This post is and update from the chapter on “Houses of Worship” from the book White Plains, New York: A City of Contrasts Chapter.
White Plains has many houses of worship and religious groups that have long established histories. Some of the earliest congregations started by meeting in individual homes before moving to a more permanent location. Most houses of worship have websites that contain detailed information about their congregation’s history.
The Bethel Baptist Church congregation now at one Fisher Ct started in 1885 by former slaves meeting in a home. The church moved to Fisher Ave in 1890 but since then the structure has undergone many changes.
Mount Hope African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church now located at 65 Lake St was established in 1827. The people who first established this church came from West Harrison in the Silver Lake area called “The Hills.” They formed the Ashbury Colored People’s Church after being liberated from slavery by the Quakers of Purchase. The cemetery is part of the Silver Lake Preserve and is along a Heritage Trail on Buckout Rd (east side). There are also remains from the original church in the area. The AME Mount Hope Zion Church claims ownership of this historic Stoney Hill Cemetery but Harrison refuses to relinquish the rights to the cemetery.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel on South Lexington Ave was established by Italian Americans in 1889. The façade of the 1933 structure is a replica of Santa Maria Della Pieta in Venice, Italy with the inside designed after Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome Italy. The 200 feet high gold leaf dome of the church was designed after the Church of San Lorenzo, the Cathedral of Lugano, in Switzerland.
Temple Israel first founded in 1909 as Sons of Israel is now located at 280 Old Mamaroneck Ave. From 1906 to 1911, Jews met for services at the former Admiral Dot Hotel on Railroad Ave (now Main Street). After the Hotel burned down, the Congregation constructed a temple on Fisher Avenue in 1911. Today the building on Fisher Ave is the Allen AME Church. The Hebrew Institute was founded in 1915 and is located at 20 Greenridge Ave.
The Church of St. Bernard at 51 Prospect goes back to 1926.
Church of Lady of Sorrows at 920 Mamaroneck Ave dates back to 1929 and the Church in the Highlands on Bryant Avenue dates to 1922. The church was once part of Good Counsel Sisters of Divine Compassion. It was built on land where the Gedney farming family had a home.
The Ridgeway Alliance Church at 465 Ridgeway Alliance Church was established in 1907. St John, The Evangelist Parish at 148 Hamilton Ave, was founded in 1868 and their current building was dedicated in 1892.
St Mathews Church established in 1895 dedicated church on Mamaroneck Ave in 1925
The First Christ Scientist Church established around 1899 at 34 Maple Ave has its oldest section that dates from 1916 with other additions dating from 1925 and 1936. The Reading Room dates from 1954.
An Update on Houses of Worship in Today’s WP:
Today’s WP has two Buddhist Community Centers (Soka Gakkai; Shinnyo) along with a number of Synagogues of different branches (Reconstructionist, Reform; Orthodox, Conservative and Interfaith). WP has numerous Christian Churches/Organizations of various denominations. A Hindu Temple is being constructed in WP at 390 North St. The WP Islamic Center is located at the Galleria next to Sears on lower level
For information on other houses of worship not seen here see other entries under History of White Plains (N Broadway & Business District sections) or do search of site.