Throughout the early 1900s, Mariners’ influenced a succession of firsts: The first Norwegian-Danish Baptist Church in 1903; the first Lettish Church in 1905; the first Russian Church in 1916; and the first Chinese Church in 1926. In 1927, the Sixteenth Church united with Mariners’ Temple.
In the period between 1922 and 1940, Mariners continued its benevolence. It was a shelter and soup kitchen for homeless men during the Depression, housed programs for community youth and founded mothers’ clubs and other women’s societies. During this time, Mariners’ conducted worship services in English, Italian, Greek, and Spanish. In the 1940s, Mariners’ Temple became a Christian center for Chinese, Puerto Ricans, and newly arrived African-Americans from the South.
From the middle to the late 1900s, Mariners’ Temple continued to be a spiritual center for all ethnic groups in the neighborhood. In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Mariners’ reached beyond the spiritual realm to address the political needs of the community. Locally, there was picketing of low-income housing thought to be urban removal rather than urban renewal. Nationally, Mariners participated in the famous “March for Jobs and Freedom” held in Washington, D.C. in August 1963.