Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First Presbyterian - Stapleton

Tucked away in the back streets of Stapleton is the beautiful old First Presbyterian Church. It clearly was once an active and wealthy congregation. The Pouch family (wealthy Islanders) were members and somebody shelled out for Tiffany stained glass windows (picture later).

As Stapleton changed and the old families and white folks ran away the congregation dwindled and finally closed in the early nineties. A Spanish evangelical church occupied the building for a time but they too pulled out. Recently it was bought by Mount Sinai Baptist Church and they've been renovating the buildings and restoring them for active use.

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The church is hidden away in one of the most beautiful and secret places on Staten Island. Lining its narrow streets are numerous large and well kept homes. My mother's friend, Helen Pose lived in a large house on Harrison Street and even as a little kid I knew it was beautiful.

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