More than 100 congregants, area residents, and local leaders gathered in front of the church immediately following the Sunday service to commemorate the legacy of Norman Sr. and his wife. The Norman children: Clarence Jr., Eddie, Kim, Beverly, Dawn, and Kendra were also in attendance for the community tribute.
“Rev. Dr. Clarence Norman, Sr. and Ellen Norman Way is a testament to the incredible legacy of the dynamic duo who were the cornerstones of our community for over six decades. Throughout their ministry within and beyond the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, the Normans inspired and empowered thousands. We will forever cherish their contributions to the borough of Brooklyn and the City of New York,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo who submitted the request for Rogers Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Union Street to be co-named Rev. Dr. Clarence Norman Sr. and Ellen Norman Way.
Norman, Sr. was the founding pastor of the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights where he ministered to a congregation of more than two thousand persons for sixty-two years. In addition, he founded the Local Development Corporation of Crown Heights which helped develop more than 800 units of housing for senior citizens and low-income families. The Corporation constructed twenty-one buildings in Crown Heights, including the David Chavis Apartments, The Albany Residence, and St. John’s Apartments.
Mrs. Norman flourished in her roles as first lady, wife, and mother of six. She first attended the First Baptist Church of Williamsburg where she served on the usher board, nurtured her Christian faith, before joining Norman Sr. as his partner in life and ministry.
“This street co-naming serves as a daily reminder to us and to future generations that a man named Rev. Dr Clarence Norman lived amongst us and that he dedicated his life to the service of God and to the service of others. He was able to do that, because he had the support of a loving wife, Ellen Norman,” said Clarence Norman, Jr., son of the late Reverend Clarence Norman Sr. and Ellen Norman.
“The Norman family and the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights are elated to know that Pastor and Mrs. Norman will be immortalized with the renaming of the corner of Eastern Parkway and Rogers avenue in their honor. While we and the community miss them dearly we can think of no better way than renaming the corner on which the church sits after two people who represent the absolute best of who we are. We thank Councilmember Cumbo and her staff for their assistance in making ‘Rev. Dr. Clarence Norman, Sr. and Ellen Norman Way’ a reality,” said Rev. Daryl G. Bloodsaw, senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Crown Heights.
“Recognizing the meaningful impacts that citizens make in their neighborhoods is an essential part of keeping the history of our communities alive,””Recognizing the meaningful impacts that citizens make in their neighborhoods is an essential part of keeping the history of our communities alive,” said Harlem’s Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “As spiritual leaders who looked out for the most vulnerable of individuals, Reverend Dr. Clarence Norman Sr. and Ellen Norman ensured that generations of Crown Heights residents would have a safe space to find guidance and relief. The renaming of this street in their honor will remind passersby of their legacy and the valuable lessons they instilled for years to come.”
“Reverend Dr. Clarence Norman Sr. and Ellen Norman were staples in Crown Heights for over six decades, founding the First Baptist Church and providing the community with so much care,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “They taught us to be more kind, more loving, and more accepting of the different types of people within our City and they touched so many lives with their spirit and teachings. By creating Reverend Dr. Clarence Norman Sr. & Ellen Norman Way, we will ensure that their legacy is eternalized not only through those who knew them, but for the entire City.”
“Rev. Dr. Clarence Norman Sr. and Ellen Norman left a lasting legacy in Crown Heights, and co-naming the intersection of Eastern Parkway and Rogers Avenue in their honor is just one of the many ways we can and will say thanks in the years ahead. These community pillars have been a source of comfort, inspiration, and strength for thousands of Brooklynites, and they have left us with powerful examples of how to live in service to others,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.
“It is with great honor that we co-name the intersection of Roger Avenue and Eastern Parkway after Reverend Clarence Norman Sr. and his wife Ellen. For over six decades Reverend Norman was the pastor at First Baptist Church of Crown Heights and became a pillar of strength for this neighborhood. I can think of no better way to honor the legacy and memory of two extraordinary individuals and pillars of our state,” said Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley.
“Reverend Dr. Clarence Norman, Sr., and Ellen Norman were – and remain today – integral to the foundations of the Crown Heights community. Literally. As Senior Pastor and First Lady of First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, Reverend and First Lady Norman used their considerable talents to support education, at the John Edward Bruce Day Care Center and the Whitelaw Reid Junior High School, and build affordable housing, creating eight hundred units through the Local Development Corporation of Crown Heights. Their example continues to inspire my work in public service, as well as countless other individuals have been inspired by Reverend and First Lady Norman to create a better future for themselves and their communities,” said United States Representative Yvette D. Clarke.
Via New York City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.