FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern College will host a Church Restoration Celebration Dinner Oct. 1 in the BSC Norton Campus Center Bruno Great Hall at 6 p.m. Gov. Bob Riley and U.S. Rep. Artur Davis are among those attending to celebrate all that has been accomplished in the rebuilding and restoration of 10 Alabama churches burned by arsonists in February.
Pastors and as many as 20 members from the congregations of each church have been invited. These parishioners will come together with members of the BSC campus community, including members of the church rebuilding and restoration teams. Other local and state public officials have been invited.
In addition to Riley and Davis, other speakers at the invitation only event will include BSC President Dr. David Pollick; Lemarse Washington, National Conference for Community and Justice; Carolyn Warziniack, representing the anonymous donors from Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Rev. Jim Parker, pastor of Ashby Baptist Church, and Rev. Glenn Harris Sr., pastor of Spring Valley Baptist Church.
The program will also feature a vocal and piano performance by BSC student John-Mark McGaha and a selection by the Young Voices of Galilee youth choir from Galilee Baptist Church. The closing prayer will be delivered by BSC student Demetrius Foy, a freshman religion/psychology major from Gainesville, Ala., and a member of Spring Valley Baptist Church.
Birmingham-Southern was able to distribute more than $368,000 to the churches through the Alabama Churches Rebuilding and Restoration Fund. It was established March 8, the day the college learned two of its students had been arrested for arson and conspiracy in the fires. The fund included more than $55,000 from a joint effort of The National Conference for Community and Justice, AmSouth Bank, and FOX6/WBRC TV, and more than $33,000 from The Community Foundation of West Alabama.
The fund was boosted by a $150,000 contribution from a Jackson Hole, Wyo., couple who wished to remain anonymous. Unsolicited donations to the fund were received from individuals, corporations, and foundations across Alabama and the nation.