Emmanuel Full Gospel Temple

Emmanuel Full Gospel Temple sign. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania

984 N. Marshall Street

In 1866 this building started out as the local Hall of the Grand Army of the Republic, which was the veterans' organization for Union soldiers. By the turn of the century, however, this was home to one of the largest and most prominent of the Eastern European Marshall Street "shuls" – Kneses Israel Anshe Sfard. (Shul literally translates to "school," but shul also came to refer to "associations," or congregations organized around European regional origins.) Today, this structure is in its third incarnation as the church of Emmanuel Full Gospel Temple, an African American congregation. As successive groups of European immigrants vacated the inner city, African Americans often took over older houses of worship as well as the housing stock left behind. This church reflects the ethnic change and adaptive reuse that has characterized the neighborhood during the past century.