“Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its services!” Nehemiah 12:14 The Book of Nehemiah tells the story of the prophet Nehemiah who had a fervent desire to rebuild the city wall of Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile. It took courage, wisdom, devotion and conviction but most important was his trust in God. Just as Nehemiah sought to rebuild the city wall of Jerusalem we should actively seek opportunities in order to build upon the rich legacy of Zion Baptist Church by establishing sustainable projects through Zion Community Enterprise that uplift the spirituality and stewardship of Zion Baptist Church. Nehemiah 4:6 – “So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work”.
Accordingly, Zion Baptist Church realizes that in order to continue to have a sustainable financial foundation that it must “think out of the box” and explore reasonable alternative revenue opportunities. There are numerous “fundraising” initiatives that are proven mechanisms utilized by other religious institutions and non-profit organizations that Zion Baptist Church should readily consider in order to position itself in line with the Pastor’s vision for the church’s spiritual growth and financial sustainability. These suggested “fundraising” initiatives are specifically designed to generate increased stewardship through alternative revenue generating options implemented by Zion Community Enterprise and each will definitely require significant effort in order to realize their potential.
It is envisioned that alternative revenue initiatives can generate up to one-fourth of Zion Baptist Church’s current operating budget which would not only serve to modulate ongoing budgetary requirements but also expand potential cash reserves. However, time is of the essence and it is strongly suggested that Zion Baptist Church proceed expeditiously with exploring alternative revenue generating opportunities if we are to ultimately become financially sustainable. It was therefore proposed that a select group of dedicated members of Zion Baptist Church known as “trusted stakeholders” agree to utilize their knowledge, skills and abilities in order to design, implement and execute Zion Community Enterprise as the 501(c)3 non-profit community development corporation “arm” of Zion Baptist Church.
Background on the Establishment of Zion Community Enterprise
Zion Baptist Church is one of the five original African-American churches founded in the District of Columbia. Zion Baptist Church’s mission statement is: Zion Baptist Church Shall: Enlist Sinners, Educate Students, Empower the Suffering, Encourage the Saints, and Exalt Our Savior (Acts 2:41-47). Under the leadership of Pastor Byrd, Zion Baptist Church has continued its rich legacy by building upon the excellent work done over one hundred and fifty-seven years of existence. Zion Baptist Church maintains strategic partnerships with many individuals, companies and institutions as well as has proven access to resources necessary to ensure its continued success. It should be noted however that while Pastor Byrd has articulated a vision for Zion Baptist Church in terms of its spiritual and tangible growth, there was no visible or pronounced financial stewardship strategy to accompany that vision. Zion Baptist Church therefore sought to create a mechanism that has both the capacity and willingness to do even more for as “to whom much is given much is required”.
At a Zion Baptist Church Semi-Annual Meeting held on Friday, June 19th, 2015 the members of the congregation approved proceeding with the establishment Zion Community Enterprise (ZCE) and the selection of an initial governing board of directors by an overwhelming majority. The establishment of Zion Community Enterprise was based on the recommendation of an advisory committee appointed by Pastor Byrd and the Board of Trustees that was charged with determining the way forward after the dissolution of the Board of Directors of Zion Baptist Enterprise (ZBE). The rationale for creating Zion Community Enterprise was to establish a community development corporation with a 501(c)3 designation that will allow for the promotion of healthy communities in the Washington Metropolitan Area by providing critical support to families in crisis. Zion Community Enterprise’s motto is “Healthy Families Make Healthy Communities”. The mission of Zion Community Enterprise will be accomplished through encouraging and empowering families in the Washington Metropolitan Area through training, advocacy, crisis intervention, temporary housing opportunities that foster community engagement programming specifically designed to promote healthy families.
The mission of Zion Community Enterprise will therefore encompass the following core principles:
- To provide quality day care for seniors and respite care opportunities for families caring for elderly family members.
- To advocate and promote affordable housing including multi-family housing units and temporary housing for families in transition.
