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African-American Churches and Places of Worship in Philadelphia

From large congregations and megachurches to historically significant places of worship

Philadelphia’s spiritual and religious roots date back to 1787, when Rev. Richard Allen and Absolom Jones encouraged black worshipers to form their own congregation after being forced to sit in the balconies during services at traditionally white churches. Fast forward to today and Philadelphia’s faith-based community is rich with the traditions, music and history of its African-American churches and religious institutions.

From massive, modern “megachurches” like Enon Tabernacle in Mt. Airy and Sharon Baptist in West Philadelphia to historically significant assemblies like Mother Bethel and Tindley Temple, here’s a list of some of the city’s most impressive and significant African-American churches which welcome thousands of worshippers throughout the year.

Read on to learn more about visiting and worshipping with these notable Philadelphia religious spaces and organizations.

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Church of the Advocate

Located in North Philadelphia just steps away from the campus of Temple University, the George W. South Memorial Church of the Advocate is a landmark institution rich with religious, social and architectural history. Designed by Charles Burns, a recognized church architect from the 19th and early 20th century, Church of the Advocate displays stunning Gothic architecture complemented by a series of religious and civil-rights-themed murals.
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The Baptist Worship Center

Started in 1992 as a small bible study group by Millicent Hunter, The Baptist Worship Center has grown into an international faith network with over 71 churches across the U.S. and South Africa. Still headquartered in Philadelphia, The Baptist Worship Center holds weekly services for its more than 1,200 members in a newly renovated facility located in the neighborhood of Frankford.
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Sharon Baptist Church

Founded in 1934 with less than 10 members, Sharon Baptist Church has grown into one of Philadelphia's most popular epicenters of black faith. Today the City Avenue-based institution hosts thousands of worshippers during its weekly services and meetings, which are held in a beautiful, modern edifice and sanctuary.
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Deliverance Evangelistic Church

In the heart of North Philadelphia, Deliverance Evangelistic Church serves as a vibrant faith-based institution offering multiple weekly services, prayer meetings and ministries for the entire family. Along with its main building, which hold an impressive 5,100-seat sanctuary, Deliverance also plays a vital role in community development and educational investments for its surrounding community.
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