• UMOJA (oo-MO-jah)


  • About UMOJA

    UMOJA is a CULTURAL ASSOCIATION promoting Multiculturalism and one of the Ministries of the Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem, New York, NY.


    The Convent Avenue Baptist Church (C.A.B.C) was founded on February 4, 1942 by Dr. John W. Saunders, formerly pastor of the Walker Memorial Baptist Church. Two years earlier, Dr. Saunders, already in his seventies, had formed a group known as the “Kingdom Builders.” The Kingdom Builders held services in the former Congress Casino and the old Baptist Temple in Harlem.


    Umoja (Ministry of International Visitation & Foreign Missions)

    Umoja is motivated to serve our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ with the gift of hospitality and foreign missions. Each year we welcome international visitors to our church, greeting and providing them with information about our services in their language.


    Our function

    Our Function

    Greeters: Prior to the 8 and 11 a.m. worship services, our ministry greet international worshipers by giving them a brief overview addressing the protocols of our services.

    Coordinators: Our ministry maintains dialogue with scheduled tour groups and international organizations before, during, and after they have participated in the worship experience at Convent Avenue Baptist Church.

    Planners: Our ministry assists with scheduling, preparation and organizing of “Annual Days”—most notably our Lott Carey Sunday.


    Administrators: Our ministry provides documentation support as well interactivity to various international organizations and mission efforts – most notably through our church website.


    Missionaries: Our ministry is seeking to promote our Church's doctrine and international outreach.

    Our Vision & Mission

    Mission: The ministries' name is Umoja (oo-MO-jah) which is taken from the Swahili translation based upon the English word “Unity”--which stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community. It is also translated into many traditional African languages as the term "I am We," or "I am because we are." We are the Ministry of International Visitation and Foreign Mission.


    Our mission is simple—Our ministry presents Convent Avenue Baptist Church as a leader in the innovative NYC (Harlem) international community of faith while simultaneously preserving the stronghold of the African (Black) Worship Tradition.
    This mission is accomplished by:
    • Acknowledging the demographical shifts affecting the NYC-Metro areas.
    • Creating a spirit filled environment that welcomes international believers of Christian faith.
    • Establish and maintain dialogue with international societies and foreign missions
    supported by C.A.B.C.
  • Convent Avenue Baptist Church - C.A.B.C

    Reverend Dr. Jesse T. Williams, Jr. Sr.Pastor


    Favorite quote: “And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ,

    and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”


    Visit Convent Avenue Baptist Church Website

    Reverend Dr. Jesse T. Williams, Jr.

    Sr. Pastor


    Reverend Dr. Jesse T. Williams, Jr. is the fourth, distinguished Senior Pastor of the prominent Convent Avenue Baptist Church of Harlem in New York City, N.Y. Dr. Williams was licensed to preach the Gospel in June 1983 at the Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, Topeka, Kansas and was ordained to the Gospel Ministry in December 1990 at the West Side Baptist Church, St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to accepting the call from Convent Avenue, Dr. Williams served sixteen years as Pastor of the historic Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church of St. Louis, Missouri

    Read his full bio here

    Deacon Supervisor

    Tony Taylor

    In 1993 He and His wife united with the Convent Avenue Baptist Church and in 1998 He was chosen to become a Deacon and has served there ever since. He is presently a Deacon And a Trustee.

    In 1998 He joined the Lott Carey Foreign Baptist Convention (now known simply as Lott Carey) the oldest Apician American Missionary organization in the world. He served in several leadership positions and he is presently the Team Leader in the Men on Missions units. He have been to Haiti several times since 2012 help to Haiti “Rise Again.”

    One of His favorite Scriptures is Isaiah 6:8

    “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I send me!”

  • Don't miss!
    The Abolition of Modern Day Slavery Part XI
    Human Trafficking, Domestic & Gender Based Violence
    in time of Covid-19
    How can we help victims of minorities, women and children?

    Webinar, June 26, 2020.
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
    Registration are closed.



    Join us as we will discuss with experts on how we can advance UN Sustainable Goals (SDG's ) by 2030,

    helping minorities, women and children victims/survivors of Modern Slavery, Domestic Violence,

    and Gender Based Violence in time of COVID-19.

