The intersection of 40th Avenue between 12th and 13th streets will read ‘Bishop Moses Taylor Way’ as a symbol of his more than 60 years of service to the community.
Many Queens leaders and residents gathered on Sunday for the ceremony, which took place during the East River Development Alliance Federal Credit Union’s second anniversary block party.
ERDA, a nonprofit organization created in 2004, helps residents of public housing achieve economic and financial freedom. The ERDA Federal Credit Union, a subset of ERDA, has been helping low-income families in LIC for two years through a variety of financial empowerment programs in both Spanish and English.
Taylor was a staple in the Queensbridge, LIC and Astoria communities, before his death on Oct.1, 2004, and his legacy lives on through his son, the Rev. Mitchell Taylor, who was master of ceremonies for the street renaming and block party.
Taylor, pastor of Center of Hope International Church and president of the ERDA Federal Credit Union said, “today is a tribute to my father and his years of ministry in Long Island City.”
Bishop Taylor began the Long Island City Gospel Tabernacle with only 12 members, before opening up the Center of Hope International Church. He also embarked on many other philanthropic endeavors including an award-winning bread pantry in LIC and the Astoria Outreach Ministries.
His son along with help from Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) spearheaded the street renaming.
“Bishop Moses Taylor led a different exodus, from despair to hope and from poverty to economic vitality. We are celebrating that today,” Van Bramer said. “Forever and ever more, young people will walk past this sign and they will never forget Bishop Taylor and what he brought to the community.”
The block party was held in front of the Center of Hope International Church and across the street from the Queensbridge Housing Projects. It was a day of music, gospel, praise, free food and activity for the whole community.
“I’m taking advantage of the resources and the lower fees available at the ERDA Credit Union, so I can help my dreams grow and strive,” said high school sophomore Louis Castillo.
Castillo is part of the ERDA College Access Program, which allows him to save and budget. He wants to open a computer business in the future.
Other community members in attendance included Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), Rev. Al Combs, NAACP Astoria-Long Island City Chapter Marion Jeffries and Councilman Leroy Comrie (D- St. Albans). “The way to make things happen is to work for yourself, and empower yourselves,” Comrie said to the crowd. “You are changing communities, bettering lives, and making Queens a better place.”