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Allen church to broadcast sermons on BET network

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Starting next week, the Greater Allen Cathedral’s Wednesday morning sermons are going national.

The sermons, led by the Rev. Floyd Flake and his wife and co-pastor, the Rev. Elaine Flake, will be broadcast on national television beginning Wednesday, said Holly Cooper, a spokeswoman for the Jamaica church. The sermons will be shown on Black Entertainment Television at 6 a.m. across the country, she said.

“We’re very excited about this,” Cooper said. “We’re looking at a national visibility for the church.”

The Greater Allen Cathedral of New York, an outgrowth of the Allen A.M.E. Church with more than 15,000 members, currently broadcasts Sunday sermons locally on Channel 55 on Time Warner Cable, and on the radio on WWRL AM 1600, Cooper said. The expansion to BET, which appears on Channel 42, will be the church’s first national exposure, she said.

The church has signed a one-year agreement with the television company, and the sermons will be dual-casted, meaning they will be broadcast at 6 a.m. local time in each time zone, Cooper said.

Greater Allen Cathedral hopes the broadcast will not only give members a new way to worship, but also encourage others to join Allen, Cooper said.

“We want to bring the membership into the church,” she said. “We’re hoping to reach people a little further away.”

Cooper is pleased with the Wednesday morning spot, which is part of the network’s daily religious programming.

“The time slot is ideal,” she said. “It’s well worth the investment for exposure that you get. Television is very expensive, so this was a great deal for us to work out.”

The Greater Allen Cathedral is the only mega-church, or church with more than 5,000 members, in the New York area, followed by the next closest mega-church in Baltimore, Cooper said. The cathedral has 102 ministries and 10 corporate subsidies, such as a Christian school, a senior citizens’ center, a federal credit union, a housing corporation and a women’s resource center.

The Allen A.M.E. Church, the cathedral’s predecessor, was founded in Jamaica in 1834. The congregation moved in 1997 to the $23 million cathedral, at 110-31 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 138.

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