As blacks arrived from other parts of the country, a major force for socialization and assimilation into the Negro community in New Haven was the church. The more staid, high-status New England denominations, the Congregationalists and the Episcopalians of St. Luke’s were sought out by those who aspired to position or leadership in the community. However, it was the Methodist Episcopals and especially the Baptists who were the principal receivers of large numbers of newcomers from 1870 to 1900, and these congregations prospered greatly, expanding both their numbers and physical facilities. By 1900 the Baptist Church, known by then as Immanuel Baptist, had become the wealthiest Negro church in the city.
The period after 1900 also saw the growth and development of many new churches. Small congregations, more in the Southern evangelistic and revivalistic tradition, grew up in storefronts, homes, or small buildings. The Church of God and the Saints of Christ was the most immediately successful of these, obtaining a building soon after its formation around 1900, later building a church on Webster Street, and imposing a strict social code of dress and behavior on its members. As of 1934 nine churches of this kind were in existence in New Haven with histories which ranged from a few months to twenty-seven years.