The A.M.E. Church and 19 Black-Owned Banks Team Up to Launch New Partnership for Longterm Black Wealth

Leaders of the AME Church announced the partnership late last month. (Photo by Klarque Garrison/Trice Edney News Wire)

The African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first independent Black denomination in the U.S., has teamed up with 19 Black-owned banks across the nation to form a partnership aimed at bettering financial vitality among Black Americans.

Bishop Reginald T. Jackson announced the new partnership at the 2018 Council of Bishops and General Board Meeting in Atlanta on June 26, pegging the initiative as an opportunity to “increase Black wealth,” business development and homeownership.

“This initiative will strengthen Black banks across the U.S. and increase their capacity to lend to small businesses, to secure mortgages, to provide personal lines of credit, and to offer other forms of credit to AME churches and our members,” said Jackson, president of the Council of AME Bishops. “This, of course, includes enabling members and their families to become homeowners.”

Jackson explained the partnership was inspired by an initiative formed in Washington, D.C. in 2015, called Black Wealth 2020, which he said “… is providing an economic blueprint for Black America.”

Through the initiative, faith leaders and bank presidents hope to increase deposits and loans with Black-owned banks; up the number of Black businesses from 2.6 million to 4 million; and grow Black homeownership to more than 50 percent nationwide, according to a press release.

Speaking to The Atlanta Voice, General Board Chair Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie said she believes the church-bank collaboration is especially important for African-American youth.

“We want to be able to teach fiscal responsibility before [students] get to high school,” she said. “[It’s important] to learn the value of saving, the value of investing.”

Michael Banks, former head of the National Bankers’ Association, said he sees the partnership as imperative in regards to growing Black homeownership.

“We are educating ourselves and not only teaching our people how to get a home but also how to stay there,” Banks told the newspaper. “We worry about gentrification, but we have more power than we realize. (It’s important) to (buy) a home, and hold on to a home, and then encourage all young people to do the same.”

With over 6,000 AME churches across the U.S., faith leaders say the partnership is a real opportunity to boost wealth among Black Americans if everyone takes part.

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5 thoughts on “The A.M.E. Church and 19 Black-Owned Banks Team Up to Launch New Partnership for Longterm Black Wealth”

  1. This sounds like a well needed collaboration that can become very powerful if we as black peoples can unite and not let religious issues stand in the way of black progress! It’s very hard for us to unite because we tend not to trust each other! Why is that? We have the power to change the world 🌎!! This is the 21st. century… How many more before we really unite as a black race?

  2. This is great to start, now we need a initiative to stop our black boys from dropping out of high school. (2). We need to really study why we have so many single moms raising families and fix the problem. (3). We need to figure out how to change the culture in our community to make us a more caring community in all cities. (4). Discover why so many of our boys are going to prisons and start teaching them early to avoid trouble. Instead teach them to stay in school and go to college. (5). Raise our boys with fathers in the home, we should be teaching this in the churches when they are young. Let’s start with these and then the bank will make more sense to me.

  3. Fantastic financial move, long overdue Imagine the exponenial African American growth had this happened in 1970. Now, connect the black Baptists and Muslims to this new economic engine, and experience mass Black enrichment, if we carefully maintain faith and integrity in the face of stupendous wealth. And the great African American mutual insurance companies, their role in creating thiscexplosion of wealth?

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