Islamic Center opens at former episcopal church in Wantagh
A century-old former episcopal church in Wantagh has turned into an Islamic Center.
The Islamic Center which was once the former Saint Matthias Episcopal Church on Jerusalem Avenue held an inauguration ceremony Sunday to celebrate its opening.
In 2019, the building was granted historic landmark status. The Islamic Center of Nassau purchased the building and 1-acre property at the end of 2021.
The building was built in 1904 and is the second oldest surviving African American religious structure in Nassau County.
Officials from the Islamic Center said they restored the interior of the building to begin religious services.
Officials said they have kept all of the religious items that were in the church and even offered to donate it to the town or a museum.
Some residents who live in the area said they're concerned about the added traffic and parking problems it will bring to the neighborhood.
Co-founder of the mosque Raza Jafri told News 12 Long Island that there will be plenty of parking for attendees.
A 20,000 square-foot building will be built on the 1-acre of land in the back of the old church to accommodate the 300 families who will be coming to services.
Currently, the Islamic center can only accommodate 92 people.