The Pilgrim Cathedral of Harlem exists because of God’s grace and the vision that He gave to one man, the Honorable Archbishop Roy E. Brown, the Chief Prelate of Pilgrim Assemblies International. God gave him the mandate to plant churches, and in obedience to the voice of God, the process began.

After praying and following the lead of the Holy Spirit, Bishop Charles Reed (then Elder Reed) was appointed Pastor and a location in Harlem was sought to begin this ministry. A loft at 1941 Madison Avenue was secured, and the temporary home of this new satellite church was born. Fueled by the financial support of the Archbishop and the faithful membership of the Pilgrim Father Church in Brooklyn, the Pilgrim Church of Harlem opened its doors to receive God’s people on Sunday, October 18, 1992, and in the midst of an overflow crowd, 32 worshipers stood with Bishop Reed as the founding members. Since that date, many souls have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; saints have been encouraged; families have been reconciled; bodies and minds have been healed; the underprivileged in the community have been served, and new ministries have been birthed.

Since its inception, Pilgrim Cathedral of Harlem continues to experience outpours of God’s presence. The prophecy received on Pilgrim’s opening day confirmed that “1941” was simply a temporary training ground and that God’s greater glory would be manifested as we followed Him. Through Bishop Reed’s faithful leadership and through guidance from Archbishop, Pilgrim’s current location at 15 West 126th Street – once a dilapidated, gutted shell – opened on December 8th, 1996 and was aptly renamed the Pilgrim Cathedral of Harlem. God’s cloud of glory rests upon “15 West” and His presence is a constant source of strength and encouragement. It is the Lord’s presence that has sustained Pilgrim through the best of times and the worst of times.

Bishop Reed was passionate about many things – mainly about the church and the sheep the Lord had entrusted to his care. He encouraged us to be a place where the love of God is contagious, to be a people of prayer, and to be a people who studied God’s Word diligently. He recognized that with those simple foundational principles in place, God would get greater glory here in the Harlem community. In 2006, not long after celebrating his 52nd birthday, Bishop Reed succumbed to cancer having fought a victorious battle with the disease for over 14 years. For Pilgrim, that was the worst of times.

But God had a plan for His people! Archbishop Brown was pricked by the Holy Spirit and a new Pastor was appointed to carry on the vision of our beloved Bishop Reed – in the person of Minister Ronald Hopkins. Minister Hopkins was ordained and installed as Senior Pastor in 2007; consecrated to the office of Bishop in 2010, and continues today to pursue the vision to propel Pilgrim to new heights as the Spirit continues to inspire him and give him direction.

The Pilgrim Cathedral of Harlem remains a house dedicated to prayer; to ministry; to the praise and worship of Jesus Christ, and to the building of His Kingdom. Without God’s grace, we never would have made it, but we thank God and will serve Him faithfully because we’re still here and the best is yet to come. To God be the glory!

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