35 Historic Black Churches to Receive Total of $4 Million to Fund Preservation, Renovation Efforts

Amanda Casanova | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Wednesday, January 18, 2023
35 Historic Black Churches to Receive Total of $4 Million to Fund Preservation, Renovation Efforts

35 Historic Black Churches to Receive Total of $4 Million to Fund Preservation, Renovation Efforts


Nearly three dozen historic Black churches will receive $4 million in funding to help with renovations and the preservation of their buildings and properties.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will distribute the funds to 35 churches as part of its first round of “Preserving Black Churches” grants. The grants, which total about $20 million, are funded by The Lilly Endowment.

“We focus not only on the preservation of the physical buildings but also on the profound stories embodied in their walls, landscapes, cemeteries, and beyond,” the fund’s executive director and the trust’s senior vice president, Brent Leggs, stated in an email.

“Their role as centers of Black religion, culture, and service is fundamental to understanding the lived experience of Black Americans.”

The grants to each church property range from $50,000 to $200,000 and are based on the scale of the projects. Renovations will include everything from fixing deteriorating structures to restoring elements such as stained-glass windows and steeples.

“Our grants will help advance efforts to improve physical conditions so that these churches can open their doors and continue to fulfill their religious missions and community programs,” Leggs said.

The awarded churches include Reedy Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Galveston, Texas, where the 1865 order declaring the freedom of enslaved people in Texas was issued. The church will receive a grant to help with climate resistance upgrades and restoration efforts.

In Alabama, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church will also receive a grant for repairs. The church was home to the Black men recruited to participate in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, a controversial research project that left men suffering from Syphilis without treatment for several years.

“The first round of the Preserving Black Churches grant program enables grantees not only to address real and urgent preservation threats such as deferred maintenance and demolition, but also strengthens their ability to steward, interpret, and fund these invaluable places and the people they serve,” the announcement for the grants said.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Darwin Brandis 


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.