Oklahoma raises funds for Historic AME Church in Tulsa

Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma
Posted Dec 3, 2020

Historic Vernon AME Church was the only black owned building to survive the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

The Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma has an annual tradition of giving during the holiday months called the Bishop’s Appeal. The Appeal usual benefits programs within the Diocese like the St. Crispin’s Conference Center + Camp or the IONA School of Formation. This year, in his first year as Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Poulson and the Director of Development, Tyler Davis, decided to look beyond the walls of our Episcopal congregations and institutions and see what other faith based institutions were doing good in the world.

Bishop Poulson states, “When we prayerfully considered how best to use the Bishop’s Appeal this year, and what faith-based organizations in Oklahoma (Episcopalian or not) were sacrificially serving those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, one stood above the rest. Historic Vernon A.M.E. Church in Tulsa has served over 200,000 meals in their community since March 2020 through meals and bags of groceries.”

Roughly half the donations will go toward updating the church’s kitchen and the other half will go toward Vernon’s Pastor Dr. Robert Turner’s vision for a prayer wall on the exterior side of the church building. The prayer wall would be a site of pilgrimage for the purposes of praying for racial healing of the whole world. Historic Vernon AME is the only black owned building to survive the 1921 Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Dr. Turner hopes to have the wall constructed before the Race Massacre’s Centennial in May, 2021. He states, “I know that God can make all things new, during this Advent Season I am waiting with jubilant expectancy to see what God will do through this feeding ministry and prayer wall. I am grateful to join Bishop Poulson in this appeal to the entire Episcopal Church in Oklahoma and beyond.”

The Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma will match all gifts up to $50,000 in hopes of giving a total donation of $100,000. To make a gift to the incredible ministry please visit epiok.org/bishops-appeal.

For contributions to qualify for the match, they must be received by December 31st, 2020.