Bethesda Baptist Church

Bethesda Baptist Church

(Former United Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church)

1170 Bushwick Avenue
Corner Bushwick Avenue and Cornelia Street
Block 3373, Lot 34-36


Bethesda Baptist Church, Credit: Ogawa, Asuka
Parish House, Credit: Ogawa, Asuka

Year Built: 1896
Building Type: Church
Architect: Fowler & Hough
Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church (society organized in 1887)
Proposed District: Bushwick Avenue Historic District

History and Analysis

Architectural Style: Late Romantic Style (Church), Renaissance Revival Style (Parish house)
The Bethesda Memorial Baptist Church occupies the edifice built from 1894-96 for the Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church, a society organized in 1887. Located on the northwest corner of Bushwick Avenue and Cornelia Street, the church was designed by Fowler & Hough in an inventive late-Romantic style, and features a slender, octagonal campanile surmounted by an open belfry. When built, the square auditorium provided accomodations for 750, and was naturally lighted by a clerestory of round arches. The interior trimmings were of oak, and the finish was in brown and amber shades.
At an unknown date, the building was acquired by the Bethesda Memorial Baptist Church. On December 20, 1997, the church sanctuary was gutted by a devastating fire that destroyed the interior. The church has since been rebuilt.
Renaissance Revival brown stone and brick parish house next door remains largely intact.

AIA Guide to New York City:
A powerful companile corners this solid brick church, but the open belfry has been bricked in, destroying its original elegance.
Take note of the Renaissance Revival brown stone and brick parish house next door.[2]

Additional Photography

Former United Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church, 1901. Credit:

Genuine vintage card – no reproductions. 1907 Brooklyn, N.Y. & Hackensack Ridgefield Park Sta., N.J. Rec’d. Postmarks. Real Photo Pub. by Merritts, 1563 B’way, Brooklyn, N.Y. Rare real photo view of the “Bushwick Ave. Congregational Church.” Brooklyn, N.Y. Note the snow on the ground.


Bethesda Baptist Church, 2011. Credit: Ogawa, Asuka