On Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020, ASBC’s pastor, Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, announced in his sermon that 10% of all tithes raised will be donated to the community. “I believe that the black church has the opportunity and the obligation to reach into segments of our community that are always overlooked by government,” he said. “We’re taking 10 percent of everything that is raised every week and donating it to organizations that are on the front lines fighting and dealing with the coronavirus.”
Among the organizations that received funding to support COVID-19 initiatives were Children’s National Hospital for testing of children; Simon Elementary School, in a partnership with Microsoft for Go Tablets for every student; Hopkins House Preschool Academy for daycare for essential workers; Unity Health Care for personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies and medicine; Polk Elementary School for iPads for special-needs children to aid distance learning; D.C. Rape Crisis Center for a new database system to help meet emerging and transition needs of providing tele-health services to survivors of sexual violence and emergency crisis support sessions to survivors of sexual violence; Bright Beginnings for supplies for remote learning; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington for safe space for childcare for first responders and frontline workers; and Union Baptist Church, Hartford, CT for providing hot community breakfasts.
The Tithe-the-Tithe Initiative is helping other churches that have had to close during the pandemic. “There are smaller churches that minister to people in real and relevant ways that don’t have resources [that ASBC has], and during this season of not being able to worship, some of them may struggle financially…. So one of the things that we’re going to do is take some of that 10% and identify a church every week that we’re just going to give a love offering to. And this is because we are not competitors, we are brothers and sisters in the same work … and we want to support you with no strings attached.”
The initiative has also funded organizations that support victims of domestic violence, citizens returning from incarceration, and youth in crisis.
Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley
Deacon Al Boykin, Committee Chair
R. Sylvester Owens,
Rev. Marcia M. Norfleet
Deacon Lisa Grant
Deacon Ricardo Byrdsong
Deacon Steronica Mattocks
Deacon Mark Morris