Faith Based Community Development/Episcopal Economic Programs : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

This is for fact finding to see where we are as a people of faith economically. I know of a Faith Based Community Development Company here in New York that was started by a prominent Minister here. In addition the 1st District also has it's Economic Development/Expansion programs. I am looking to see what programs the other Districts are doing in regard to economic expansion and empowerment. These types of programs can not only be a benefit to those of us in the states but the faith based companies can also help in Africa and the Caribbean. What is everyone's feedback as well as needs. We should always be a constant resource network to assist one another. It is done in every denomination and fraternal organization. Knowledge is power!

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000


Jerome, I can only speak for the 11th District Lay Organization. Our Economic Development Program is aimed at accomplishing the noble goals you articulate. Maybe other Districts are also using their Lay Organization in a similar direction. Also, individual churches seem to be taking the initiative to promote community economic development. I happen to be on the Board of Directors for the Bethel CDC where I live and fellowship. Our mission is molded after the fine work by Dr. Fred Lucas who implemented these priniciples in his former church Bridge Street AMEC, Brooklyn, NY. Finally, I would recommend that you contact contact Prof. Preston Williams of the Harvard Univ. School of Divinity. Prof. Williams is the coordinator of the Black Church Economic Development Program [I happen to be a member]and he has amassed an impressive data base for all churches actively pursuing community based economic development. He can also link you up with the person at HUD Headquarters in DC who is the administration's POC since HUD has included faith-based community development within their program goals.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000

Is there any chance that the programs mentioned by Min. Jerome Stembridge and Mr. Bill Dickens being offered and implemented Connection wide? We do, indeed need a resource network to assist one another. Right now, my church is in the midst of finding a financial institution to loan our church money to purchase a piece of land that is fairly close to our church, to keep an undesirable type owner/business from purchasing it. We have an opportunity to purchase it, but we don't have the entire amount of money to do it. The kind of programs maentioned by both of you sound like they would be excellent sources for us to tap into, if it were across the connection. What do you think?

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2000

Greetings: What we really need in Texas is financing for church construction. There are several churches, including the one that I am blessed to pastor need financing for a new sanctuary. We are in a high potential area but our building is really hindering the growth. Also, the Cornerstone AME Church of The Colony, Texas is in the fastest growing area in the DFW Metroplex, they own 2.5 acres of land and simpoly can't get financing to build a sanctuary. We've had a number of new congregations fail because they could not get suitable facilities. If we could put together a $10 million fund to provide low interest construction LOANS to new congregations and old congregations needing new facilities, what a blessing that would be. Self-supporting too! Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2000

Pastor Paris, In response to your inquiry. The First District has it's economic development corporation with a number of services that can meet the needs small to large churches. We have a program for economic development that has services from construction, engineers & Architects, financing, insurance, and other services. You may be able to get the financing that you would need. See the website for our district Inaddition if you are looking to build or develop land for community programs you may want to contact the Faith Center for Community development. This is a company that was started by a former AME Pastor who has helped many churches not just in the connection but many other denominations to get funding for their community projects. In addition to helping to finding lenders that can offer you lower rates.

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2000

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