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East End News

Temple of Judah has high hopes, little funds

Using the August fire at the Citadel of Hope building as a focal point, the January 2012 issue of Richmond Magazine’s Hope Deferred digs into the struggle faced by Venable Street’s Temple of Judah as the church struggles to meet their mission of service to the poor, while wanting to develop their large holdings of vacant properties, all with limited funding and a dwindling congregation.

Temple of Judah has been at the Venable Street location since 1959 under the pastorage of Melvin Williams, Sr. and Melvin Williams, Jr.

The church owns vacant buildings at 921 N 20th St and 2230 Venable St, and vacant lots at 2238 1/2 Venable St, 2240 Venable St, 3508 E Clay St, 2121 Venable St, 2200 Venable St, 2202 Venable St, 2204 Venable St, 2206 Venable St, 816 N 22Nd St, and 2120 Venable St.

Citadel of Hope (2320 Venable Street)
Temple of Judah (2120 Venable Street)

PHOTO AT TOP: Melvin Williams, Jr. (from Richmond Magazine, by Chris Smith)

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anybody else notice that NONE of williams detractors had the integrity to use their real name?it aint concern about the neighborhood. its about greed . as far as winning historic designation? half of the folks up here opposed it and still it gets a literal whitewash. quit trying to rewrite history. hypocritical jerkoffs with the local political apparatus in their pocket are sad enough without the added smell of patronisation!quit trying to run the guy out and offer some constructive help. selective code enforcement prompted by neighborhood busybodies is the sad result of the historic the act and fear… Read more »


[…] of the 2200 block of Venable Street was almost entirely abandoned by 2004. Across the street, the church-owned Citadel of Hope sat empty – a target for vandals and fire. The busted and overgrown lots […]