    The event is organized by UMOJA CABC, supported by Convent Avenue Baptist Church (C.A.B.C)



    Organizer UMOJA CABC - Host Convent Baptist Church - Deacon Terri Deans McFarlane

    FACTS: The Global Slavery Index estimates that over 35 million people are enslaved today. The purpose of UMOJA ABOLITION OF MODERN SLAVERY PART XI this year is to raise awareness, prevent, inform, advocate, and find solutions for minorities and survivors of Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, & Gender based Violence in time of COVID-19.


    Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence are the two (2) major notable crimes in our Greater Harlem Community, through New York City, and globally which are never reported, due to impunity, and shame. The majority of those who suffer about this issue are minorities, poor and socially excluded groups, often living in the margins of our society.


    Watch the video below

    Join our mailing list to receive the link of the webinar


    The 11th Edition was a great success!


  • Human Trafficking

    by numbers


    Today, there are millions of people whose liberty, dignity and essential human rights have been stolen. They are coerced into sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, forced begging and stealing, and even compelled to "sell" skin and organs.But we can change that together.

    • An estimated 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these, 16 million (64%) were exploited for labor, 4.8 million (19%) were sexually exploited, and 4.1 million (17%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor.
    • Forced labor takes place in many different industries. Of the 16 million trafficking victims exploited for labor,
    • 7.5 million (47%) forced labor victims work in construction, manufacturing, mining, or hospitality
    • 3.8 million (24%) forced labor victims are domestic workers
    • 1.7 million (11%) forced labor victims work in agriculture
    • 71% of trafficking victims around the world are women and girls and 29% are men and boys.
    • 15.4 million victims (75%) are aged 18 or older, with the number of children under the age of 18 estimated at 5.5 million (25%).
    • The Asia-pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced laborers— 15.4 million (62% of the global total). Africa has 5.7 million (23%) followed by Europe and Central Asia with 2.2 million (9%). The Americas account for 1.2 million (5%) and the Arab States account for 1% of all victims.
    • Human trafficking does not always involve travel to the destination of exploitation: 2.2 million (14%) of victims of forced labor moved either internally or internationally, while 3.5 million (74%) of victims of sexual exploitation were living outside their country of residence.
    • Victims spend an average of 20 months in forced labor, although this varied with different forms of forced labor.

    Human Trafficking is Big Business,

    don't let it happen!


    Human Trafficking Stories

    Source UNEDOC


    Click on the pictures to read stories.





    Click on the Human Trafficking Hotline below to contact Project Polaris



    If you suspect a Human Trafficking/Modern Slavery case call the National Human Trafficking Ressource Center Hotilne:



    Text Polaris: 233733

    or email:




    Here's our troop of adventurers!

    Angèle Ventugol Onyie


    I was born in Paris, and I grew up in Cameroon, Central Africa. I live in Harlem since 4 years, and before that, I was in French Riviera 25 Years. I worked in major International corporations, INGOs and NGOs, in Africa, Europe and US. I had a case of Human Trafficking and I'm involved in this causes since then. I'm a small Business owner, TV Producer, and also Founder and President of ONG SOLI'CITES, a French Non profit fighting against poverty by mentoring and empowering Women Girls and Youth in the US, Africa, Europe and abroad.

    Eliza Banares Gwozdz


    Elisa GWOZD is from Philippines.She has 2 wonderful teenage sons. She has been in the United States for 5 years and is happily maried to Broadway Music Director/Pianist Eugene Gwozdz. Aside from taking care of her family, Eliza is part-time caregiver and also owns a medical supplies business for ophtamologists back in the Philippines. She loves being part of the UMOJA Ministry at the Convent Avenue Baptist Church.


    Sandy Alexis


    My name is Sandy Alexis I was born in Haiti, raised in Miami and grew up in New York. I studied Chinese Medicine in New York, then transferred to the Chicago campus where I was offered the Chance to be one of 10 Students to attend a Privately owned Massage School in Michigan. I got to work in Detroit with the Vets and also the University of Michigan women's swim team. I'm grateful and blessed that God has offered me some great experiences and opportunities. I like to fight for what I believe in and help any way I can.
    To God be the Glory...& Spread Love.

