Historic Black Church Receives $1 Million Donation Ahead Of Juneteenth Celebrations

A historic Black church in Montgomery County, Maryland, is gearing up for an extra special Juneteenth holiday. The Scotland African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church received a $1 million gift from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.

Founded in 1924, the long-standing church suffered flood damage in 2019. However, the new donation by the Marriott Family will help in its revitalization efforts, as reported by WTOP.

The hotel chain’s chairman, David Marriott, found out about the nearby church alongside his wife, as the couple resides in close-by Bethesda. After learning of their history and plight to their establishment, the Marriott Family sought to help out in a major way. They announced the hefty donation to members of the church after visiting the site.

“The other trustees and I are thrilled to support this effort and to be a small part of your rebuilding effort,” explained Marriott at the event, shared by Moco360 Media.

The church remains the only historic building left of the traditionally Black Scotland neighborhood within the DMV region. Following the flood, the church announced its “2nd Century Project,” with the gift adding to its $10 million goal. Thus far, they have raised over $8 million toward the effort, including this latest contribution.

“This is a major investment in community not just for Scotland AME Zion Church, but for Montgomery County and this country,” explained Rev. Dr. Evalina Huggins in a press release. “As the pastor of this historic church, I want to express our thanks to the Marriott family and Foundation on behalf of the local congregation and the AME Zion Church worldwide.”

However, the ties between the Scotland community and the Marriotts run deeper than initially realized. The press release also detailed that the family landscaper was a resident of the area. Moreover, Marriott’s grandfather advocated on their behalf for housing support from Congress in the 1960s.

Its surrounding community members hope to celebrate the gift further at this year’s Juneteenth celebrations. Events starting on June 15 will lead up to the actual holiday on June 19. The church hopes to restart services this December if its milestones within its three-phase plan are met.

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