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Church Of John Coltrane Under Threat

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San Francisco’s unique Church of John Coltrane, which has served its congregation by focusing on the great jazz artist’s work and religious beliefs for nearly five decades, is under threat of immediate closure.

SFGate reports that the church has been served with an order to vacate its rented space within three days, which means that tomorrow’s (Sunday) service could be its last. The institution preaches “global unity, peace on earth, and knowledge of the one true living God,” through Coltrane’s words and music, and has taken part in food drives and other examples of public outreach.

The church was established in 1968 as the jazz listening club the Yardbird Temple, using the nickname of another of the genre’s heroes, Charlie Parker. It later became affiliated with Coltrane’s widow, Alice, and the African Orthodox Church.

COLTRANE-CHURCHFor the last ten years, the church has been based in Fillmore Street, and has been in the Fillmore area since 1971. The church has started a petition to lobby public support to stay in its current location, which you can view, and sign, here. The petition states that the landlord, the West Bay Conference Centre, has doubled its rent, and that its lease is up.

coltrane_church-16“The present political climate of profit over people continues to devastate the African American population of the Fillmore,” says the petition, “leaving the ‘Coltrane Church’ to stand alone as the sole historic proprietors of the music and culture of jazz as a means to enlighten.”

King, 71, told SFGate: “We’ve got people coming from all over the world every week. It’s like a pilgrimage place. In that sense, it is a great tragedy if we are not able to survive in the climate that many are being faced with at this time. We might be looked at as one of the last cultural voices that has a certain social consciousness that leads toward the favour of the oppressed.”

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Joe McKeever

    February 20, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Keep the Church Open!

  2. Viggo Simonsen

    February 20, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Oh, please preserve it!

    I WAS JUST IN SF A FEW MONTHS AGO, AND STAYED IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, BUT I WAS NOT AWARE OF ITS EXISTENCE. WHAT A PITY, HAD I ONLY KNOWN.

    • Viggo Moertensen

      March 3, 2016 at 2:05 am

      No worries. The Lord Permeates All Off Planets Abound, Including Earth, and all it’s adresses.

  3. stanley

    February 20, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Please try and keep the Church

  4. White Privilege

    February 20, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Black people complaining about capitalism. What else is new?

  5. manyjunkie

    February 20, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    una verdadera lastima cerrar un lugar así, claro no fuera para joder a la gente porque hasta recibirian subvención del gobierno gringo, así como hacen con los alimentos transgenicos, todo lo que mata debe distribuirse y lo bueno ocultarse, 100% antinatural y 100% carente de lógica, así son las politicas gringas

  6. Raoul Cervantes

    February 20, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    A fan of John Coltrane for many years and hope that the church remains open!

  7. mariano vega

    February 20, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Una pena, realmente. El valor cultural del espacio de la iglesia de John Coltrane es inmenso, más allá de que uno sea o no creyente. Y no es sólo gente negra quejándose del capitalismo, como dice un imbécil por ahí, es gente que se siente conmovida por el arte de Coltrane y que sí, por supuesto, tiene que defender este arte contra el avance del interés capitalista.

  8. Mark

    February 21, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Dear Lord~

  9. Malik El Shabazz

    February 21, 2016 at 3:54 am

    This doesn’t sound good at all. Why don’t the musicians in the Generation of Ravi and the Joshua Redman form a musical union towards the landlord or rather save it by acquiring a new venue that will belong to musicians’ foundation of some sort.

  10. Mike

    February 21, 2016 at 5:43 am

    Had a wonderful and memorable visit to this church a few years ago. SF rents are crazy, perhaps Oakland would be a better location? I hope something works out for this beautiful place.

  11. John Loveless

    February 21, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    John Coltrane has and continues to be a huge musical, human and spiritual inspiration to me as he has to millions. He communicated through music in a unique and awesome way. I really hope that the church can continue. I live on the other side of the world but my sons have visited it and loved it.

  12. Allen Burroughs Kerouac

    February 21, 2016 at 9:45 pm

  13. Allen Burroughs Kerouac

    February 21, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    uncounscious plagiarism?

  14. suZanne

    February 22, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Please keep the church open for all.

  15. stuart spiers

    March 1, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I stand by you guys. This should be fought

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