Who We Are and What We Do
Who We Are and What We Do
Bridge Street is a church with a rich history that spans over two centuries and five decades. From its missionary origins in 1766 to its current location at 277 Stuyvesant Avenue, Bridge Street has been and continues to remain a viable institution of God’s amazing and abundant grace to the communities it has served. Having served as a catalyst of freedom by being a stop on the Underground Railroad to speaking out against injustice on both local and national issues, Bridge Street is a voice of consciousness for the underrepresented in society; those who are unable to speak truth to power.
As part of one of the oldest Protestant denominations established on American soil: The African Methodist Episcopal Church, Bridge Street is proud to have requested its first preacher from Bishop Richard Allen in 1818. Founded in 1816 in Philadelphia, Pa, the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, in existence for over two centuries, is a global religious body with over 2.5 million members in over 6,000 congregations in 20 Episcopal District throughout the Americas, Africa, Europe, and India.Read More
The Bridge Street Church family is very active in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community. Our Pastor works closely with the 81st Precinct Clergy Council and is actively engaged in bringing people and precinct together to make our community a more desirable place for families to live.
Our feeding program provides free clothing and over 15,000 meals annually to the disenfranchised in our community. At Thanksgiving, we provide food baskets to needy families with children. The youth, missionary society and women’s ministry organize teams at Christmas to visit our ill and homebound members to provide them with gifts.
The prison ministry conducts worship services at Rikers Island and provides over 1,500 pairs of white socks to inmates at Christmas. We host an Angel Tree Christmas party for children whose parents are incarcerated. Children submit wish lists of gifts they would like to receive and members of the congregation purchase and present the gifts to the children at the Angel Tree Christmas party.
Bridge Street prides itself on being “The Church in the Heart of the Community with the Community at Heart” and looks for ways to show love to the residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Not only has Bridge Street organized street festivals such as “Family Unity Day” which drew over 1,000 people together for food, fun and fellowship, but Bridge Street hosts an annual Family and Friends Day in July to provide food, jazz, face painting and healthy conversations for the residents of Bed-Stuy. We have been blessed to have over 500 persons in attendance as well as the presence and support of all of our elected officials.
At Bridge Street Church, fellowship is second nature to us. We love people, and we enjoy sharing our lives, our faith, and our resources with those in our church and community. Wherever you go in the borough of Brooklyn, you are bound to bump into someone who is a member, friend or acquaintance of our great church fellowship! After all, we are “A Great People, A Great Church, Serving A Great God!”
The Mission of the AME Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people.
The word African means that the AME church was organized by people of African descent and heritage. It does not mean that the church was founded in Africa, or that it was for persons of African descent only. The church’s roots are of the family of Methodist churches. Methodism provides an orderly system of rules and regulations and places emphasis on a plain and simple gospel. Episcopal refers to the form of government under which the church operates. It means that the church is governed by bishops; the chief executive and administrative officers of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination.
Bridge Street is part of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The AME Church is a Connectional Organization, which simply means that local AME Churches across the continental US and abroad are connected through our doctrine, governance and liturgy. The Bishops are the Chief Officers of the Connectional Organization. Pastors of AME Churches are appointed annually by the Presiding Bishop to serve their local congregations. Bridge Street is part of the Brooklyn Westchester District of the New York Annual Conference of the First Episcopal District. Our presiding bishop is the Rt. Rev. Gregory Gerald McKinley Ingram, and our Presiding Elder is Rev. Melvin Eugene Wilson.
The Connectional AME Church comprises over 2.5 million members across the continental US and abroad (Africa, India and the West Indies). The AME Church is proud to have founded many institutions of higher education including colleges and seminaries such as: Allen University, Wilberforce University, Paul Quinn College, Payne Theological Seminary, Shorter College, Edward Waters College, Turner Theological Seminary, and more.
The Apostles’ Creed is one of two basic foundations of the beliefs of Methodists. Most AME Churches recite the Apostles’ Creed during Sunday school or worship services. Because the Apostles’ Creed is important to members’ understanding and contextualization their faith, it is typically taught during baptism class or new member class. Please read and study the Apostles’ Creed so that you are able to speak confidently about your faith beliefs with others including people of other denominations.
The 25 Articles of Religion is another foundational belief of Methodists. These 25 Articles of Religion were John Wesley’s adaptation of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion from the Anglican Church in which Wesley had been a priest. Several of the Articles are aimed directly at distinguishing the beliefs held by Wesley, as well as by Anglicans, from Roman Catholicism. These especially relate to the basis of religious authority (Articles 5-6), justification by grace through faith (Articles 9-11), the nature of the church (Articles 13, 22), the rejection of the doctrine of purgatory (Article 14), the rejection of services in Latin (Article 15), the nature of the sacraments and the rejection of the concept of the Mass (Articles 16-20), and the rejection of a celibate clergy (Article 21).