An initiative that seeks to financially help small and struggling churches in the wake of COVID-19 has raised more than $400,000 and received over 1,000 applications for funding.
Through the Churches Helping Churches Initiative, a relief fund was set up to provide $3,000 grants to churches at risk of closing due to a decrease in financial giving during the pandemic. The initiative is led by the AND Campaign, with support from other organizations such as the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Pinkston and the Pinetops Foundation.
As part of this effort, national Christian groups are urging larger and more stable churches to contribute and help keep these small churches open.
Organizers hope to raise at least $500,000 in April through help from Christian donors, foundations and large churches. They will continue to fundraise money through May, Pinkston Vice President D.J. Jordan said.
An application process opened April 6 for small churches to apply for the grants. Through the relief fund, 109 churches have been earmarked for funding, Jordan said. More than 1,010 applications have been submitted.
Deliverance Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, Hold the Light COGIC in Detroit, Plantando Iglesias in Minneapolis and Union Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago are among the churches that have been identified for funding.
Jordan said they’ll still be accepting applications in May, but those that have been submitted in April will take precedence.
This initiative is targeted toward congregations of 25 to 150 members in low-income communities in urban areas that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 economic shutdown. Rural churches in low-income communities will also be considered.
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Source: Religion News Service