Local History: Religious History

Some of White Plains' longest standing buildings are religious institutions of one kind or another. The Presbyterian Church on North Broadway was built in 1824, but the congregation was established in the early 18th century. Our Lady of Mt Carmel on Lexington Avenue is a reminder of pre-urban renewal White Plains. The Silver Lake Preserve contains ruins of the ancestor of today's Mount Hope AME Zion Church. The quiet history of these architectural sites is complemented by pictures and documents from the White Plains Collection. Below are a few representative items pulled from the collection. Current members of congregations are encouraged to conduct research at the library or donate materials for inclusion in the collection. The image in the upper left is the laying of the cornerstone for the First Baptist Church of White Plains in 1925 at the corner of Maple and Mamaroneck Avenue.


“Lamentation of Zion in Port Chester,” from the New-York Mirror, 1837


Program from the 50th Anniversary of the Valhalla Methodist Church, 1961


From The Hebrew Institute's 50th Anniversary Publication, 1965

















From “The White Plains Presbyterian Church,” 1922


Directory of Churches and Synagogues in White Plains, 1961 (1)


Directory of Churches and Synagogues in White Plains, 1961 (2)










Group portraits from 1919, 1920 and 1921 of the Hi-Y bible classes. There were 25 members in 1919, 115 members in 1920 and 150 members in 1921. Hi-Y was a YMCA program for high school age boys.


Grace Church and Parsonage, Main Street photographed by William P. Maynard in December 1865. Church still stands, but the parsonage was demolished.


Clipping from The Daily Reporter, Article on History of Jews in White Plains, c.1950

Categories: Local History.