With ( l-r), Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, Rev. Edith Critchlow; Rev. Dr. Robert O. Simpson, pastor of Janes; Rev. Dr. Joseph V. Crocket; Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Rev. Allen H. Smith.
Janes United Methodist Church is named for Edmond Storer Janes (1807-1876) who in 1844 was elected Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The church can trace its roots to 1858 when a Sunday school was started in a private home. Janes Mission, located at Patchen Avenue and Monroe Street, was built ca.1859 at a cost of $3,000 and had a seating capacity of 400.
1904 Brooklyn Eagle photo of Janes Methodist Episcopal Church (built 1884) in Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)
1904 Brooklyn Eagle photo of Janes Methodist Episcopal Church at Reid and Monroe Streets
Within 25 years, the congregation outgrew its building, so a much larger second church was built on the southeast corner of Monroe Street and Reid Avenue (now Malcolm X Boulevard). The new building, designed by Cardwell & Hawkins, was dedicated on November 30, 1884. It seated 1,200 in the main auditorium and as many more in the Sunday school rooms. The cost of the ground and building, including the organ ($3,400), the upholstery, and steam heating, was $45,000. A devastating fire destroyed the 101-year-old building on November 11, 1984, the day before the congregation was to celebrate the church's 125th anniversary. The day after the fire, the pastor and trustees pledged to start rebuilding the church immediately. The rebuilt red-brick church consists of three buildings which are connected by a covered atrium.