The Black church has been and continues to be a place for Black people to seek refuge. With concerns about violence, mental health and rising prices throughout the city, the faith leaders and their congregations are answering the call for the community. For Rev. David Greene, president of Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis and pastor at Purpose of Life Ministries, his religious conviction is what drives his continuous involvement in community issues.
“Faith without works is dead,” he said. “For me, faith is not something that is just locked in a Sunday service or Wednesday Bible study. The needs are so vast to just sit on the sidelines and pray about it.” People rely on faith-based communities for not only their religious practices but also for mental health care, financial assistance, day care and education. Like Greene, the faith of many other prominent community figures motivates the work they do for the Black community.
The Black faith leaders and their congregations are also at the frontlines of many of the social justice initiatives. In the last few months, Dr. Carlos Perkins, senior pastor at Bethel Cathedral AME Church, has worked with other faith-based organizations, such as Faith in Indiana and Indiana’s Black Church Coalition, to advocate for better mental health policies in the community.