VALLEY FORGE, PA (12/18/20)—A grant selection committee administering the newly formed Chestnut Street Baptist Church Endowment Fund, administered by the American Baptist Churches USA Office of the General Secretary, met on December 2 to award $25,000 in grants to five organizations.
Alan Musoke, Associate General Secretary for Finance/CFO/Treasurer for the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary said, “The Chestnut Street Baptist Church Endowment (CSBCE) was established in 2019 from the remaining assets of the Chestnut Street Baptist Church of Philadelphia, PA, to be used for grants for Asian-American related ministries to American Baptist churches.”
“As custodians of the endowment, we are excited to have a permanent endowment to fund various ABCUSA Asian congregations and ministries through grants. We will grow the endowment so that we can provide funds annually to many more ABC congregations. Although Chestnut Street Baptist Church’s doors closed and the building was sold, the church’s work that started in 1896 will continue in perpetuity through multiple congregations impacting many more people. We expect many more organizations to receive grants in the following years and beyond,” said Musoke.
The grants awarded by the committee in increments of $5,000 each were designated for the following groups/organizations:
- Chinese Christian Church and Center in Philadelphia, PA, to be used for New Church Planting and Community Outreach in Northeast Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA, to be used for a Sunday School program, Youth Program, and to host the Eastern Christian Burmese Churches Conference
- Alliance of Asian American Baptist Churches (Caucus), to support the Asian-American Alliance Convocation which will be held in 2021
- American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), to be used for the Leadership and Spiritual Care ministry project focusing on Leadership Development and Clergy Spiritual Care for Asian pastors and lay leaders
- International Ministries (IM), to be used to prepare Asian and Asian American Baptist pastors in Pennsylvania and of IM partner churches in Asia to prepare for COVID Recovery via virtual webinars in 2021
Rev. Florence Li, American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ national coordinator of Asian Ministries, said of the awards, “The Chestnut Street Endowment provides opportunity for grant recipients such as local churches, ABHMS, IM, & the Alliance of Asian American Baptist Churches and others to serve and partner with local and overseas missions and ministries. The selection process is through a collaborative effort of committee members represented by ABC office and region personnel. The applications reflected different goals, such as to strengthen congregational life, leadership skills, clergy self-care, and conference needs, so that members and leaders are well-equipped. The grant is just like a mustard seed that with nourishment and care, will grow to its fruition for generations to come.”
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.