At a meeting last week of the Urban Church Network, leaders of 80 predominantly black churches in Allegheny County discussed how to stem a financial crisis that has forced some pastors to take a second full-time job and a few churches to close.
Their first concern was how to help neighborhoods through times so hard that robbery and high blood pressure have soared, said the Rev. Jermaine McKinley, assistant director of the Metro-Urban Institute at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. With little of their own to give, they want to teach others how to tap into the government stimulus package to improve their communities.
“Most churches are not in the business of building houses. We don’t build roads. But what we can do is help the community to address the issue,” she said.