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A Great Day in Oakland

At Allen Temple Baptist Church, Easter Sunday is a cornucopia of pride and praise.

Jemayah Harris

(1 of 13)

Harrison Harvey

(2 of 13)

Varnell Owens

(3 of 13)

Jonathan and Janai Cody

(4 of 13)

Faye Jenkins

(5 of 13)

The church at worship

(6 of 13)

(l-r) Darlene Dunbar, Alvin Dunbar, and Mary Brown

(7 of 13)

Earl Knight

(8 of 13)

Jalen Rollerson

(9 of 13)

Alani Burns (l) and ushers

(10 of 13)

Rosa Lia Lawson

(11 of 13)

The Bible

(12 of 13)

Hands lifted

(13 of 13)

Editor's Note: This is one of many dispatches from Oakland that San Francisco magazine is publishing over the next month, all part of our June "Oakland Issue." To see the rest of the issue's contents, and to read stories as they become available online, click here.


“Make a joyous noise unto the Lord,” it is written, and the choir at Oakland’s most famous African-American church definitely does, lifting its collective voice in an exuberant explosion of song and praise. But the congregation at Allen Temple Baptist Church doesn’t stop at joyous noise—how about joyous dresses, suits, and faces? And hats—oh Lord, the hats. At Allen Temple, as at the Town’s other deeply rooted black churches, Sunday is a day to sound great, look great, and feel great—and, as this photo gallery attests, Easter Sunday brings out the best of the Sunday best.


Originaly published in the June issue of San Francisco.

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