4 Black Churches Receive Historic Preservation Grants

Amanda Casanova | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Updated: Jun 19, 2023
4 Black Churches Receive Historic Preservation Grants

4 Black Churches Receive Historic Preservation Grants

Four Black churches are among 40 recipients of a historic preservation grant that will help restore the facilities.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that the funds will be used to help tell "the story of Black Americans' activism, achievement and resilience," the fund's executive director, Brent Leggs, told the Religion News Service.

"Black churches are the oldest American institutions founded by Black people. They are at the center of communities," Leggs said.

According to CBN News, the fund has already given 35 black churches a total of $4 million this year.

The most recent grants range from $50,000 to $155,000 and can be used in the restoration of church buildings or toward maintaining church staff, project development, and educational programs.

The grant use was also supported by input from Conserving Black Modernism, a group that works to preserve Black architecture and designs.

According to the RNS, the four sites receiving the grants are the following: the Fourth Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia; Second Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan; Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and The Mount Zion Cemetery and Female Union Band Society Cemetery in Washington D.C.

The Fourth Baptist Church was founded in 1859 by former slaves, and the grant will be used to revitalize the educational wing, originally designed by the first Black female architect.

The Second Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, the city's oldest congregation, will also use the grant to restore its education building, originally designed by black architect Nathan Johnson.

The Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will be using the funds for a structural assessment of its main building after the building was damaged in a fire.

Finally, the Mount Zion Cemetery and Female Union Band Society Cemetery in Washington, D.C., has the graves of 8,000 to 10,000 African Americans who were buried at the cemeteries from the 1700s to the 1950s.

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.



4 Black Churches Receive Historic Preservation Grants