The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced 17 Sacred Sites Grants totaling $267,000 awarded to historic religious properties throughout, including $25,000 to the Highbridge Community Church to help fund a roof replacement.
Highbridge Community Church acquired the former Union Reformed Church on Ogden Avenue in 2005. Originally formed as the Protestant “Union Sunday-School of Highbridgeville” the building was completed in 1887-88. The original slate roof is severely deteriorated and actively leaking, and in need of complete replacement.
“Our grantees help maintain these vital institutions as they serve their congregations and communities,” said Peg Breen, president, The New York Landmarks Conservancy. “The social service programs these grantees provide reached more than 175,000 persons during these difficult days.”
During the pandemic, Highbridge Community Church partnered with local elected officials to collect and distribute PPE, giving 600 masks to the community. The church hosted weekly virus and antibody testing from a van parked on the church property.
Church leadership also worked to promote participation in the 2020 Census. The Muslim Women Institute for Social Justice held a “Day of Dignity,” distributing food, hygiene kits and school supplies to about 50 children. A holiday gift distribution program reached about 50 children, plus adults in a nearby shelter. Working with local food pantries, the church distributed food to nearby seniors. Combined, these activities reach about 1000 people a year.
The Sacred Sites Program provides congregations with matching grants for planning and implementing exterior restoration projects, along with technical assistance, and workshops. Since 1986, the program has pledged 1,578 grants totaling more than $14.9 million to 836 religious institutions statewide.