COVID-19 could force the iconic Midtown Church to close the door permanently – CBS Sacramento – Sacramento, California

Sacramento, California 2020-10-16 21:19:02 –

Sacramento (CBS13) – A coronavirus pandemic has destroyed restaurants, small businesses, and now even churches. The Midtown Collective, also known as the First Baptist Church, faces a financial crisis after a few months of closure.

At the corner of 24th and L Street, there is a Sacramento icon, whether you know it or not.

“I have passed this church millions of times,” said church member Jasmine Pickett Smith. “I thought it was another church. I’m a lesbian woman, so they would look down on me.”

Jasmine and her wife, Terrell, found a sense of community in this church. The couple joined the Midtown Collective in the midst of national public unrest.

“As a young lesbian woman, I never felt that black life was important in church,” Jasmine said.

I am happy to find a place where their faith and love can be added, even in the most difficult times.

“It feels good to be in a place where we can all be ourselves, even if we all have to wear masks now, without wearing masks,” Terrell said. It was.

Masks are just one of the changes made by COVID, and fewer people come to church. Rev. Lamar J. Pringle had a hard time this year. Neither donations nor people have a hard time surviving.

“We are kind of looking at our last foot,” said Rev. Pringle. “My hope and prayer is that this church keeps going in some way, form, or way, but my realists know that they don’t have enough resources.”

Now the church may be writing the end of its history book.

“Here we are 170 years old and the congregation has reduced our donations. Our members have been hit hard,” said the minister.

But their congregation has rich roots. Among their monumental monuments: Appoint the first Chinese and female preachers throughout the state. The First Baptist Church also outlawed slavery within their congregation, even years before the Emancipation Proclamation.

Rev. Pringle acknowledges them as part of what helped him reach this point, the first Black Pastor of the Church decades later.

“We were able to do what we couldn’t do in a church half our age,” Pringle said.

The church is now overcoming the pandemic and tackling the following challenges: Jasmine wants the best.

“Where are you going from here? How can we continue to give each other that strength?” Jasmine said.

Whether it’s the next chapter or the last chapter, the whole community says they still believe in a happy ending.

The congregation has raised money for the church, but hopes others will be interested and appear on Sunday.

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