The Hill District, a lovely neighborhood in Pittsburgh is not only known for its “hills” but is primarily known to be the cultural center of black life and jazz. From the 1920s through the 1950s, the Hill District included nightclubs, bars, gambling dens, and venues to host both national and local artists. In fact, on any given day you could go on Wylie Avenue or Centre Avenue and partake in some jazz or blues. The Hill District is still a pillar in the African American community and the neighborhood continues to develop and blossom. The Hill District houses restaurants, shops, a newly built YMCA, and new businesses continue to emerge. “Take a Trip Down Church Lane” is a ride that captures all the beautiful churches that are both on Centre and Webster Avenue and as a group we were able to experience the beauty. The bike ride began on Centre and Kirkpatrick at the Healthy Ride Station. Ambassador CC was joined by the Black Girl Social Club-Pittsburgh Chapter, Trey McCune, Lead Ambassador, Ricardo Solis, Healthy Ride Community Initiatives Manager, and Lizzy Nolin, Healthy Ride Digital Communication Specialist.
We began by riding down Centre Avenue, and our first stop was New Light Temple Baptist Church. The group was able to take a break and check out the church. The New Light Temple Baptist Church, led by Reverend Phillip Battle, was founded in 1920 and has a congregation that is dedicated to building the Kingdom of God.
We continued down Centre and came to the light where we made a left on Herron Avenue. Can we talk about these Hills in the Hill District? Steep. Despite the Hill to our next Street, Webster Avenue, we made it like champs! Once on Webster Avenue, we took another break and was able to check out the St Luke Baptist Church, who is led by Reverend Gerald Laster.
As we continued down Webster Avenue, tired from all the hills, we decided to stop at one last church. The last church was the Webster Avenue Christian Missionary Alliance Church. This church is among many worldwide. The Christian Missionary Alliance Church is a global movement with 500,000 worshippers, 37 languages and dialect, and has over 2,000 churches. It is nice to know that the Hill District neighborhood is a part of this movement.
Once Webster Avenue intersected with Kirkpatrick Street, we turned left and down hill we went (finally!). We ended back at the Healthy Ride Station, flicked it up, and off we went to enjoy the rest of our lovely day. The ride was fun with Healthy Ride staff, Lead Ambassador, and the Black Girl Social Club. If you are wondering about the Black Girl Social Club-Pittsburgh Chapter, it is a safe space for black women that encourages face-to-face communication and encourages building relationships with other black women. If you are interested in knowing more, please contact Adrienne or Jasmine (Chapter Presidents) at firstname.lastname@example.org