Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd Church

The building at 44 Pennington Avenue was constructed in 1928 as the state headquarters of the United Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliation, a Black Masonic organization. The building was also called the Grand Lodge Masonic Temple In 1941, the building was sold to the Catholic Diocese of Trenton, which had formed an all-Black congregation in the same year at the request of its African-American members. Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd was one of two all-Black congregations in the Diocese, the other located at Asbury Park. Two years later, Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd School opened, operating as the city’s only Black Catholic parish school until 1997, when it merged with the school at St. Mary’s Cathedral. In 2005, the Diocese consolidated the Catholic parishes in Trenton, and Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd was merged with the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. In 2008, the merged congregation moved all services to Blessed Sacrament. Mount Zion A.M.E. Church, one of the city’s oldest Black churches, has purchased the property, continuing its long association with the African-American community. It is currently home to Divine Kidz Academy and Preschool Inc.

Address: 44 Pennington Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08618

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