Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Everett McCorvey


The Ephesus Seventh-day Church, one of the first Black SDA churches that were formed in the New York City area during the late 1920s and early 1930s, is one church that has been faced with the challenge of maintaining traditional repertoire and musical practices, while including more popular genres and styles that lay outside the SDA guidelines. Located in Central Harlem, Ephesus is surrounded by the cultural and historical influences within the Harlem community. The Ephesus Church, based on extant hymnals and the recollections of church members, continued in the Euro-centric musical traditions of early SDA churches until the 1960s, when it began to explore African-inspired musical practices. Around 1970, close in time to the SDA 1972 Music Guidelines were instituted, a struggle between Euro-centric versus Afro-centric musical cultures became apparent. Following introductory chapters on the history of African-American membership in the SDA Church from the 19th century to the early 20th century and early musical leaders of Ephesus Church, the musical practices of Ephesus from 1970 to 2010 serves as the focus of this study.