From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 29 May 1996 17:15:07

JUNE 9-10

Contact: Carol J. Fouke, NCC, 212-870-2252


F I R S T   A L E R T

JUNE 9-10

This is a “first alert” regarding the National 
Council of Churches’ plans to bring pastors from 
many (20-30) of the burned churches to Washington, 
D.C., June 9-10.  An NCC-led team has documented 53 
churches burned and four vandalized since January 
1990 (with 23 of the 53 burned since January 1996).  
Most are African American congregations in the 

The pastors’ schedule will include an ecumenical 
worship service at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the 
Pleasant Lane Baptist Church, 501 “E” Street S.E., 
Washington, D.C.  Leaders of the NCC’s 33 Protestant 
and Orthodox member denominations along with pastors 
and members of Washington, D.C., area congregations 
also will participate.  The Rev. Dr. Henry Lyons, 
President of the National Baptist Convention in the 
U.S.A. is expected to officiate.

On Monday, June 10, the pastors expect to meet with 
high officials in the Clinton Administration, 
including the Justice and Treasury departments; to 
give a morning news conference, and to visit their 
members of Congress in the afternoon.

Partners with the NCC are the New York-based Center 
for Constitutional Rights, a public interest law 
group, and the Atlanta-based Center for Democratic 
Renewal, a leader in the monitoring of white 
supremacist activity.  

Since early March, NCC-led teams have visited many 
of the burned churches across the South, including 
in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, 
Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.  On all visits, 
the team goes to the sites of churches that have 
been destroyed or damaged to gather first-hand 
testimony from pastors, deacons and other members of 
these churches.  The three organizations are seeking 
to provide material and spiritual support to the 
victimized ministers and congregations, stop the 
attacks, bring the perpetrators to justice, make the 
general public aware of this wave of hate crimes and 
raise funds for rebuilding the churches, most of 
which are under- or un-insured.


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