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Holy Cross Church – Story of the Congregants of African Ancestry from 1909 to the present in Yonkers

Entry Type

History and Index

Summary

Parishioners of Holy Cross Church in Yonkers can trace their history to 1909 when Reverend Uriel Ferdinand Humphries Gunthorpe started leading services for Black Episcopalians in the Yonkers community at St. Augustine’s chapel also known in the diocese as St. John’s Colored Episcopal Mission.

The work presented here is largely based on diocesan records. Of special interest is Two Exclusives Bound as One (The History of the Church of the Holy Cross) by Arlene Dahl. This was her thesis for her Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in 1979. 

Another reference cited here is A Continuum St. Augustine’s Mission to Holy Cross Church 1909. It references correspondence, newspaper articles, and personal remembrances to outline the congregation’s history. 

The Right Reverend Paul Moore, who served as the 13th Bishop of New York from 1972 to 1989, hoped to generate an integrated congregation in Yonkers called Holy Cross.  In 1976, he influenced the merger of  St. Augustine’s, a Black congregation, and Christ Church, a white congregation. An integrated congregation did not grow from this merger. Today when you visit Holy Cross, you only see people who reflect the original St. Augustine’s congregation.

(July 2022)