From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
NCCCUSA CONVENES BURNED CHURCHES' PASTORS
29 May 1996 17:15:07
Contact: Carol J. Fouke, NCC, 212-870-2252
F I R S T A L E R T
NCC TO CONVENE PASTORS OF BURNED CHURCHES IN CAPITAL
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
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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