Historic Brooklyn Church Famous for Its 19th Century Anti-Slave Ministry Sponsors a Free Jan. 24 Event to End Trafficking, Modern-Day Slavery

Plymouth Church Raises Awareness, Takes Action Against Modern-Day Slavery


Brooklyn, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/25/2016 -- Plymouth Church, noted for its 19th century anti-slavery stand and the abolition work of its first pastor, the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, will sponsor a free education and action event on the issue of human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery.

"We Are the New Abolitionists: An Education and Action Event to End Human Trafficking In Our City" takes place Jan. 24, 12:15 p.m., following Plymouth's 11 a.m. service. It is free and open to the public. Rarely talked about, human trafficking is a growing epidemic across the country. This event will include immediate hands-on steps for people to take action, including a letter-writing campaign to legislators and volunteer opportunities.

According to the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, four Brooklynites were indicted last March in connection with the 2014 kidnapping of two 13-year-old girls they hoped to lure into prostitution. In December 2014, 15 employees and managers of nine massage parlors in Brooklyn were arrested on prostitution and promoting prostitution charges.

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, whose office has a human trafficking division, will open the event. Also on hand will be anti-trafficking organizations Sanctuary for Families, ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking), and Restore. The event includes a performance of "Trafficked" by the acclaimed Brooklyn based Girl Be Heard theater company.

"We focus on ending modern-day slavery —trafficking in all its guises -- in our own community, here in Brooklyn and New York City," said Beth Fleisher, chair of Plymouth's anti-trafficking ministry. Fleisher, an advocate for anti-trafficking, helped organize a sold-out round-table discussion on the issue at the Brooklyn Historical Society that was chaired by now U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Plymouth's Anti-Slavery Mission

Plymouth Church has a long history of mission against slavery and toward social justice for all that began with its founding in 1847, according to Fleisher. Because of its strong anti-slavery stand in the 19th century, it was called the Grand Central Depot on the Underground Railroad by the abolitionist movement, as it harbored and helped many slaves on their journey to freedom. The church's first pastor, the out-spoken Henry Ward Beecher, was called the "most famous man in America" during his time at Plymouth for his anti-slavery sermons and events. His sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, wrote the classic abolitionist novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The church also runs a thrift shop that benefits anti-trafficking causes.

About Plymouth Church
Plymouth Church enjoys a rich heritage in the Congregational tradition. It welcomes all persons, without restrictions, to participate in worship and fellowship at Plymouth. The church is mentioned in a book, New York's New Abolitionists.