Editor’s note — Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be highlighting the fight to save Park Church Co-op from being torn down by real estate developers. Park Church Co-op has served as more than just a religious institution in our neighborhood — it was a space where the community could come together and dance, volunteer, listen to music and enjoy each other’s company. You can read a community member’s recent op-ed here, and get caught up on the long-standing fight to save the church here and here.
Locals have shared some of their favorite Park Church Co-op memories with us. Below, the Reverend Yolanda tells us about Drag Story Hour at the church.
I am one of the founding storytellers of Drag Story Hour NYC.
We had never done an event in a church before Park Church. Our executive director asked me if I would like to do an event at Park Church. Since I am an ordained minister, I said YES!
I used to live in Greenpoint before it was gentrified as it is today. The location of Park Church was difficult for me to find (I had never been to that part of the neighborhood), but when I got there, the greeting was amazingly friendly and joyful! I loved the building and the pastor and the folks attending.
This event was also the first time I had worn my Butterfly outfit and it went over SO WELL! Now my Butterfly outfit is my signature.
I think that with Park Church being so open and accepting of who we are, it set off a multitude of requests from other churches, synagogues, schools, and even The New York Public Library system —our greatest ally. With Park Church, we definitely expanded.
I became friends with the Pastor and we had coffee several times together after the events. I remember her telling me that the church was having a difficult time financially and was probably going to be closed/sold. I wanted to come back and do a fundraiser of some kind but we were never able to coordinate that. I lost touch with her, and didn’t know the fate of Park Church until now. So silly. I believe the building should be a community center.
The Reverend Yolanda went to One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in Manhattan, graduating in 2011. After graduation, they started a ministry, www.TheMightyCompanions.com and a church service called Church With A 2 Drink Minimum in the clubs and cabaret spaces in NYC. They continue to hold church services in collaboration with Awakening-Together.org an online spiritual community. Yolanda also acts in TV/Film and makes music: www.Yolanda.net/audio