The National Black Church Initiative Invites African
American Men Back To Church
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of
15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans is committed to bringing African American men
back to church. NBCI, in partnership with major black religious leaders and denominations nationwide,
believe that African American men have nowhere to go but back to church. Given the serious issues
facing African American men, including rising levels of incarceration, drug use and unwed fatherhood –
we can no longer stand by while our men openly defy God’s word.
This program is a part of NBCI’s Healing Family Initiative, programming which seeks to bolster African
American families against the tide of violence, poverty, moral depravity, and failure. It is time for the
majority of African Americans to follow the examples set by successful African American families; the
Obama’s being a shining beacon of accomplishment, and reverse trajectory of the African American
family. Visit our website for more information about NBCI’s Healing Family Initiative at http://
http://www.naltblackchurch.com/healing-family.html. Additionally, like all NBCI Initiatives, this program
has education at its cornerstone. NBCI’s Education Initiative is a holistic approach – a whole family
program wherein we also account for all of the adverse socio-economic factors impacting student
achievement and family structure. Visit our website for more information about NBCI’s Education
Initiative at http://www.naltblackchurch.com/education/index.html.
African Americans represent the strongest church attendance and affiliation amongst all ethnicities in
the United States. According to the Pew Forum 2007 survey, people of black ethnicity were most likely
to be part of a formal religion, with 85% being Christians. However, according to the Barna Research
Group, a Christian research firm based in Ventura, Calif., more than 90% of American men believe in
God, and 5 out of 6 call themselves Christian. But only 2 out of 6 attend church on any given Sunday.
This means that in America, 60% of church attendees are women.
Black women overwhelming outnumber black men in regular church attendance. While black men may
believe in God, in most cases it ends with belief. If single black women are attending church regularly
and following the guidelines that the church has put in place and the black men are not, what does this
say about the future of the black family?
Our focus is to open our doors, arms and hearts to understand the complex sociological and
psychological factors that prohibit African American men from being consistent churchgoers, better
fathers, less abusive spouses and better members of society. As a religious leader in the African
American community for the past twenty years, we take our position as a moral authority very seriously.
NBCI believes that the first step for our African American brothers is to return to church – atoning for
their sins and reestablishing their relationship with God through Christ. Over the next ten years we will
develop comprehensive ministries to sustain this initiative and commit African American men to the
path of righteousness.
The kick-off of this 7-year program is September 25, 2011 – but the first step in re-engaging African
American men. Our goal is to reach over 10 million African American men nationwide, providing
technical assistance to aid churches in reaching African American males and sustaining their
membership. The black church must commit to reaching African American men to mold black males
into strong fathers, husbands, members of society and protectors of our community. A society cannot
exist without sober, ethical and functional men participating and leading families into a new age of
African American successes. The black church must impart Biblical mandates for individuals, families,
the community and the nation.
This will be an expensive initiative, fully funded by the church. Utilizing existing church programming
and local, city, state and federal resources, this program will be an interdisciplinary response the issues
facing African American males.
To achieve our goal of
3. Drop-out Prevention
According to the American Promise Study examining Cities in Crisis, “Nationwide, nearly one
in three U.S. high school students fails to graduate with a diploma. In total, approximately 1.2
million students drop out each year – averaging 7,000 every school day or one every 26 seconds.
Among minority students, the problem is even more severe with nearly 50 percent of African
American and Hispanic students not completing high school on time.”
NBCI’s Dropout Prevention Initiative seeks to identify, assist, encourage, and sustain.
‘Identifying’ behavior that points to dropout risk, communities in which dropout rates are more
prevalent, as well as the individuals who have dropped out of school. ‘Assist’ by resolving any
social, psychological, academic, financial, or physical barriers to continuing education within
a family with a focus on the student. ‘Encouraging’ putting the family and student back on
a course which facilitates education and stability through after school programming, positive
reinforcement, and counseling. Finally, the program is ‘sustained’ by integration these program
strategies in conjunction with school systems, the faith community, the community at large,
local, state and federal resources and businesses.
Historically, the unemployment rate for African Americans has always been higher than the
national average. However, now it’s at Depression-era levels. The most recent figures show
African American joblessness at 16.2 percent. For black males, it’s at 17.5 percent; And for black
teens, it’s nearly 41 percent.
5. Incarceration Prevention
Since the early 1970’s the prison and jail population in the United states has increase at an
unprecedented rate – a more than 500% rise resulted in over 2.2 million people incarcerated
in our nation’s prisons and jails. This growth has been accompanied by an increasingly
disproportionate racial composition – Bureau of Justice statistics document that one in six black
men had been incarcerated as of 2001 and if current trends continue one in three black males
born today can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetime.
Many churches currently participate in re-entry ministries; NBCI wants to increase participation
100 fold. Additionally, incorporating education, drop-out prevention, employment counseling
and family interventions will seek to heal a community plagued by crime, drug-use and racial
This initiative will be amongst the most difficult of our programs to date. The black church also
acknowledges that this will be an expensive initiative – we will be asking our member churches
to donate $5,000 yearly to fund this program over the course of the next seven years. We are
committed to bringing African American men back to church, re-instituting God’s word and
The black church recognizes the importance of African American male employment – many
factors contribute to impairing African American males from obtaining gainful employment. In
this new effort we will emphasize entrepreneurship, good work ethics, and the importance of
good financial management. The church also serves as a network of resources, specifically the
70,000 small businesses within NBCI’s membership network. We are encouraging these small
businesses to hire African American males that are not their family members, to expand the
opportunities available and increase wealth within the African American community.
Therefore, we have elicited a partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce in an
effort to reach this goal.