To help small churches throughout the U.S. affected by the coronavirus pandemic, a coalition of leading Christian groups has announced it will extend the Churches Helping Churches Challenge and host a major online benefit simulcast to raise additional support for at-risk congregations.
The challenge, launched last month by the AND Campaign and other Christian organizations, has created a Coronavirus At-Risk Church Relief Fund that provides $3,000 grants to small churches that are at risk of closing within the next three months due to a steep loss in financial giving.
The initial goal of the fund was to raise $500,000 during the month of April from Christian donors, foundations and large churches. Over the course of the month, the challenge raised $431,000 from 471 donors and identified 125 churches for grants.
In a statement to The Christian Post, those behind the challenge said the initiative will continue throughout May, as “need far outweighs the available funds, as just over 1,200 churches have applied for assistance.”
“I have been blown away by the generosity of the body of Christ, but I have been overwhelmed and saddened by the great need that exists with many churches and communities across America,” said Justin Giboney, president of the AND Campaign. “We serve a God that is the hope of the world, and He is moving and ministering through many of these small churches. Now is the time for us to come together to bear each other’s burdens.”
To help at-risk churches survive amid the pandemic, partner organization Pulse will host an online benefit simulcast on May 15 to raise additional support for these congregations.
Performing artists for this simulcast will include Lecrae, Lauren Daigle, Toby Mac, and many others yet to be named. Former NFL star Benjamin Watson, national spokesman for the initiative, will also participate in the special event.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett