Riverside Church

The Riverside Church organized in 1841 as the Norfolk Street Baptist Church, later becoming the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church and the Park Avenue Baptist Church. It was the home congregation of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and his family. In 1930 it transferred to a new building on Riverside Drive, planned and financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Well before establishing the RBF, the Rockefeller brothers gave personally to Riverside Church. Their annual giving was consolidated through the Fund beginning in 1941, and continued into the 1970s. The RBF also made gifts to Riverside’s several major building expansions. Established as a non-denominational church welcoming all believers in Christ, the Riverside Church has had a strong presence in the ecumenical movement, in liberal theology, and in social justice campaigns including the anti-war, anti-death penalty, and immigrants’ rights movements. It has served as a speaking forum for Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela.

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Browse the major events in the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's history