An historic African American church in Pennsylvania recently received the blessing of a lifetime.
“We got a call from Citizens Bank that said ‘you’re free of your mortgage,’” the church’s pastor, Richard Dent, told WTXF-TV.
The First African Baptist Church in Sharon Hill has been around since 1903. Since then, it has become a permanent fixture in the community, growing in membership and square footage.
According to Pastor Dent , the anonymous gift of $4 million came at an ideal time, after years of trusting in God’s provision.
“This is a blessing,” he told WTXF. “It’s unexpected, but we just can’t stop giving. We just gave the Lord the credit. This could not have been done without Him.”
Thanks to this multi-million dollar miracle, the church can continue to serve the people of Sharon Hill for many years to come. Dent, who has pastored the First African American Church community for the past 32 years, shared what the lavish donation meant for him:
“In the black community, the church is the only thing we ever had to call our own,” he said. “When we couldn’t go to Civic Center or Union League, we always had the church. It is here where our children learn how to speak, how to stand before audiences.”
Without the church, he explained, the community would lose a large part of its social and spiritual identity.
“We are distinct in that we have the privilege of being in the community for a long time and we’re very, very proud of what we do,” Dent said.
First African American Church plans to use money that would have gone to mortgage payments to fund service projects, such as purchasing new vans to help transport church members to and from their doctor’s appointments. In the true spirit of stewardship, Pastor Dent is resolved to ensure that one individual’s generosity begets more generosity.