DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The new pastor of St. Joseph AME in Durham has made a commitment to education and Historically Black Colleges and is encouraging other religious organizations to do the same.
The choir from St. Joseph's was joined by the choir of NCCU for praise and worship.
Among those in the crowd is the Chancellor of North Carolina Central University Dr. Johnson Akinleye. "You come into and see a sea of maroon and grey," he said observing the crowd for the first #NCCUSunday.
NCCU and the church have joined together in a collaborative effort, the church raising funds for the HBCU.
"And that is to support scholarships, to help create opportunities to support a neighboring and leading HBCU in the country," said Reverend Jonathan Augustine.
"It's not too many times you find a church or religious organization that stepped out there to say 'look, we need to raise money for our students,'" Dr. Akinleye said.
The church is encouraging other churches to step up and support other HBCUs.
With 8,000 plus students, Central is growing and space is becoming limited.
The school is already undergoing construction on three new residential halls and a student union.
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"This institution lives within the community. It's our goal to make sure we benefit the community, that we work with the community to uplift where we live," said Dr. Akinleye.
The church rounded out their service with a check presentation to Central.
Durham Church challenges others to support HBCUs