What is the Black Church’s Role in Advancing African American Wealth? – Black Enterprise

Does the black church still have a major impact on economic, political, and social progressions of African Americans today?

“Professor Eddie Glaude Jr. wrote a piece a few years ago, asserting “the Black Church, as we’ve known it or imagined it, is dead.”

Some claim that the black church isn’t doing enough to assist with the economic, social, and political progress of the black community.

The Michigan Chronicle recently took a look at research reporting that well over $420 billion had been donated to the black church as of 2013—a figure which averages out to at least $12 billion–$13 billion per year.

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WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?

The question then turned into the whereabouts of the money donated and whether it had been spent to help progress the economic, social, and political stances of African Americans?

Leadership Network releases reports every year on the current trends in megachurches and other data on churches in general. They find that the largest 7% of churches contain nearly 50% of all churchgoers. Furthermore, they find that nearly 100% of church revenue comes in the form of donations and nearly 60% of said church revenue goes to staffing-related costs. Based on this data, it could be argued that the monies donated to churches in general, which includes the black church, are being used mainly to compensate the individuals who are directing, performing, and managing the church organization, rather than being spent to feed the poor as Proverbs 22:9 says.

SHOULD THE DONATIONS BE RE-DIRECTED DIRECTLY INTO BLACK COMMUNITIES?

Various bloggers and commentators have suggested that the $12 billion to $13 billion per year going to black church donations could have been reinvested to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars in black homes; send over 1 million black students to college, and feed literally every black homeless person for a number of years. This amount of reinvestment would also assist “Buying Black Expert” Maggie Anderson with her efforts to redirect black dollars into more productive measures in the black community; to assist with creating more black jobs.

SHOULD PORTIONS OF THE DONATIONS BE RE-DIRECTED DIRECTLY TO THE GOVERNMENT?

In addition, based on the Leadership Network data along with similar data, it has been argued throughout the years that churches should no longer benefit from 501(c)3 tax exemption status, as taxing the church revenues would bring nearly $20 billion or more into the federal government every year.

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ABSENCE DURING POLITICAL PROGRESSIONS

Others, including sympathizers of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, also believe that the black church is not aiding “enough” in efforts for political and social progression. On the heels of major media cases of unarmed black men being killed by police, many in the BLM Movement believe that the black church’s presence hasn’t been displayed enough to help combat in the fight against police brutality. This is in comparison to the role of the black church during the civil rights movement, where its voice was heard loud and clear in the fight for progression, along with its temple used for networking and strategy sessions within the African American community.

All of these discussions and reports continue a debate revolving around the present-day impact of the black church and if the black church still truly matters in terms of the economic, social, and political advancement of African Americans?

Source: What is the Black Church’s Role in Advancing African American Wealth? – Black Enterprise

Dr. Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs Winner of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists’sW.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Book Award

Congratulations to Author, Researcher and OUR COMMON GROUND Voice Dr. Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs

Winner of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists’sW.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Book Award.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs specializes in American Politics, Race and Politics, African American Religion, Public Policy, Gender and Politics, and Urban Politics.

Her work is interdisciplinary and her courses include the Politics of the Black Church, Black Theology, African American Politics, and Women and Politics.

Her current research focuses on the black megachurch phenomenon and faith-based community development. Her publications focus on the black church and politics, megachurch-based community development and black women’s contemporary political activism.

 An explosion of flourishing black megachurches has changed the landscape of American religious life. Boasting memberships into the tens of thousands and meeting within both adorned walls and refurbished warehouse buildings, these contemporary fruits of the Civil Rights Movement hold many of the resources necessary to address America’s contemporary social disparities. After studying nearly 150 black megachurches, Tamelyn N. Tucker-Worgs asks, How are these church communities engaging the public sphere? And, why are their approaches so varied?

The Black Megachurch sets aside the broad assumptions usually applied to the study of black churches and analyzes the three factors most necessary for social engagement- theological orientation, organization of community development initiatives, and genderbased spheres of labor and leadership. In doing so, Tucker-Worgs underscores the myriad ways in which black megachurches have responded to the changing social climate and concludes that while some have lived up to their potential, others have a long way to go.

Endorsements

A timely analysis of a much discussed but rarely understood phenomenon. Finally, we have a book on religion and black politics that begins to provide some rigorous insight into the black megachurch movement. The Black Megachurch will be an important resource for years to come.”

-FREDRICK C. HARRIS, Professor of Political Science and Director for the Institute in African-American Studies,
Columbia University

“Tucker-Worgs advances a progressive framework for evaluating the impact of black megachurches while providing one of the most comprehensive profiles of these churches available to date.”

-R. DREW SMITH, Director, Center for the Church and the Black Experience, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

“The Black Megachurch is the best empirical study of black megachurches and politics. Covering 149 churches, Tucker-Worgs astutely shows their wide variety and relates their theological orientation to the types of public engagement they undertake.

-LAWRENCE MAMIYA, Professor of Religion and Africana Studies on the Mattie M. Paschall Davis and Norman H. Davis Chair, Vassar College

From Kinetics Live.com

http://kineticslive.com/2013/01/new-book-examines-black-megachurches-and-their-impact-on-black-public-life/

Media Contact

For press inquiries, speaking engagements or to schedule an interview with Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs, please contact:

Jamye Wooten
Kinetics Communications
(443)415-7974
jamye@kineticslive.com

 

Listen to our interview with Dr. Tucker-Torgs

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