Members of the Florida A&M Marching 100 Band perform during half-time of the game against Tennessee State at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Sept. 7, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida. (AP Photo/Don Juan Moore)
Historically, the church and community of faith have played and continues to play a significant role in the development of most of the 37 private member UNCF historically black colleges and universities which were founded upon the principles of the church and UNCF’s mission of providing opportunity to disadvantaged young men and women. Several private HBCUs were founded within years of the Civil War ending for example, Augusta Institute. This institution was established in the basement of Springfield Baptist Church, the oldest independent African-American church in the United States in Augusta, Georgia. Its purpose was to prepare black men for the ministry and teaching. Augusta Institute is now known as Morehouse College, an HBCU in Atlanta, Georgia and a UNCF member institution school.
Many of the privately held HBCUs were closely affiliated with the various religious denominations, for example Allen University, Livingston College, Wilberforce University and Edward Waters College of the AME affiliation and Morehouse College, Spelman College, Virginia Union University and Shaw University of the Baptist denomination and Oakwood University in Alabama is closely affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The partnership and support continues to flourish between the churches since UNCF’s founding in 1944. “In a nation and world in which religions are too often pitted against society and each other, America’s private HBCUs provide an example of how communities of faith can work harmoniously with society and how differing religions can work with each other for their mutual benefit of the country”, commented Silvers, Jr.
For additional informational about UNCF and their UNCF Sundays, contact the Los Angeles Area Office at 213.639.3800.