- To provide quality training and educational resources such as parenting skills, computer and financial literacy training, employment and entrepreneurial development.
The initial members of the Governing Board of Directors of Zion Community Enterprise chosen were as follows: Deacon Rohan Williamson (Chair), Trustee Emeritus Sharlyn Grigsby-Queen (Vice Chair), Sister Kim Ford (Treasurer), Brother Damarr Butler (Secretary), Deacon Emeritus Darryl Fraser, Trustee Elaine Johnson and Trustee David J. Saunders. The Governing Board of Directors were charged with implementing a three-year plan for Zion Community Enterprise and to provide an annual report of their progress and accomplishments to the members of Zion Baptist Church (i.e. – ZCE stakeholders) detailing the status of ongoing activities and programs.
At a special meeting convened by Pastor Byrd on Saturday, July 24, 2021 a newly appointed Board of Directors was elected by the membership of Zion Community Enterprise. The five (5) individuals are: Rev. Ella D. Redfield, Sister Maureen Barnes (Secretary), Brother Horace Jeffrey Abney (Treasurer), Trustee James E. Brown (Vice-Chairman) and Brother David J. Saunders (Chairman).
Zion Community Enterprise operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in accordance with federal and DC requirements. It is governed by its bylaws and policies, and a board of directors which convenes monthly in person and virtually. Other meetings may be called by the Chairman upon approval by the board of directors. Zion Community Enterprise publishes an annual report and holds an annual meeting in the month of June which is open to the community. Zion Community Enterprise is a membership organization and members are not faith-restricted and do not pay annual dues. Zion Community Enterprise plans to grow its membership by encouraging members of Zion Baptist Church to become members as well as inviting members of the community to also join as members, as permitted by the bylaws and best practices.
Board Structure and Membership
Membership on the Board of Directors is by nomination, Board approval and invitation. Members of the Board of Directors are expected to attend meetings, participate in committees of the Board, and participate/lead various programs. The Board of Directors have initiated an assessment of skills required (e.g. – grantsmanship, fundraising, non-profit administration, real estate development, affordable housing management, community engagement) in the selection of membership as a director. The current Board of Directors each serves a two-year term which is renewable.
Marketing and Outreach
The Board of Directors is responsible for initiating efforts to brand and market Zion Community Enterprise to the public. Their initial effort was to build a user-friendly web site, accessible by the public. Additional work on the website is planned in order to improve navigation, enhance design, and ensure the content reflects Zion Community Enterprise’s evolving programming and growth. The Board of Directors will continue to enhance and monitor the website and other outreach efforts.
Financial and Regulatory Reporting
Zion Community Enterprise files a Form 990 annually with the Internal Revenue Service and in conjunction with the filing of Form 990, prepares annual financial statements as well as also timely files a reporting return every two years with the District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). In addition, the Board of Directors provides periodic reports to the membership of Zion Community Enterprise and/or members of Zion Baptist Church as required.
Strategic Plan of Action
Zion Community Enterprise will establish a strategic plan of action in order to establish the financial stewardship framework as follows:
1. Pastoral articulation of a workable vision that will embrace an approved Three-to-Five Year Financial Stewardship Plan.
2. Establish a Capital Campaign Account in order to facilitate receipts and expenditures of funds for selected alternative revenue initiatives and opportunities.
3. Develop a strategic plan of action and administrative mechanism in order to attract, encourage and energize members of the congregation to offer their time, talents and treasures on a myriad of alternative revenue initiatives and opportunities.
4. Continuously assess and evaluate strategies, lessons learned and best practices in order to consistently improve upon the success of alternative revenue initiatives and opportunities.
5. Consistently provide key updates to the leadership of the church as well as members of the congregation and acknowledge successes in order to encourage their positive engagement.
To be effective, Zion Community Enterprise must remain knowledgeable about trends and creative strategies in pursuing alternative revenue opportunities. Accordingly, Zion Baptist Church believes that its wealth of experience and expertise more than qualifies Zion Community Enterprise to ultimately be successful in its efforts of “financial stewardship” on behalf of Zion Baptist Church.
