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Stories about community | Next Generation Radio at USC Annenberg 2016

Black churches value ‘financial infrastructure’

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Money can be a touchy subject.

But in some black churches in South Los Angeles, it’s the focal point of Sunday sermons. Rather than preaching “financial literacy,” Ward AME Church teaches “financial infrastructure.”

“I try not to use the word ‘literacy’ because you’re almost insulting people when you say they’re not financially literate,” said John Brown, the chairman pro tem of the trustee board at Ward AME Church, which nestled near the University of Southern California campus.

"Financial infrastructure" over "financial literacy" is important.

John Brown, a trustee at Ward AME Church, said the word “financial infrastructure” is should be used instead of “financial literacy.”

Brown is a certified public accountant, and uses his money savvy to count the offering and tithes after 10 a.m. service on Sunday.

“If we have financial infrastructure in place, things become sustainable in our personal lives, in our family, in our community and in our businesses,” the trustee said.

Compared to financial literacy, financial infrastructure is more concerned with the black community growing together, passing down their wealth to the next generation.

CPA and church trustee John Brown sees congregants at Ward AME learning how to be fiscally responsible together.

“My ministry in life is teaching my people economic parity,” he said. “That’s how I plan to spend the rest of my life.”

 

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