Dixwell Avenue Congregational United Church of Christ, New Haven, CT

About the church

Dixwell Avenue Congregational United Church of Christ, founded in 1820, is the oldest African American Congregational UCC church in the world. The church is located in the historic Dixwell neighborhood, just five blocks north of the heart of downtown New Haven, Connecticut and Yale University. With an active attendance of approximately 125 congregants, church membership has grown more than 10 percent over the past year. Weekly worship is on Sunday mornings at 11:00am and includes a robust musical program consisting of traditional hymns and anthems, as well as traditional and contemporary gospel music.


Living into Legacy

Dixwell Church has been realigned with its traditions of powerful preaching and vibrant musical worship, offering a hospitable space for people to encounter and engage the grace, love and peace of God. Working in conjunction with the many churches of the greater Dixwell Community, we seek to document, engage, and promote the rich and vital performance histories and practices of black sacred music as they exist within the various African-American congregational traditions of our community.
In the first phase of our project, Dixwell Church will form a Living into
Legacy Work Group to go out into the various sectors of the community to conduct interviews with local residents and church musicians, recalling their memories and experiences of black sacred music, documenting particular styles and traditions of music making. Conducted in the manner of “StoryCorps,” these video documents will be compiled and preserved, representing a permanent record of the relationship of black sacred music to the Dixwell community.
In phase two of the Living into Legacy project, Dixwell Church will present a concert and lecture series that showcases the breadth of black sacred music as it has existed in the particularity of various African-American denominational and performative traditions. The final phase of our Living into Legacy project will draw upon all of the resources garnered in the first two phases of our project, as we develop a children’s music education curriculum based on the performative traditions of black sacred music. This curriculum will in turn be used as the centerpiece to the programming offered in the newly reorganized Dixwell Community Creative Arts Center, which is set to reopen in the fall of 2015.


217 Dixwell Avenue

New Haven, CT 06511

Team Members:

Fredrick “Jerry” Streets, Pastor and Team Leader
Ronald Pollard, Church Musician
Charles Warner, Lay Representative, Director of Instruction K-12 - New Haven Board of Education