Project 1 – Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Day Care Center: – The Genevieve N. Johnson Senior Day Care Center Program (“GNJ Center”) is an Adult Day Care Center domiciled in Zion Baptist Church’s Family Life Center located at 4817 Blagden Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20011. The GNJ Center has been in operation for approximately thirty-eight years and incorporates quality day care services for the frail elderly as well as the recreation/socialization for the elderly through an annual grant provided by the DC Department of Aging and Community Living (DCAL). The GNJ Center is located in Ward Four of the District of Columbia and serves residents age sixty years and older primarily in Ward Four and Ward Five although all Eight Wards are acceptable. The GNJ Center is a one-of-a-kind dual-service program and the only such Adult Day Care Center that provides these types of services in Washington, D.C.
The overall goal of the GNJ Center is to provide an atmosphere designed to enable families to successfully manage the responsibility of quality care for an elderly or frail senior family member in order that they may be able to comfortably remain in their home and therefore maintain a reasonable quality of life for as long as possible by providing various rehabilitative, social and recreational programs, activities and services made possible by the GNJ Center. The participants at the GNJ Center enjoy recreation and friendship with their peers as well as receive health care assistance and the education they need to function as independently as possible in order to remain in their home environment and local community and to forestall early institutionalization. This would include, but not be limited to, health promotion, social and nutrition benefits coupled with family supportive services via counseling, comprehensive assessments and required resources and services after case assessments as well as case management reviews and follow-ups.
The GNJ Senior Day Care Center intends to embark on a more comprehensive strategic plan of action to include the following:
- A more robust marketing and outreach strategy of the GNJ Senior Day Care Center’s scope of programs and services.
- Additional workshops, seminars and activities to be included in the GNJ Senior Day Care Center’s scope of programs and services.
- In addition to the DC Office on Aging and Community Living (DACL) and the American Association of Retired People (AARP), seek to increased partnership with other agencies, organizations and businesses to promote health and wellness services to clients.
- Further utilize the services of social workers at the GNJ Senior Day Care Center in order to service others DC residents in sister churches and the local communities.
- New focus on seniors who are independently mobile and who want to only participate in certain aspects of the GNJ Senior Day Care Center’s programs and services.
- Development of an Advisory Council to assist the GNJ Senior Day Care Center Executive Director and Zion Community Enterprise Board of Directors in creating new opportunities of counseling and support services for our seniors.
Zion Community Enterprise intends to actively engage itself in the development of the GNJ Senior Day Care Center’s continued growth and sustainment. This will be accomplished through seeking an increase in the existing grant awarded by the DC Department on Aging and Community Living (DACL) as well as seeking related grants and sponsorships for both programmatic and financial support of the provision of enhanced services and programs with a particular emphasis on Caregiver Competency Certification, Dementia Treatment Programs and Elder Care Initiatives.
Project 2 – Real Estate Development Initiatives: – Zion Community Enterprise has signed-up to participate in a Faith-Based Development Initiative (FBDI) led by Enterprise Community Partners. The FBDI engages and assists the faith-based community as active agents in creating an economically diverse mid-Atlantic region where people of all incomes have access to affordable housing and community resources. Zion Baptist Church has a growing interest in bringing both multi-family housing and affordable housing opportunities to seniors. The FBDI provides legal resources, capital and training that help organizations develop under-utilized real estate assets into affordable homes and other community facilities. In addition, the FBDI provides the capital to the faith-based community through grants, loans and tax credits to help defray the costs of market study/feasibility analysis during the early phases of the development project. Zion Community Enterprise will be able to access lending experts in order to provide the development team with innovative short-term products, including unsecured early pre-development loans, secured pre-development loans, property acquisition loans and community facilities loans.
