water pressure in and around the area is low due to the amount of water that is being sprayed on the fire.
5:12 AM – Helicopters have been overflying the area all morning.
5:42 AM – Con Edison and John Cullen, the Westchester County Fire Coordinator, were on scene. Every news outlet in the area is present.
6:01 AM – There are reports of 1 firefighter being taken away in an ambulance, reportedly a hand injury.
7:52 AM – -The there is still very heavy fire in basement according to Deputy Chief Lou Dimeglio of the New Rochelle Fire Department who spoke exclusively with Talk of the Sound. Dimeglio said the NRFD was waiting on a crane to take down the wall on the Main Street side because it was cracking and unstable. He said they were fighting the fire from the outside because all floors inside had collapsed and the entire building was too unstable.