Press Release

29 of the Hudson Valley’s African-American Faith-Based Community Leaders Arrive in Washington for 2nd Annual Gillibrand Legislative Summit

Jun 15, 2011

Washington, DC – Today, 29 of the Hudson Valley’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.”



Suzette Turpin

Second Baptist Church

Pastor Richard  Turpin

Second Baptist Church

Reverend Wila Caines

AME Zion church of Newburgh

Superintendent  John Borden

Church of God and Christ

Esther Taylor-Evans

New Progressive Baptist Church

Rita Worthington

New Progressive Baptist Church

Reverend Frank Jones

AME Zion Church

Reverend Horace Dwight Bolton

Smith Metropolitan AME Zion Church

Reverend Walter Brightman Jr.

St. Paul’s AME Church

Reverend Moses Carter

St. John AME Zion Church

Reverend Richard P. Butler

Central Baptist Church

Presiding Elder Dextro  Tiller

First Born Church of the Living God

Pastor Stanley Dixon

Trinity Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church

Anthony Demosthenes

First Timothy Christian Church

Nathaniel Demosthenes

First Timothy Christian Church

Marcicil Harris

HRP Life Changing Ministries

Larry Alston

HRP Life Changing Ministires

Reverend Lamont S. Granby

First Baptist Church of Bronxville

Pastor James Hassell

Kingdom Baptist Church

Deacon Charles Walker

Kingdom Baptist Church

Pastor D. Quincy  Hentz

Shiloh Baptist Church‎

Reverend Erwin Trollinger

Our Father’s House Baptist

Reverend Odinga Lawrence Maddox

Mt. Hope AME Zion Church

Reverend Julius Walls, Jr.

Greater Centennial AME Zion Church

Rev. Dr. Franklyn Richardson

Grace Baptist Church

Reverend Larry Pickens

Memorial United Methodist Church

Reverend Annie Kersey

Barry Avenue AME Zion

Reverend Natalie Wimberly

St. Frances AME Zion

Reverend Paul Aquavella


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.