Former Congressman, the Reverend and Doctor Floyd H. Flake, Sr. Pastor of the 20,000 member Greater Allen AME Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens, NY spoke to nearly 170 attendees from 73 faith-based organizations and agencies at the first “Faith in Action Conference: The Role of Faith Based Organizations in Stabilizing Massachusetts Communities.”
Reverend Flake described the shift in his church’s organizational structure during the 80’s and 90’s to embrace a paradigm shift toward church-centered, faith-based action that led to quality education and market oriented community and economic development for his community. He urged pastors and church members to think beyond their church structures and envision a more entrepreneurial role in sustaining, stabilizing and transforming communities.
“The synergy between NeighborWorks America and the faith-based participants was just bubbling with enthusiasm during the entire event," said LaRayne Hebert, director of NeighborWorks America's New England district. "This is just the beginning of new collaborations that reach more deeply into communities to create and preserve affordable housing.”
During closing minutes of the conference, organizers agreed that faith based organizations can play an important role in transforming communities so long as they continue to be strategic, collaborative and innovative.