MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - The Allen Temple AME Church in Mount Vernon got a much-needed face-lift Saturday, as partners from other churches and organizations pitched in to re-paint the outside of the church.
How the project came to be is quite a story.
In the wake of the killings of nine members of from the Emanuel AME church in Charleston South Carolina, a sister church of Allen Temple, members of these churches attended a worship church service at Allen Temple as a sign of solidarity. During his sermon, Pastor Hugh Marriott proclaimed – "these killings have allowed us to see that collectively we are not a black church or a white Church or a Hispanic or Asian church, but instead a red church – covered by the blood of Jesus."
Upon hearing that, the congregation and visitors were inspired to do something in response to the tragedy. This something became the restorative work for the church.
Marriott approached Wallauer's, and the company decided it would donate the paint for the project. Marriott then went to the city, which decided to try to help by closing off the street to traffic so the project could proceed.
And other pastors - including Pastor Rafi Agrait of Guatamala - and volunteers, including Deacon Cristyan Santos of Brazil, and Mary Ann O'Connor of the Stanwich CT. church, came together to finish the project.
"So it ended up being the municipality, select businesses, churches of other denominations - all coming together and converging on this one church," Marriott told Daily Voice. "In light of the fact that there's so much negative press surrounding the city of Mount Vernon, to actually see all these organizations and businesses and churches coming together, for one common cause - as the result of something that was a tragedy... in response... speaks volumes about what we can do. Together. And that's the real message."
The Stanwich Congregational Church, One Life Missions Foundation, Asociacion Ministerio Vision Mundial La Ultima Llamada, Igreja Assembleia de Deus Ministerio Vision Mundial, Sampson Funeral Services, Pivot Ministries, Wallauer's Design Center, Saccente's House of Printing, and The City of Mount Vernon are churches and organizations helping to restore this AME church.
This collaboration of churches demonstrates how a tragedy can be turned into a story of triumph. Churches helping churches in partnership with caring organizations is a great way to unify communities, and according to Pastor Marriott "Mount Vernon is a very proud city with very good people and very good friends."
To commemorate this occasion, the door at the side of the Allen Temple AME Church will be painted red as a symbol of ecumenical unity, and in honor of their shared Christian Faith. All the volunteers at the project also wore red shirts to show unity, and to honor the blood shed by Jesus.
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