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Preparing To Enter A New Year (Pt.1) – Rev. Terry K. Anderson

âLeaving an indelible imprint on our society, historic Black churches hold an endearing legacy of community, spirituality and freedom that continues to span generations,â said Brent Leggs, the fundâs executive director, who is also senior vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Rev. Monica Marshall couldnât agree with that sentiment more. She was a teenager in the 1970s when she became a member of Varick Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. It is the oldest continuous Black congregation in the borough and has been ministering in the community for more than 200 years.

Varick Memorialâs current building dates back to 1951, but is deteriorating and has roofing issues. The church has been mostly uninhabitable since 2020, the reverend said.

âThe pandemic made it harder to maintain the building,â Marshall said. âI just heard God tell me, âYouâre not going back into the same building that you came out of.â The people have been very faithful, theyâve been waiting on my vision and it just came true.â

âIf you donât know where youâve come from, itâs hard to press on and go to even greater heights, to deeper depths in your life and in your legacy,â the reverend said.

Historic Black Churches Receive $4m In Preservation Grants

Posted: Jan 20, 2023 / 11:33 AM CST

Posted: Jan 20, 2023 / 11:33 AM CST

NEW YORK Administrators of a trust fund established to preserve historic Black churches in the United States on Friday revealed a list of houses of worship receiving $4 million in financial grants.

The list of 35 grantees includes 16th Street Baptist Church Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama, where crucial civil rights organizing meetings were held during Jim Crow segregation in the 1960s and where four Black girls were killed after a bombing by members of the Ku Klux Klan in 1963.

Black churches in nearly every region of the U.S. are among the funds first round of recipients receiving grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000.

The National Trust for Historic Preservations African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund launched its Preserving Black Churches program in 2021 to help support ongoing or planned restoration work in historic congregations that are caretakers of cultural artifacts and bear monumental legacies. Some church renovations were imperiled or severely postponed three years ago after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which reduced the capacity of many houses of worship to serve the public at an unprecedented time of need.

Varick Memorials current building dates back to 1951, but is deteriorating and has roofing issues. The church has been mostly uninhabitable since 2020, the reverend said.

Administrators Of A Trust Fund Established To Preserve Historic Black Churches In The United States Have Revealed The First 35 Houses Of Worship That Will Receive Financial Grants Totaling $4 Million

A rusted fence surrounds the Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. On Friday, a fund established to preserve historic Black churches in the United States formally revealed the first 35 houses of worship that will receive financial grants totaling $4 million.

  • John Minchillo – staff, AP

Rev. Monica Marshall stands for a portrait at the Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. On Friday, a fund established to preserve historic Black churches in the United States formally revealed the first 35 houses of worship that will receive financial grants totaling $4 million.

  • John Minchillo – staff, AP

An images of Harriet Tubman rests on a sill beside a cracked stained glass window at the Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. On Friday, a fund established to preserve historic Black churches in the United States formally revealed the first 35 houses of worship that will receive financial grants totaling $4 million.

  • John Minchillo – staff, AP

Rev. Monica Marshall opens a Bible to Psalms at the pulpit of the Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. On Friday, a fund established to preserve historic Black churches in the United States formally revealed the first 35 houses of worship that will receive financial grants totaling $4 million.

  • John Minchillo – staff, AP

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