The Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC) located in Alexandria, Virginia, has donated $1,079,287 under the congregation's Tithe-the-Tithe Initiative to 69 community-based and national organizations to support COVID-19 relief and other needs.
Back in April on Easter Sunday, ASBC's pastor, Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, announced in his sermon that 10 percent of all tithes collected by the church would be donated to the community.
"I believe that the black church has the opportunity and the obligation to reach into segments of our community that are always overlooked by government," he said. "We're taking 10 percent of everything that is raised every week and donating it to organizations that are on the front lines fighting and dealing with the coronavirus."
Established in 1803, the ASBC is one of the oldest and largest African American congregations in the United States with nearly 10,000 members.
"A few years ago we were blessed to be able to donate $1 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. That's why I'm so grateful to God that Alfred Street Baptist Church can continue to be a blessing to so many people in the community throughout our nation during this pandemic," Wesley continued.
The church has also partnered with tech companies Microsoft and Apple in their initiative. Both companies have provided technology to support distance learning for underserved children.
The initiative is also helping other churches that have had to close their doors during the pandemic.
"There are smaller churches that minister to people in real and relevant ways that don't have resources that ASBC has, and during this season of not being able to worship, some of them may struggle financially. So one of the things that we're going to do is, take some of that 10 percent and identify a church and/or an organization every week and just give a donation to them. And this is because we are not competitors, we are brothers and sisters in the same work and we want to support everyone with no strings attached," Wesley noted.
For more information about the church's Tithe the Tithe Initiative, click here.
The Alfred Street Baptist Church is still seeking opportunities to fund organizations in need under the Tithe-the-Tithe Initiative. Requests for funding should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a partial list of recipients so far under the Tithe-the-Tithe Initiative:
- Children's National Hospital ($50,000), COVID-19 testing for children.
- Simon Elementary School ($130,000), in partnership with Microsoft, Microsoft Go Tablets for every student (267).
- Hopkins House Preschool Academy ($27,000), daycare for parents considered essential workers.
- Unity Health Care ($25,000), medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, plus COVID-19 testing and medicine for clients, including people in shelters and DC Jail.
- ALIVE! (Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically) $20,000, groceries for the Alexandria community.
- DC Central Kitchen ($10,000), groceries, meals to shelters, breakfast, and lunch stations to families of students in the free and reduced lunch program.
- Martha's Table ($7,500), groceries.
- Salvation Army National Capital Area ($7,500), to Red Shield Box initiative, which provides groceries.
- Polk Elementary School ($4,200), 10 iPads for children with special needs.
- LaColectiVA ($7,500), groceries, and rent support for 30-plus families in Herndon and Arlington that lost labor jobs.
- Capital Area Food Bank ($7,500), toward feeding over 18,750 individuals
- Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence Services ($15,000), iPhone SIM cards, $25 gift cards.
- DC Rape Crisis Center ($20,000), new database system, crisis support sessions, transportation assistance, additional staff to respond to increased hotline calls.
Click here to see the full list.
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