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9/11 in New York: Rev. Stephen Bauman

The Rev. Stephen Bauman remembers the standing room only crowds that packed Christ Church United Methodist in the days and weeks after September 11, 2001. Bauman says in the aftermath of 9/11 the city “rose to its best,” with neighbors helping and consoling neighbors, and churches opening their doors to those without a church home. Bauman recalls a worship service where city sanitation workers rushed in to be part of the prayers.

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN. Media contact is Joe Iovino.

This video was first posted on September 6, 2016.


Rev. Stephen Bauman, Christ Church United Methodist: The President called for a national day of prayer on Thursday of that week. At 12 noon we were to meet.

As you see, in our sanctuary we’re situated so this way, the way I’m pointing, is Park Avenue. So I was leading a service up at the front there. And when you stand at the altar, the way Christ Church is built, if our inner doors are open you actually see the street. It’s right close, right on the sidewalk of Park Avenue.

Well, Christ Church got swamped that day. We were overwhelmed with people, most of whom I had never seen in my life. It was standing room only here. And as the clock struck 12, if you will, as I was standing in the middle of the sanctuary and I was looking out to the street, because there’s the street. I saw a sanitation truck drive by, screech to a half in front... [eeeerk] right in front of our door. And the sanitation guys leapt off the truck and came running into the church, so insistent were they on being part of the prayer service evidently at 12 noon on that Thursday.

That’s as good a metaphor as I have with the spirit of the time in terms of how this city responded. It was a time when the city rose to its best in my opinion. Would that we could rise to our best without such an awful event.

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