    Richard COX

    UMOJA Financial Secretary


    Richard Cox—A multicultural education enthusiast, PolyGlot, Numismatic Professional and Non Profit Entrepreneur is a multi-skilled Project Manager who founded Team Unity, Inc. in 1994. A Harlem Native (Sugar Hill); With more than a quarter century of project management experience; Richard has served the United States Government Whereas he developed Scopes of Work and Initial Analysis relating to stakeholder and senior management concerns—for both Government and Non-Government entities.

    Ofiang Okon


    Howard L. Braggs Jr.


    Craig Himmons

    Outccoming President

    Keisha Roberts

    Umoja Past President

    I lived in Harlem for 10 years. Born and bread in Northern California. Member at C.A.B.C. for the past 4years. Graduate of Pace University with degree in International Management w/concentration of European Markets. Worked in Fashion then transitioned into the Advertising World.

    Nicola Watkinson

    Charnae Betton

    Charnae grew up in Maryland in a family full of singers. After moving to New York in 2010 Ms. Betton became heavily involved in the community through arts, culture, and educational events, taking her experiences as leader to share her voice in the community . She hosted events in venues such as Tsion Cafe, MIST Harlem, and the City College of New York, and starred as Dorothy in an Urban Adaptation of the Wizard of Oz, "Oz Comes to Harlem", at the National Black Theatre (NBT).


    Take a look and enjoy!

    Worship with the High School of ST Ignatius College from Australia

    On September 29, 2019, UMOJA C.A.B.C had the pleasure to great 148 visitors from around the world at Convent Avenue Baptist Church 11.00 Am Service. Among the visitors, a group of 34 students and Adults from Australia. The group of students from the High School of St. Ignatius College Australia joined us to have another experience of worship.

    1rst row, From left to right: Brother Richard Cox, Foundre of UMOJA & Secretary General, Rev. Alamazie M. Warren “Zee”, Angele Ventugol Onyie, UMOJA's Vice President, and the group of students and instructors.

    UMOJA C.A.B.C International Food Tasting Day

    International foods:Time to taste the 11 different dishes cooked by the UMOJA Team and Church members.

    Project UMOJA 1 rst year calendar Executive Meeting

    Project UMOJA executive board .meeting  Sunday, January 20, 2019


    December 08, 2018 -

    The Project Umoja Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative - UMOJA C.A.B.C Team and Speakers.

    UMOJA International Day, September 15, 2018

    The International Day is an event aiming to celebrate the reunification of people from all over the word, by sharing worship and foods from all over the world cooked by UMOJA members, and all the church at large.

    UMOJA CABC International Day 2018

    International foods:Time to taste the 11 different dishes cooked by the UMOJA Team and Church members.

    Trinity Team in Haiti

    International foods:Time to taste the 11 different dishes cooked by the UMOJA Team and Church members.

    The United Nations Abolition of Slavery Day

    The UMOJA CABC Minsitry support and advocate for global causes. We are very involved in the fight of Modern Slavery.

    Modern slavery is a multi billion-dollar industry with just the forced labor aspect generating US $150 billion each year. Modern slavery victimizes tens of millions of people.

    Slavery Still Exists All Around the World. According to the United Nations, over 40 million people are in modern slavery today, and are victims of forced labor, debt bondage and forced marriage.


    We are running our "Abolition of Modern Slavery initiative" since 11 years, raising awareness, in the village of Harlem and in the City of New York at large with the support of leading organizations such as Convent Avenue Baptist Church who is a safe house, Lott Carey foundation a Pioneer in this fight, Red Cross, the New York Mayor office of Human Rights, NYPD, Safe Horizon, Not on My Watch to name just those. We recently partner with UN Women to run a webinar on Modern Slavery . This is happening in our backyards. Let's not turn blind eyes to this global plea.

    "If you see something, Say Something"


    If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call now.


    Contact Human Trafficking Hotline


    Or Call: Call 1-888-373-7888 ( TTY: 711)

    |*Text 233733 |Live Chat


    You have question? You need an information or would like to be involved ?

    Please contact us!

    Convent Avenue Baptist Church
    420 W 145th Street
    New York, N.Y. 10031
    Convent Avenue Baptist Church 420 W 145th Street New York, N.Y. 10031 Tel: (212) 234-6767 Fax: (212) 234-6019