The Civil Writer Magazine

The term black church refers to Protestant churches that currently or historically have ministered to predominantly African American congregations in the United States. Back in 1966 an ad hoc group of 51 black pastors from these churches calling themselves the National Committee of Negro Churchmen (NCNC), bought a full-page ad in The New York Times to publish their "Black Power Statement", which proposed a more aggressive approach to combating racism using the Bible for inspiration.

Why couldn't this same concept be used to proposed a more aggressive approach to combating the nation's Black poverty supported by Black churches. Is it broken Black trust among the Black churches. Is it that Black churches are so alienated from the Gospel of brotherly love and each other to not consolidate their moneys to help the poor.

The National Baptist convention USA alone claims approximately 31,000 congregations and reports having an estimated 7.5 million members. If that organization alone collected $10 a month from 7.5 million members just for poverty it would amount to $75 mil a month, $900 mil a year to support nationwide poverty even if it is on a small scale. Think about it this way when it comes to Black church conventions spending money for their convention rooms. If you want a simple calculation for direct spending, multiply 4 room nights by a max of $290 or attendance by $1,160. You do the math on room expenses for approximately 25 large Black conventions per year with 10s of thousands of people.

In 1983, T. J. Jemison became president of the National Baptist Convention USA. He asked each church to contribute thousands of dollars to the construction of the million dollar plus Baptist World Center, a headquarters for the convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Many of the churches contributed 10s of thousands of dollars for this construction including my own. This same concept for begging can be done for the poor. Are Black churches so alienated from the Gospel of brotherly love and to each other to not consolidate their moneys to help the poor. So we beg the federal government for help that they should provide but will not because poverty seems to mean begging minorities. Next time put a cute puppy on the cover of a poverty fund raiser and see how quickly your white brothers and sisters give to help the cause. But our Black churches will only work towards another church building fund.