An Episcopal Church diocese is helping to raise funds for two predominantly African-American mission churches in Kentucky so they can renovate their properties.
The Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky is seeking to raise $200,000 for St. George’s Episcopal Church and the Church of Our Merciful Saviour, both located in the West End of Louisville.
Bishop Terry White told Episcopal News Service that the two mission churches “have always been in the forefront of providing community services.”
“We played a role in these congregations’ buildings being in the shape that they are. … We are all one, and therefore we all have a responsibility to get these buildings in good shape,” he told ENS.
The fundraising campaign, known as “West Louisville Now,” was spurred on in part by the tragic shooting of Breonna Taylor by police officers and the subsequent large-scale protests.
In a letter sent out in June announcing the fundraiser, Bishop White highlighted the work of both mission churches among the community of Louisville.
“In addition to opening their doors for worship, they are engaged in a wide range of ministries with their neighbors. They provide food, clothing, youth enrichment opportunities, and more,” he wrote last month.
“Their ability to live out their calling in their communities is hampered, however, by significant issues with their buildings. If crucial repairs are not made soon, our Diocese runs the risk of losing these vital ministries at a time when they are so sorely needed.”
For St. George’s, listed needs included $42,000 for a new gymnasium roof, $5,000 to replace rotted wood in the gymnasium, and $25,000 to resolve moisture issues in the church building.
For Our Merciful Saviour, listed needs included $7,000 for a furnace for the sanctuary, $5,000 for floor repairs for the sanctuary, and $6,000 for window and door repairs and replacements.
The Christian Post reached out to the diocese on Friday for more details but they were unable to respond by press time.
Last September, the Episcopal Church-affiliated Virginia Theological Seminary created a slavery reparations endowment fund of about $1.7 million aimed at helping African-American clergy and the work of historically African-American congregations.
The Rev. Joseph Thompson, director of the seminary’s Office of Multicultural Ministries, which will oversee the fund, said the fund “has the potential to be transformative.”
“Though no amount of money could ever truly compensate for slavery, the commitment of these financial resources means that the institution’s attitude of repentance is being supported by actions of repentance that can have a significant impact both on the recipients of the funds, as well as on those at VTS,” stated Thompson at the time.
“It opens up a moment for us to reflect long and hard on what it will take for our society and institutions to redress slavery and its consequences with integrity and credibility.”