Press Release

16 of the Capital Region’s African-American Faith-Based Community Leaders Arrive in Washington for 2nd Annual Gillibrand Legislative Summit

Jun 15, 2011

Washington, DC – Today, 16 of the Capital Region’s African-American faith-based community leaders arrived in Washington, DC to attend U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s second annual Legislative Summit. The summit, titled “A New Day, A New Revelation, A New Budget Reality: A Game Plan for Faith Based Institutions” was attended by more than 170 leaders from across the state representing faith-based groups, churches and organizations serving African-American communities.  A full list of all the local leaders that were in attendance is included below.

“During this time of economic difficulty, a growing number of families across New York are looking to faith-based organizations for a lifeline to help them stay afloat,” said Senator Gillibrand. “In order to have an impact on our communities, it is critical that we foster partnerships with faith-based organizations and support many of the vital services they provide.”



Reverend Richard D. Turpin

Second Baptist Church in Catskill, NY

Reverend Elgin Taylor

Sweet Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church

Pastor Solomon Dees

Wolborn Temple First COGIC

Nora lee Dees

Wolborn Temple First COGIC

Minister Frederick Sumner

Wolborn Temple First COGIC

Miriam Sumner

Wolborn Temple First COGIC

Reverend Leonard Comithier

Macedonia Baptist Church

Reverend Van Stuart

Macedonia Baptist Church

Reverend Robert Linder

AME Zion Church and President of the Interdenominational Ministers Conference of Albany and Vicinity

Reverend Cornelius Clark

Holey Serenity Church of God in Christ

Bishop Joseph Alexander

New Covenant Dominion Cathedral

Director Earl Eichelberger

NYS Catholic Conference

Bishop Cervin L. McKinnon

Church of God of Prophecy

Bishop Timothy R Scotton Sr

Church of God of Prophecy

Mrs. Sylvia D. Mckinnon

Church of God of Prophecy

Mrs. Barbara Scotton

Church of God of Prophecy

In addition to Senator Gillibrand and other members of New York’s Congressional delegation, participants will also have an opportunity to meet with Joshua Dubois, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, National Urban League President Marc Morial, Reverend Al Sharpton, and representatives from the Departments of Labor, Justice, Education, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, the U. S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom also participated in the conference.

While every American has been touched in some way by the economic downturn, African-Americans have been disproportionately among those most affected. The current unemployment rate for African Americans is over six percentage points higher than the overall unemployment rate. At the same time, both the private and public sectors are facing intense pressure to limit expenses in an effort to balance their budgets. In the face of this difficult economy and extreme budgetary constraints, Senator Gillibrand’s summit addressed how faith leaders can successfully apply for and utilize federal resources to confront the current challenges facing African-American communities in New York.

Senator Gillibrand delivered an address to the participants in which she recognized the vital role played by churches and faith based groups in providing social services to their communities, as well as the challenges they face in this economic climate. The Senator hoped that the summit would educate attendees on what kind of federal grants are available, as well as how to navigate the application process, allowing faith leaders to secure federal resources that would  work to serve communities in need throughout New York.