Grace United Methodist Church
of Brooklyn
Tower Top on 7th Avenue
33 Seventh Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11217
Ph: 718 230 3473
Fax: 718 230 1879
Our History

Our Building

Hurricane - 1944

Airplane Crash - 1960

Our Building

Built in 1882 at the corner of 7th Avenue and St. John's Place, in the Victorian Gothic Architectural Style, designed by the prominent Brooklyn architectural firm of The Parfitt Brothers, and was unlike the Romanesque Style common to religious buildings in America in the mid to late 1800. The large window and gable facing Seventh Avenue mark the rear of the church nave. On the St. John's Place side, paired windows are separated by stone buttresses. Exceptionally handsome patterned terra cotta enframes the windows and cap the buttresses. The corner tower, which provides an impressive blockfront termination, was originally crowned with a brownstone spire. Damaged by the hurricane of 1944.

Sanctuary Stained Glass on 7th Avenue
Gothic Windows on St. John's Place
Hurricane - 1944

The Great Atlantic Hurricane In 1944 was an intense Atlantic Hurricane. It hit New York on September 15 as a category one with winds at 85 miles per hour. This devastating hurricane took many lives and damaged many buildings including Grace's church building. The Brownstone spire was damaged, broke off and the remainder of the spire was removed.

Corner View
Tower doors on 7th Avenue

Another witness to the open doors of Grace Church is during the plane crash on December 16, 1960, the worst in U.S. aviation history at that time. A United Airlines flight with 84 persons collided in mid-air with a Trans World Airlines flight with 44 persons aboard. The TWA aircraft landed near the village of New Drop, at Miller Army Airfield, and the United aircraft landed one block from Grace church on Sterling Place into the Pillar of Fire Church. There were no survivors.
The death toll was 134 including 6 people on the ground. Grace Church opened its doors and the Pastor, Rev. Richard Rice, placed the church's facilities at the disposal of the firemen and Red Cross for an Emergency Reserve Center. With the leadership of Rev. Rice, teams were organized with volunteers from Grace and other churches around Brooklyn. The church was also used as a temporary morgue. Surely the availability of Grace Church in this particularly tragic moment is one high point of Christian Witness.

Our History

In the Spring of 1866 the presiding Bishop appointed two preachers who were to oversee a new church enterprise on Prospect Hill, near Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. The new organization became known as the Seventh Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. Several lots on Seventh Avenue and Butler Street (now Sterling Place) were purchased and a small wooden chapel was built, which was later replaced in 1869 by a brick and stone faced building. However, growth was slow and its influence in the community was not as great as had been hoped and desired. The lots and building were sold and the church found itself as "a little church around the corner" and burdened with a staggering debt.
On January 21, 1878, in a meeting lead by Rev. John Breckenridge the name of the church was changed to Grace Methodist Episcopal Church of Brooklyn. In 1882 the corner of Seventh Avenue and St. John's Place was purchased. and the new church as we know it now was built. The chapel and church building were dedicated on Sunday January 21, 1883 by Bishop Matthew Simpson. In 1930 an M. P. Moller Opus 5736 organ was installed. In 1940 the name was changed to Grace Methodist Church and then in January 1969 changed again to Grace United Methodist Church.
Main doors on 7th Avenue
Grace U.M.Church
Airplane Crash - 1960
Site of Crash at Sterling Place and 7th Avenue

Seventh Avenue Church Pastors:
1866 George A. Hall
1868 Charles M. Griffen
1870 W. McDonald
1874 J. Wild
1875 E. J. Haynes
1877 John S. Breckenridge

Grace Church Pastors:
1878-1880 John S. Breckenridge
1881-1882 George P. Mains
1883-1885 John Rhey Thompson
1886-1888 George W. Miller
1889-1890 Thomas Stephenson
1890-1893 Charles M. Giffen
1894-1898 Allan McRossie
1899-1902 Charles S. Wing
1903-1904 J. E. Adams
1904-1910 Frederick F. Shannon
1911-1915 Charles W. mcCormick
1916-1920 William L. Davidson
1921-1927 Roy E. Manne
1928-1933 E. A. Pollard Jones
1934-1944 Walter E. Thompson
1945-1958 Robert C. Carlson
1958-1960 Ralph Johnson
1960-1963 Richard J. Rice
1963-1966 Robert L. Peterson
1966-1968 Harvey L. Kaufman
1968-1970 Marion C. Cox
1970-1972 James A. Stinson
1972-1977 Philip Sandbek
1977-1979 R. Allan Johnson
1980-1982 John Cole
1983-1991 Ivan Roberts
1991-1995 David Henry
1995-2005 Kirton J. lashley
2005-2007 Sherrie Dobbs-Johnson
2007- 2011 Godfrey A. Uche
2011- HyoungDock Yoo
Sanctuary Windows on 7th Avenue
Grace Window
© - 2007-2012 Grace United Methodist Church
JSGaskin Design
Redrawn from D.O.B. originals by JSG
Many thanks to Sis. Myrtle Maynard for her long service and dedication to Grace UMC, and her impecible record keeping of its' history.