Black clergy group commits $50 million to Haiti

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A coalition of four Black Baptist groups have come together to form a volunteer association whose primary goal is to raise $50 million for Haitian relief.

A coalition of four Black Baptist groups have come together to form a volunteer association whose primary goal is to raise $50 million for Haitian relief. The Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, National Baptist Convention USA, Progressive National Baptist Convention of America and the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America make up the African American Baptist Mission Collaboration and Habitat for Humanity, which is “a Christ-led partnership to help rebuild the lives of God’s children in Haiti,” said David Goatley, executive secretary and treasurer for the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention. The goal of the AABMC is to raise $10 million a year for the next five years so it can invest in five health clinics, 50 schools, 500 churches and 5,000 homes, added Goatley. Raising the money over the years will be easy if the association is successful at recruiting 10,000 churches to participate in fundraising, Goatley told the Defender. “If we have 10,000 churches and each one gave a minimum of $1,000 a year that’s more than enough to help the people of Haiti. And $1, 000 can be transforming in Haiti,” he said. On Jan. 12, a magnitude-7.0 quake struck Haiti’s capital city of Port-Au-Prince, crumbling structures, burying some people alive and leaving human devastation in its wake that reports have called unimaginable. The earthquake also left an estimated 1.5 million residents homeless, according to the Rev. Clifford Williams, president of Global Outreach N.F.P., a Chicago-based Haiti relief organization. He has traveled to Haiti twice this year and four times before the earthquake hit. “What we are trying to do here is link resources to aid Haiti. Each time I went there I saw more devastation than before,” he said. “This is a mission everyone must get behind especially our youth because in Haiti many of the homeless are children.” In June the Rev. Gerald Dew, president of the Illinois Missionary Baptist State Convention and pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on the South Side, said the AABMC made a $50,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit Christian housing ministry, to launch its plans to rebuild Haiti. AABMC, which represents more than 10 million Christians and 40,000 churches in America, plans to use local Haitian residents to help unload trucks – creating job opportunities – and to buy items, such as bottled water, from local distributors to reduce shipping costs, said Williams. Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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