Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Black Churches Should Consolidate To Build Families by Akindele Akinyemi

Part of building urban regional power is to begin consolidating the Black church into one. My theory is that if successful it will produce spiritual capital that our community has never seen before.

One thing is an eyesore is to see the number of storefront churches in our community. For example, if I am travelling down Puritan Ave in Detroit why do I see five baptist churches on 1-2 blocks? Not only you see these churches but they are not even working together to help transform the community. This is based on individualism and selfishness.

By plan is to unite those ministers or pastors and sit with them to discuss urban regional power. The purpose of this is to generate wealth through uniting families across the region. Why go bankrupt trying to build a church when we can pull our network together as one to build just one church on the corner to provide services for our community. If Black churches begin to consolidate their resources into one church then we double the number of families in those churches. Five ministers can appoint a team of business leaders and educators to start up an educational management company to charter schools in that particular area. They can also create joint partnerships with the regular school district to help manage the costs of running those schools. It makes fiscal sense to merge five Black Baptist or Apostolic churches on one block. We have to stop individualism and stop supporting pastors who have been bought off by unions and other special interest groups.

I cannot understand why groups like the Council of Baptist Pastors will not do this.

Let's take a lok at potential urban regional network candidates like Inkster and Benton Harbor. These communities can well be on their way of community empowerment by consolidating churches to generate wealth for much needed community development. The church can design a CDC and begin lobbying for some block grant money while other money should be from private investors. The consolidated churches also would place greater effort in controlling the education by way of setting up charter schools in the area to increase competition. Charter education is beginning to outpace traditional schools in testing and safety. This is a major investment.

Conservative principles and not unions will be the real test of Black churches being consolidated. Within in this consolidation we want Black churches to have their parishioners to vote their values. In fact, within this newly created consolidated church within a urban regional power framework we want those pastors talking to their congregation about the following:

1. Consolidated churches must realign themselves with the Holy Spirit. These churches in our community must begin to rebuild families through conservative principles. Conservative principles include building and supporting clean, healthy communities that are waste free, drug free and connects families with Jesus Christ.

2. The Black Consolidated churches should have the resources to offer everything from life insurance to accounting services to online investments that will "create, accumulate, allocate and preserve" wealth among Blacks. We should be in control not one but four credit union branches regionally throughout the area where the church resides.

3. When we consolidate these churches it will be done with using government money. It will be done because our mission will be ordained by God.

4. The type of leadership that I am seeking and would be willing to train are those young pastors and young ministers who will represent a a new breed of Black minister - savvy business-wise and politically flexible, with an eye on results and the bottom line. These ministers are as passionate about getting money into people's pocketbooks as they are about getting souls into heaven. The new Black minister is not just interested in conservative politics but have a eye on rebuilding Black families in conservative communities. Since we have won the right to sit on the bus, the new young Black minister will say let's buy the bus company within the framework of urban regional power.

Under consolidation efforts the Black Church would assemble an embassy that would recruit a regional staff of economists, accountants and political analysts to oversee economic development within each region and funnel resources into local communities and churches.

Launch the Regional Faith-Based Law Center and the Regional Faith-Based Tax and Accounting Center, to give churches a single source for their business and legal needs.

Launch a series of Web sites to entice Black Americans to invest, shop, get legal and financial planning services, make travel reservations and simply chat online.

The consolidated churches is not strictly for Black people. It would have a multicultural twist to it. So even though it is controlled by a Black Board of Trustees all races would be included in the revitalization process of building urban regional networks.

If we do not begin to consolidate and merge our resources then our community will fall into a pit of hell.

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