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Saint John Coltrane Church's Jazz Masses Could Be Silenced

Image: Saint John Coltrane Church's Jazz Masses Could Be Silenced

By    |   Monday, 29 Feb 2016 12:33 PM

Saint John Coltrane Church, a San Francisco institution that has held a jazz-based religious mass since 1968, held what was likely its last service on Sunday.

"Any special offerings today?" co-founder Archbishop Franzo King, 71, asked as the collection plate was passed, SFist reported. "Did somebody come and bring $10,000?" 

The church, located in the heart of the city's Fillmore jazz district, received a notice to vacate in September of last year.

This month, King told the San Francisco Chronicle that the property owner has not accepted his $1,600-a-month rent for two years, and that eviction papers are on the way. 

"We pay. We catch up. We pay," King told the San Francisco Examiner, explaining that the rent wasn't always on time.

As rents continue to skyrocket across the city, King said he believes the main motive for evicting the church is a financial one.

"I think it's about profit mainly," King said, according to NPR

A petition to save the church has garnered thousands of signatures, and Board of Supervisors President London Breed, who represents the Fillmore district, said she tried to bring the two sides together for reconciliation, but to no avail.

"I can’t force somebody to pay rent," she said. "I can’t give the church money."

Instead, however, Breed may have found a new space for the church in the same neighborhood — in a complex formerly occupied by Yoshi's jazz club.

The church has moved before, and as recently as 10 years ago.

"First located on the corner of Divisadero and Oak, it lost that space to a rent spike, from $250 a month to $2,500. Then it shared space with another church at Gough and Turk, before landing at Fillmore and Eddy 10 years ago," explained the SF Chronicle.

Looking forward, King said that he's focused on issues of gentrification, and African-American heritage in the city.

"Our concern primarily is what is happening to the African American community," King said. "The out-migration of not just residents but spiritual and cultural institutions, almost without impunity, being allowed to be devastated by profit motivations."

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Saint John Coltrane Church, a San Francisco institution that has held a jazz-based religious mass since 1968, held what was likely its last service on Sunday.
saint john coltrane, church, jazz, masses
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2016-33-29
Monday, 29 Feb 2016 12:33 PM
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