Zion Community Enterprise currently is undertaking a six-month training regimen designed to introduce the faith-based community to the concepts and skills necessary for engaging in real estate development projects. Training sessions include: (a) The Visioning Process, (b) A Call to Action, (c) The Nuts and Bolts of Development, (d) Public and Private Resources for Financing Your Project, (e) Organizational Development, (f) Legal Structures, (g) Asset Management and (h) Technical Assistance. In addition, the FBDI provides preliminary property analysis, which includes a community profile and zoning analysis while also acting as a trusted partner by providing organizational assessment, capacity building and referrals to developers and consultants. The FBDI connects the faith-based community with pro bono legal services as well as makes referrals to fee-based attorneys with specific knowledge and capacity to work with faith-based organizations.
Project #3 – College Boot Camp: – The College Ministry’s College Boot Camp program was designed to encompass a three-year period with students from the tenth grade to the twelfth grade with a focus on youth residing in the Washington Metropolitan Area. The College Boot Camp program averaged about twenty-five (25) students each year. The College Boot Camp program includes: (a) preparing a college application, (b) the mechanics required to apply for college admission, (c) understanding financial aid assistance and (d) a one-on-one conversation with a college student.
Eventually, this half day session became a one-week (Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm) series of workshops that became known as the College Boot Camp program under the College Ministry. The College Boot Camp program consisted of a more comprehensive series of advice and guidance that includes: (a) essay writing and evaluation, (b) understanding financial aid assistance and (c) conducting a site visit to at least one local Historically Black College and University (Howard University), one Public School (Maryland University) and one Private School (Georgetown University).
To date, the College Ministry’s Boot Camp program has five years of experience offering over one hundred (100) workshops to more than two hundred and fifty (250) youth. Over the past five years the College Boot Camp program has assisted students with attending a myriad of HBCUs, public and private colleges and universities both nationally and internationally. Zion Baptist Church’s College Ministry currently provides graduating high school seniors with financial assistance by offering annual academic scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each to all youth that are members of Zion Baptist Church that attend a college or university of their choice as well as distributes “care packages” and conducts one-on-one contacts during the period that a student is attending an institution of higher education. In addition, the College Ministry offers comprehensive advice and guidance to interested youth as they prepare themselves for attending a school of their choice.
It should be noted that the role of Zion Baptist Church in ensuring that our youth benefit from academic and career opportunities has always been an important component of our mission statement: Zion Baptist Church Shall: Enlist Sinners, Educate Students, Empower the Suffering, Encourage the Saints, and Exalt Our Savior (Acts 2:41-47). Under the leadership of Pastor Keith W. Byrd, Sr., Zion Baptist Church has a fervent desire to “Educate Students” by building upon the excellent work done over the years through the Zion Baptist Church College Ministry. Key to the proposed enhancement will be the incorporation of a set of Christian principles that guide the College Boot Camp program.
To that end, Pastor Byrd envisions the impetus for the College Boot Camp program to create innovative and sustainable methodologies that will properly prepare our youth for their success in an institution of higher education. Accordingly, Zion Community Enterprise intends to embark on a process toward acquiring strategic partnerships with key stakeholders and access to financial resources necessary in order to ensure the continued success of the College Boot Camp program.
Project #4 – Alternative Revenue Initiatives and Opportunities: – Zion Baptist Church has immense potential to build upon stewardship through successful alternative revenue generating initiatives and opportunities that can be implemented by Zion Community Enterprise as follows:
A – Provision of Consulting Services and Technical Assistance: Zion Community Enterprise is strategically positioned to offer a wide range of consulting services and technical assistance to other churches, non-profit organizations and small businesses. Several examples would include C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) related consulting on energy efficient infrastructure systems, youth work readiness training programs, and entrepreneurial development initiatives.
