Lead Pastor QuanTez Pressley and Third New Hope Baptist Church (TNH), located on Detroit’s westside, is donating $5,000 to the Detroit Justice Center (DJC). This contribution will help support the mission of DJC, a non-profit law firm working with communities to transform the justice system and promote equitable and just cities. Attorney Amanda Alexander, DJC’s founder and executive director, expresses her gratitude “for this incredibly generous donation!” She would say “I’m so moved by your congregation’s generosity and support.”
Following the brutal death of George Floyd, many cities across the country and world, including Detroit, have held continuous protests and marches aimed at seeking justice and reform of excessive policing practices and policies. As a result of these demonstrations, some non-violent protesters have been arrested.
“As a pastor, I was discerning what it means to be the church, in the time and season like this, particularly under the COVID 19 Pandemic that’s still out there,” said Pastor Pressley. “With many of our members unable to go out into the streets and protest due to potential exposure them to the Coronavirus. I wanted to find an alternative way to show our solidarity and support for those in this struggle for justice and equality.” Determined to do something, Pastor Pressley says “I felt that our way to support this movement for justice was to help finance those organizations that are doing the advocacy work.”
Pastor Pressley said discovering that the DJC was on the ground level doing the type of justice work needed in the community, including paying bail for those in need, that he had found a way for the church to support. He says “Supporting an organization that pays the bail for people getting arrested in this fight for justice is our way of living out our Christian mandate to proclaim freedom for the prisoner and to set the oppressed free.”
Through prayer and seeking God’s wisdom, Pastor Pressley presented his vision to Third New Hope’s congregation on the first Sunday of June, asking churchgoers to make donations. “I asked the congregation to give whatever God placed on their hearts,” Pastor Pressley said. “My hope was that we would raise at least $2,500, so it could not be said that the church was not present in this critical hour.”
The generosity of the congregation exceeded Pastor Pressley’s goal, raising $2,800 in one day. In addition, they were able to match $2,200 through a grant they were awarded by the DTE Foundation, to help amplify the faith-based community’s impact in addressing community needs. Thus, enabling the church to contribute a total of $5,000 to the DJC.
“It’s providential that we are presenting this donation to DJC during Juneteenth, which commemorates the announcement that enslaved Africans in this country had been freed,” said Pastor Pressley. “We envision that our donation will not only help free black and brown people who find themselves in jail because they cannot afford to pay bail but hopefully it will reconstitute the necessary partnership between the church and civil rights organization like DJC that is crucial to the building of a truly just and equitable society.”