Black churches are not just places of worship – they’re community centers, historical landmarks and safe havens for many, according to Brent Leggs, the executive of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, reports ABC News. Now, $20 million has been donated to help preserve, rebuild and tell the stories of Black churches across the country.

“The centerpiece of Black communities starts with the Black church,” Leggs said. “Black churches are exceptionally important in American democracy, not only for their legacy in civil and human rights, but also for their role in uplifting civic identity and community empowerment..

Lilly Endowment Inc., a philanthropic foundation that supports religious and educational endeavors, gave the large sum of money to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

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