Speak to my Heart
Communities of Faith and Contemporary African American Life.

Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture

TOUR

A Safe Place to Be
"A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way"

The African American church often plays a nurturing role, providing its members with a place which encourages personal growth and offers community support. "In-reach" ministries give counseling and comfort to families in times of distress and special support for men's and women's fellowships. Women, youth, and senior citizens often exercise more power and creativity than society allows them to do in their daily lives outside the church. Churches survive by combining the enthusiasm and energy of youth with the wisdom and experience of age.

In a week-long celebration in 1997, Dr. Cheryl Sanders was installed as the third partor and first woman poastor of Third Street Church of God in Washington, D.C. , her home church. In 1996 she was named professor of Christian Ethics, the first female full professor at Howard University School of Divinity. Kevin Southall and Monique Leonard were crowned Mr. and Mrs. Purity at the State Purity Class Awards Banquet, Refreshing Spring Church of God in Christ, Riverdale, Md. The Purtiy Class seeks to instill character, moral fiber, and Christian principles in young people. For many rites of passage programs, participants keep journals or diaries of their feelings, experiences, and lessons. In the Ebenezer AME Church Womanhood Rites of Passage Ministry, Fort Washington, Md. , the "big sisters" who mentor the young women in the program give their charges dolls as gifts and rememberances.

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