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“Nice (but expensive) experience” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Mount Neboh Baptist Church

Mount Neboh Baptist Church
Seventh Avenue, New York City, NY (Garment District)
866-7880
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Ranked #528 of 633 Attractions in New York City
Type: Religious Sites, Cultural
Attraction details
Brussels
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Nice (but expensive) experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

My experience was similar to the other reviewers. A very long line, and maybe 45-minute wait to get into the church for the 11am service. Be warned that now they insist that every single person "donates" $20 (yes, you read it correctly, TWENTY DOLLARS). They don't tell you that until you reach the door and even ask you to give a $20 bill exactly. WOW, what a rip-off, in my opinion. It's like any other tourist attraction now. I counted the number of tourists in the balcony and estimated that the church must have raked in well over $5,000 for that one service in tourist donations. Gee whiz! By the way, there were far more tourists there than the actual congregation.

I was allotted a very poor seat in the back row of the balcony and couldn't see a thing. Photos are not allowed, by the way; if they see you taking a picture, a man comes over to tell you to put your camera away.

As far as the service goes, the choir was nice, but if you go to a proper gospel concert, the music is even better. The sermon was on "The Lord's Prayer" and the reverend did the fire and brimstone style, talking heatedly about "being led into temptation" and "being delivered from evil." Real Baptist style of preaching, which was interesting. I don't know if he was the regular preacher or not. The whole service lasted over 2 hours. Halfway through, I managed to sneak downstairs on the pretext of getting one of their free paper fans (furnished by a local funeral parlor!) and managed to convince an usher to let me sit downstairs in back of the main sanctuary, which was much more interesting and better visibility of the congregation and the choir. It was an extremely hot day and there was apparently no air-conditioning, a fact which the reverend alluded to in his appeal not to let ourselves burn in hell !

I would highly recommend walking around Harlem a bit before or after the service. There is a little African market nearby and some other sites. Harlem seems to have climbed out of its previous reputation as a dangerous and dirty place, and I found it quite enjoyable to stroll around the neighborhood. People at the church and all around were very friendly.

Visited August 2012
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Yorkshire
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“A very moving experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

Went under our own steam on New Year's morning. Wanted to join service proper rather than be part of tour group. Decided on Mount N as we thought it did not admit tour groups. Arrived early and asked to enter church but very pleasantly advised that as we were not members of the congregation we would have to queue and be admitted after 4 tour buses - policy on tours has apparently changed. However we were art the front of the queue and everyone arriving was very friendly and wished us Happy New Year. We were eventually admitted to the balcony with a restricted view of the altar . Sadly the first tour bus got the best seats! We were "asked" to contribute $10 per person on admittance - which by my calculations meant an income of over $3000 for the one service. That said I am sure they will put the money to good use. The service and singing was amazing and very moving. An experience we will never forget.

Visited January 2012
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Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Serious prayful Service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2011

We decided to visit Mt. Neboh, rather than Abyssinian Baptist, the most famous of all the Harlem Churches. I was raised Baptist and I was in town visiting with friends who wanted to attend a Sunday service with me. If you don't know it, all the major black churches have many tourist who want to attend a service while in NYC. Consequently, they arrive by the tour bus load at the major churches. I don't know what the arrangements are but there is some financial benefit to the church that allow the tours. Deservedly so of course, as these group put a heck of a lot of wear and tear on the church building itself. At Mt. Neboh, as there is at Abyssinian, there is a special area for tourist/visitors. You have to understand that they have no choice but to do this because if they allowed all the tourist to sit in the main sanctuary, there would be no room for the regular members...and tourist leave in the middle of the service too. At Mt. Neboh, tourist are taken to the balcony where there are three rows of elevated seats allowing visitors a fairly good view of what is happening below. We did not go as part of a tour, so we were asked to wait in line until the people on the tour were seated. We were assured that we would be seated however. The church is lovely and a good sized one. The pulpit and choir areas are spacious and set so you can see it well from most any vantage point.

The morning we went, 2/20/2011, the service was good although I was hoping for great, but I'll get to that in a moment. There was a special tribute dance put on by the youth of the church and other activities acknowledging Black History Month. What I can only assume was the "Junior Choir" sang and I believe the sermon was given by either a visiting pastor or an associate pastor. At any rate, my point is, on this particular Sunday, neither the regular pastor, Dr. Green, nor the regular choir sang. From reviews I have read the choir is outstanding. So yes, it was a bit disappointing in that sense. However, it was my fault, as I should have checked the church calendar to see what would be happening at the church. Pastors and their choirs will often travel to other churches both in and out of state to help the other church celebrate anniversaries, etc, so having the regular minister and the choir away is very common in Baptist Churches. The associate pastor sang a beautiful song before she began her sermon.

I would suggest you check with the church or their website to make sure the Pastor and full choir will be in attendance on the date you plan to attend if your goal is to hear good gospel music and enjoy the full Black Baptist Church Experience. The deacons and ushers are all very welcoming and you are made to feel welcome in their church home. You should know and be aware that this is first and foremost, a worship service and not a show that is put on for the benefit of tourists. So above all, please dress and act with respect. If you have time, afterwards, find a place to have some good soul food after the service in Harlem. Here's another biggie...if you can, stay for the full service. The bus tours usually take their people out about halfway through the service, basically after the choir sings. Let me tell you, if you've come this far, and if you can stay for the sermon. You will never forget hearing a sermon preached by an accomplished minister. After the tour busses leave, you can usually get further to the front in the visitors area and have an even better view of what's going in down below.

I have friends who have been present at Mt. Neboh and I'm told their regular services are as good as any, including Abyssinian Baptist...and you may find Mt. Neboh a bit easier to get into. Whatever you do and wherever you go, I wish you a joyful experience in the black churches of Harlem.

Visited February 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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