Why a Virginia Baptist church donated $1 million to help Jackson State amid water crisis

Alfred Street Baptist Church, located in Alexandria, Va., has donated $1 million to Jackson State University to help defray the cost of water-related issues.

The boil-water notice for Jackson's embattled water system officially ended on Sept. 15 but some universities and colleges in the Jackson area are still experiencing water issues.

Independent testing last week by the Clarion Ledger and the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting revealed elevated lead in Jackson State's water. JSU's water did meet federal EPA standards, but no amount of lead in water is considered safe to consume and can be hazardous to at-risk groups such as pregnant mothers, children and the elderly.

To help with the water crisis, out-of-state entities have contributed funds and cases of water bottles for college students in the Jackson area.

Thomas K. Hudson, president of Jackson State University, said they are grateful for the generosity and philanthropy of Alfred Street Baptist Church, which has a long history of being an advocate for historically black colleges and universities.

Jackson State University received a $1 million donation from a Virginia church to help the university during the water crisis.
Jackson State University received a $1 million donation from a Virginia church to help the university during the water crisis.

"Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley and The Alfred Street Baptist Church family are living examples of the saying, 'Give and it will be given to you,'" Hudson said. "This $1 million donation will make a significant difference for our students and the solvency of our institution."

The donation is the largest the university has ever received from a church, JSU officials said. It's not the first time, however, that Alfred Street has made a seven-figure donation as part of its tithing program.

ASBC is one of the oldest and largest African American congregations in Alexandria with nearly 10,000 members. Many of its members are HBCU graduates.

“Effective learning cannot happen without ensuring that of the basic needs of these students are met,” said Alfred Street pastor Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley in a statement.

Approximately $400,000 of the donation will be used to help assist the JSU Emergency Gap Fund, which is being used to assist students with water crisis-related issues. So far, more than 3,600 JSU students have requested support.

The remaining balance of the donation will be used to assist with the university's expenses related to renting portable showers and portable restrooms, JSU officials said.

For more information visit alfredstreet.org

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Alfred Street Baptist Church donates funds to JSU amid water crisis.