Thursday, January 13, 2011 | By Bob Allen |

WASHINGTON (ABP) — Five historically African-American Baptist denominations that collaborated last year for Haiti relief made a second grant of $500,000 Jan. 12 to build homes through Habitat for Humanity International.

Announced on the one-year anniversary of the Haiti quake, the grant increased to $1 million the amount of money raised by the African-American Baptist Mission Collaboration.

Presidents of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention; National Baptist Convention, USA; National Baptist Convention of America; National Missionary Baptist Convention of America; and Progressive National Baptist Convention decided shortly after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake to pool resources of more than 10 million Baptists in the United States.

In June the presidents presented a first $500,000 check to Habitat, the largest faith-based donation Habitat had received for Haiti relief.

“Our commitment to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti continues with this contribution,” David Emmanuel Goatley, coordinator with AABMC and executive secretary-treasurer of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, said in a press release.

Raised within the first year, the combined $1 million in gifts represents the first step toward a five year-goal of raising $50 million to rebuild lives of those devastated by the earthquake.

“We are just getting started in earnest with our assistance, and this partnership with Habitat for Humanity is one part of a variety of investments our network is making in support to churches, clinics, schools and families,” Goatley said.

The initial funding supported the construction of transitional shelters to help meet basic needs of more than 1,600 Haitians in Cabaret. Julius Scruggs, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, said the second installment will be used in Leogane to fund more than 80 housing solutions, which includes materials, construction, site preparation, water, sanitation, training, community engagement and access to basic infrastructure such as roads, schools and churches.

“As Christians we are committed to helping our fellow man,” said Stephen John Thurston, president of the National Baptist Convention of America. “This contribution goes a long way in helping those affected by the earthquake a year ago.”


Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.