Harlem World Magazine: The Woman Who Brought Scientology To Harlem


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Harlem World Magazine: The Woman Who Brought Scientology To Harlem


Verlene Cheeseboro is a defender of her faith. As the pastor of Harlem’s Church of Scientology, she doesn’t like hearing “lies and misinformation” about her religion. From waves ofnegative national press about the beliefs of its celebrity followers to scathing memoirs written by former members about the abuse they said they received from the church,Scientology has come under fire across the globe.

But Cheeseboro doesn’t buy it.

“Like any other religion we believe there is a God. We believe in the same God that everyone else believes in,” said the 69-year-old pastor, who has been preaching Scientology in Harlem for the past decade. “You can’t say ‘[Scientologists] are a cult but my religion is OK.’”

She said the church has done a lot of good for her and the people of Harlem. They’ve grown from a group of 25 volunteers to a community of several hundred members, she said. The church has helped its members improve their personal and spiritual lives, she added.

And it’s poised to do far more next year, when its multimillion-dollar church and community center, currently under construction, opens on East 125th Street, she said.

Among the programs scheduled for the new location are free services for seniors and youths. The community center will offer free tutoring lessons for children and hold events like bingo nights for senior citizens. The church also plans to train seniors so that they can help tutor the children, Cheeseboro said.
The Rev. Bobbie McDaniels of the Metropolitan Baptist Church said it makes sense that different churches spring up in the neighborhood. As long as the churches are bringing people closer to God, they are good for Harlem, McDaniels said.

“Denominations and names of churches are like hospitals. Many hospitals have different names but they all heal the body. Churches heal the soul,” McDaniels said.


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It appears the Baptist Minister, Rev. Bobbie McDaniel (no "s"), referred to in the Harlem World Magazine article is the minister of:

Metropolitan Baptist Church

151 West 128 Street New York, NY 10027

Voice (212) 663-8990 / Fax (212) 663-3634

FWIW, it appears Rev. McDaniel is an exemplary Christian and certainly not a Scientologist in disguise [:: cough:: Rev. Alfreddie Johnson ::cough::]:

On April 1, 2000, The Metropolitan Baptist Church voted to elect our 5th pastor. We were proud to welcome the Reverend Bobbie McDaniel, of Union Baptist Church, into The Metropolitan Baptist Church Family. We looked forward, with great anticipation, to the challenges of this new Millennium, secure in the knowledge that Christ has sent us a truly anointed man to serve as under-shepherd.

Under Rev. McDaniel's guidance many wonderful ministries have begun a Metropolitan Baptist Church. Within the span of a meager 7 years we are home to a food ministry, a clothing ministry, a soup kitchen ministry, a New York City operated Senior Center and various referral services. Structural improvements include our sanctuary being air conditioned, installation of a motorized chair lift, the exterior of the church being sand blasted to restore it's natural beauty, our sanctuary has been completely painted and virtual replacement of our aging roofs. We have been blessed to acquire two church vans to transport our membership as needed.

The well being of the community is one of our pastor's great concerns. Coupled with the generosity of City Harvest, food is distributed several times a week to the community. We have truly become a 7 day a week church!

a brief biography of

rev. bobbie mcdaniel

Reverend Bobbie McDaniel is a native of Monetta, South Carolina. He is one of nine children born to Wilbilt and Hattie McDaniel. When he was nine years old, he accepted Christ as his Savior, and joined the Monetta Baptist Church. He received his primary and secondary education in the Monetta public school system. He has attended New York Theological Seminary, and completed courses in Christian Education, and Ministerial Studies.

In 1957, Reverend McDaniel migrated to New York City, and immediately joined the Union Baptist Church. He became actively involved in the church family immediately. His willingness to serve, and his leadership skills quickly propelled him into leadership positions.

In 1984, Reverend McDaniel ended his successful moving business to answer the call to the gospel ministry. In 1987, he was ordained to the gospel ministry by the Union Baptist

Baptist Church. He has served in a variety of ministerial roles. He served as Minister of Visitation, providing services to the elderly and sick members of the congregation. He initiated and served as the director of the church’s Homeless and Destitute Ministry, which provides clothing, food, legal, and social services to the homeless, destitute, and others in need.

Reverend McDaniel served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Union Baptist Church for twenty-five years. In that position, he played a key role in the successful completion of the church’s three million dollar renovation project. In June 2000, Reverend McDaniel accepted the call to the pastorate of the Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Reverend McDaniel is married to the former Miss Peggy Roach. Reverend and Mrs. McDaniel have four sons, Michael, John, Steven, and Christopher. One daughter Anita, and seven grandchildren.

Reverend McDaniel loves the Lord, His Word, and His people. He loves to teach, preach, and give pastoral care. He recognizes that it is because of God’s goodness that he has been called to the gospel ministry, and he begins each day determined to “Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”



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In a community where there is not a lot of public with $$$$ - I guess there is less room for abuse and more of the "We're just a group that wants to help people" facade. Bless her ignorant heart!

Scientology does attract a lot of people who "just want to help others" and I have no criticism of them personally. We were all there at one time... It can take quite awhile to find out what the group really does, when ALL of Hubbard's policies are applied.


Silver Meritorious Patron


Sounds like sump'n you'd either drive or wear. I am not criticising her; just her mother.

Cheeseboro is even funnier... Like bringing the cheese to the boro/ghetto. Just saying... whatever that's supposed to mean!?!:confused2:

lol, I immediately thought her name was Velveeta Cheeseburger. Poor woman probably was attracted to the CoS just for their policy against joking and degrading, a cult where she could escape the teasing about her name. (Though she probably quickly acquired a nickname in childhood to avoid the merciless teasing she would have been subjected to.)

The african-american communities in the USA have more then their fair share of "unique' names. They do not fear inventing names from whole cloth or sometimes via misunderstandings. Sometimes this is due to there being a lot of young mothers who's inexperience is reflected in trying to come up with a "cool" name for their child. There's a great story in the book Freakanomics about the affect a name can have on you in life. It relates the story of a young black girl named "Temptress"!!! It ends up that her mother liked the Cosby Show and in the credits saw the name "Tempest Bledsoe." In itself Tempest is an uncommon but unheard of name, but her misunderstanding of it and naming a little girl Temptress took it to awhile mother level.

Let's just say being named Temptress had an adverse effect on the girl, esp. when she hit adolescent and teenage years.

(FYI: For non-Americans (because I'm not sure how common the product is outside of North America) Velveeta is a "cheese product" that comes in a large yellow brick shape. It's kind of like Spam's cheesy cousin. It's the most important ingredient in the beloved "mac 'n' cheese" that some many kids (and adults) love.)