Allentown Church Converted to Mosque, Confirms Growth of Muslim Community

June 10, 2005

Source: The Morning Call,0,5470599.story

On June 10, 2005 The Morning Call reported, "a longtime Allentown church is experiencing new life as an Islamic center. Built in 1889, Trinity United Church of Christ at 1109 Linden St. hosted a thriving congregation that dwindled in modern times. A nondenominational Christian ministry called New Creations Family Worship Center bought the stately brick building in 2000, but it too saw its members leave. Last month, the ministry sold the building to a group of Muslims who previously attended services at an Islamic center in Whitehall Township. Lehigh County records list the sales price as $240,000. The new center is called the Islamic Education Center of Pennsylvania. Spokesman and board member Mohamed Turki said 25 to 30 Muslims started it because some found the location of the Whitehall center inconvenient, particularly for daily prayers. But the Allentown Islamic center will be more than a mosque, or place of prayer. There are plans to set up youth religious education classes by summer and eventually weekly classes for adults. Turki said the group also would like to establish a preschool or day care program by the fall and reach out to other faiths."