B – Grants and Corporate Partnerships: Zion Community Enterprise is strategically positioned toward building unique partnerships with key stakeholders in the community (i.e. – institutions of higher education, financial and real estate institutions, utility companies, foundations, etcetera) that can be of invaluable assistance with targeting available grants and sponsorship opportunities. There are also a multitude of local, state and federal grant opportunities that Zion Community Enterprise can be considered for either as an independent entity or as a collaborative partner. Any successful grant funds received by Zion Community Enterprise could be designed to provide ancillary benefits and revenue to Zion Baptist Church. In particular, in the area of affordable senior housing and real estate development, the potential is already there waiting to be taken advantage of by Zion Community Enterprise.
C – Planned Giving Campaign: Zion Baptist Church established a Planned Giving Advisory Group several years ago in order to consider a few initiatives designed to encourage individuals, families and organizations to consider Planned Legacy Contributions to Zion Baptist Church. Again, this is not a new venture as it has always been a practice within Zion Baptist Church since its inception (i.e. – the Gold Brick Campaign, the Glorious Stained Glass Window Campaign, etcetera.). We just need to reactivate the Planned Giving Campaign. Most people, when given the opportunity, would like to feel that they have made a lasting contribution toward a better world and that their lives have touched others perhaps for many generations to come. That small touch of immortality – the quiet satisfaction of helping perpetuate something meaningful – is the rich reward enjoyed by many who have made Planned Legacy Gifts for their church’s future. These Planned Legacy Gifts, made during the donor’s life or through the donor’s estate, strengthen the ability of Zion Baptist Church to provide for future generations of members. This is not a new concept at Zion Baptist Church but one that is being recommended for revisiting according to the Planned Giving Advisory Group. Zion Baptist Church believes that our membership can make a difference. We will encourage members to explore various options through Planned Legacy Gifting in order to develop a charitable giving strategy that is most advantageous to them and beneficial to Zion Baptist Church.
D – Zion Baptist Church’s Audiovisual Services: Zion Baptist Church has the capacity and competency to deliver high quality, structured audiovisual services for other black churches, non-profits and small businesses. Zion Baptist Church’s social media communications team includes professionals who excel at multi-media production, graphic design, audiovisual techniques and content writing/editing as well as subject matter experts in administering a virtual platform. Services can range from virtual training services to full-scale audiovisual production services.
The overall success of Zion Community Enterprise will be to become a major flagship model by utilizing specific trusted stakeholders as well as building upon strategic relationships with donor entities in order to engender Zion Community Enterprise’s continued growth and sustainability. Accordingly, Zion Baptist Church will specifically design Zion Community Enterprise to engage trusted stakeholders as core implementers and resource partners, while also strengthening both the human and institutional capacity of trusted stakeholders. These strategic alliances will bring new development actors into partnership as well as expand Zion Community Enterprise’s engagement with businesses, social entrepreneurs, foundations, private philanthropists and hopefully the membership of Zion Baptist Church. These trusted stakeholders will demonstrate a strong commitment to Zion Community Enterprise as it seeks continued growth and self-sustainment.
According to Pastor Byrd, as our Under-Shepherd, he is charged with the overall responsibility of “reimagining” Zion Baptist Church in a “post-pandemic” world. Understanding that Zion Baptist Church will face significant challenges as it attempts to return to a “new normalcy” it is therefore absolutely critical to establish clear communications and transparency plans with Zion Community Enterprise — for instance, scheduling monthly briefings for “pulse checks” in order to successfully discern how Zion Community Enterprise is faring. In all cases, it is absolutely essential for the Pastor to encourage spirituality and stewardship education with a visionary empathy. With the successful implementation of Zion Community Enterprise acting upon the proposed “alternative revenue generating” recommendations outlined within this document, the congregation will be exposed to possibilities that affirms the vision of the Pastor. In order to achieve this stated purpose of “visionary fundraising” everyone involved in Zion Community Enterprise (both individually and collectively) must be unified and empowered by the Spirit of God to discern and follow where He is leading Zion Baptist Church through our Under-Shepherd – Rev. Dr. Keith W. Byrd, Sr.
Zion Community Enterprise, Incorporated
4850 Blagden Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20011
Telephone Number: 202-248-1469 | Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website Address: 4850 Blagden Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20011