The Church of the Crucifixion, located at 807 Bainbridge Street in Philadelphia, which closed its doors is bringing new life to its Bella Vista neighborhood and reaching a new audience of people. Founded in 1847 as the second Black church in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, the church was once known to attract such luminaries as singer Marian Anderson and sociologist W. E. B. DuBois.
This reopening follows similar reopenings of two other formerly closed churches by the diocese in three years - at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia and St. John's Episcopal Church in Norristown.
The reopened church, led by the Rev. Yesenia Alejandro, will minister to all people with a specific focus on the growing Hispanic population in the city. The United States Census Bureau estimates that over 60 million U.S. residents are Latino and nearly a quarter of a million live in Philadelphia — 15.2% of the city’s population.
“At a time when many churches are fearful of the future, we are planting the seeds of new life and reaching new communities in the name of Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Gutiérrez. “Living fearlessly is the only way to church growth.”