CLEVELAND — Thirty-five historic Black churches across the country, some right here in Northeast Ohio, are sharing $4 million in grant money. The goal is to make investments in the buildings and to help the people who fill them.
So, on this Martin Luther King, Jr., a focus on Black churches and the congregations they serve—congregations like the one at the East Mount Zion Baptist Church, which worships at the Euclid Avenue Christian Church, a building steeped in history.
It was once a jewel on Cleveland’s old “millionaire's row.” The money will help preserve this historic building, a building that, as Pastor Brian Cash says, needs stabilization before restoration. But it'll also strengthen its capacity to serve both the spiritual and social needs of this community.
For the four Ohio churches selected as recipients funding from the Heritage Action Fund and Lilly Endowment's National Trust for Historic Preservation come at just the right time—not just on this day, but for the days that follow, so this church and the others around the country can keep doing the good work they do. Every one of them faces challenges.
The East Mount Zion Baptist Church has a plan in place to preserve its building and move its mission forward.
In addition to that church, the Cory United Methodist Church in Cleveland, which is on the Black Civil Rights Trail, is receiving money. Also, Akron's Wesley Temple AME Zion Church and the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church.
Preserving Black churches is the mission, it's a tangible and very real way of preserving black history.
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