As you know a tornado that reached a magnitude of EF-4 struck Nashville last week, killing twenty-five people across the region and devastating entire neighborhoods, schools, businesses, and churches. Among the damaged or destroyed churches are three member congregations of the Gamaliel affiliate in Nashville, NOAH. Those churches include: New Covenant Christian Church, whose pastor is Dr. Judy Cummings; St. John AME Church, whose pastor is Rev. Lisa Hammonds; and St. Vincent Catholic Church, whose pastor is Fr. Francis Appreh. All three of these congregations are located in North Nashville.
For the last several years, Nashville has undergone a renaissance of sorts. Billions of dollars have been invested in economic development in the region, making Nashville one of the South’s leading metropolitan areas. North Nashville, a largely African-American community, has not substantially benefited from the region’s economic boom, however, making the devastation of the tornado even more considerable. In addition, there is evidence that shady speculators are already beginning to prey on North Nashville’s vulnerable homeowners.
Many of you have asked what can be done to assist our brothers and sisters in Nashville. Gamaliel has set up a designated fund—“North Nashville Tornado Recovery Fund.” You can follow the link to a specially designated page on our website and follow the prompts to give. If you prefer to write a check, make it out to Gamaliel and note on the check “North Nashville.” Mail it to Gamaliel, attn: Regina Mahone, 5401 S. Cornell Avenue, Suite 301, Chicago, IL 60615.
Next week approximately 120 Gamaliel leaders, organizers, and national staff will be in Nashville for our first National Leadership Training of the year. On Thursday, March 19, they will participate in an important NOAH public action meeting calling on the city to develop a “moral budget.” The Mayor and other city officials will be urged to increase resources invested in the community and to invest them equitably, and Gamaliel will stand in solidarity with NOAH and the people of North Nashville in making those demands. The public meeting is being held at New Covenant Christian Church in North Nashville. Watch for an update on the results of that public meeting in a future eblast from Gamaliel.
I know that you will continue to join me in prayer for the Nashville community, NOAH, and North Nashville, in particular, as they rebuild their community and their lives. I urge you to join me also in investing in that rebuild by contributing to the “North Nashville Tornado Recovery Fund.”
St. John AME Church, the oldest AME congregation in Tennessee