MIAMI – Noting the common goal of Miami’s black churches and Camillus House that everyone deserves a chance to live a good life, Camillus House honored seven of Miami’s black churches on Thursday, May 9 during its second annual Camillus House Celebrates Black Culture event.
Honorees of the churches touted during the Recognizing the Role of the Clack Church in Transmitting Black Culture event included Father Richard L. Marquess-Barry for St. Agnes Episcopal Church; the Rev. Dr. Ralph Ross for Historical Mount Zion; Father John Cox for Holy Redeemer Catholic Church; the Rev. Dr. George E. McRae for Mt. Tabor Baptist Church; Elder Vincent Jennings for the United House of Prayer for All People; Brother Luc Joliecoeur, BGS, for Brothers of the Good Shepherd; and the Rev. Eddie Lake for Greater Bethel AME.
Speakers included Crystal Conner of Camillus’ board of directors and chairwoman of the Black History Cultural Committee, and Paul Ahr, Camillus House president and CEO.
Camillus House is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency that has provided humanitarian services to indigent and homeless men, women and children in Miami-Dade County since its founding in 1960.
Of Camillus House’s clients, of whom 90 percent are African American, officials say, many have nowhere else to go, no friends, no family and no loved ones to help them, and Camillus becomes their family, providing the hope and support they need to begin the long, difficult transition to a new life and self-sufficiency.
Thursday’s event was described as symbolic of Camillus House’s mission to offer not just a free meal, medical care, a shower or drug treatment, but a second chance to the desperate, the lonely and the ones society has left behind.
Each year Camillus House will celebrate key influencers within the African-American community, officials say.
Last year’s inaugural event recognized the role of black women in transmitting black culture. This year more than 100 attended to celebrate the importance of the black church. Next year’s celebration will focus on teachers.