Black Leaders Raising Donations for Katrina Victims
Pastors of Black churches and other leaders, unhappy with government relief efforts, are turning to their congregations and others to provide help for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
“We were disturbed the president moved too slowly, that FEMA looked too disorganized,” Michael Grant of the Nashville NAACP said at a news conference at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church. “An enormous failure of the system has clearly been exposed, but this system failure is associated with the long-term failure of this country to deal responsibly and effectively with the structural problems of poverty in America.”
A group of 30 pastors of Black churches met at the church last week to plan ways to assist storm victims. They said their meeting was just one of many being held nationwide by Black religious leaders and others to raise money and supplies for storm victims.
The Rev. James Thomas, pastor of Jefferson Street Baptist, said churches in Nashville and across the country will raise money and collect food, medicine and other supplies to assist storm victims.
“The Black community has never abandoned anybody,” he said. “We are going to do what we have to do. We’re going to make it.”
The Rev. George T. Brooks Sr. of Saint James Baptist Church said a tractor-trailer of emergency supplies is being sent to Lake Charles, La. to a National Baptist Convention of America Inc. aid distribution center.
In addition, pastors are donating a portion of their salaries to pay colleagues in the storm areas whose congregations cannot meet for services, he said.
— Associated Press
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