Vernon AME Church in Tulsa has fed people in its neighborhood every day since the pandemic began. Episcopalians from Oklahoma and 12 other states raised over $164,000 to support Vernon’s ministry.
The church in Tulsa’s Greenwood District is the only black-owned building that remains from the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, which included the burning down of businesses and homes in Tulsa’s thriving Black Wall Street community as well as the murder of Black Tulsans by white mobs. A few of the Black Tulsans hid from the mobs in Vernon’s basement.
[The Rt. Rev. Poulson C. Reed, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma said,] “I think the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma were so inspired by historic Vernon AME Church. I think that’s what it is. In the middle of this pandemic we wanted to really support an organization that was doing incredible work in their community and Vernon is doing that.” …
Reed said the funds will help refurbish the Tulsa’s church’s kitchen and also help the congregation bring its vision of a prayer wall to fruition. The church hopes to create a prayer wall for those who visit the church to learn about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and perhaps write their prayers for the church and community.