The government is investing $1.7 million to support the expansion of an important community hub serving the African Nova Scotian community of Halifax’s north end.
The funding for the Richard Preston Centre of Excellence at New Horizons Baptist Church will create additional spaces for tutoring and mentoring programs, youth programming, community services and gatherings, as well as other amenities.
“Community hubs have the potential to improve the lives of community members through various activities, programs and services,” said African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Pat Dunn. “It is the leadership of community organizations like New Horizons Baptist Church, the African United Baptist Association, and the Richard Preston Centre of Excellence who strive to make a positive difference for people through their culturally focused initiatives and projects.”
Work on expanding the centre, a non-profit society of the church has been underway. The estimated total cost of the project is $3.8 million.
The Province’s investment will also fund information technology infrastructure to engage youth, a new kitchen and a refurbished hall. All spaces will be accessible, with construction including a street-level lift in front of the church, an interior lift to access all levels, and an updated interior throughout.
The funding announcement can be viewed on YouTube at these pages:
— New Horizons Baptist Church: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9TmlQb69E-861l5x0M9tA
— Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvhchr5qdce12SScEvKGiPw.
“As a member of the African Nova Scotian community, I cannot express the positive impact that church halls, community centres and recreational facilities have made in my life. The Richard Preston Centre of Excellence will be a space for personal growth and well-being for its community members for many generations to come.”
– Dwayne Provo, Associate Deputy Minister, African Nova Scotian Affairs
“New Horizons Baptist Church believes that the love of God means ministering to the whole person. As our non-profit arm, the Richard Preston Centre for Excellence facilitates programming from education upgrades to mental and physical health awareness clinics to life skills workshops. We are excited and grateful for this funding that affirms 190 years of the spiritual and social work of the church and builds on the church’s legacy far into the future through the Richard Preston Centre for Excellence.”
– Pastor Rhonda Britton, New Horizons Baptist Church
“This building project has been a very long process. The vision of renovating and expanding to accommodate space for education and the Richard Preston Centre for Excellence has been a dream of New Horizons Baptist Church members for many generations. It saddens me that many who contributed to this project are no longer with us, however it warms my heart to see our shared dream finally become a reality.”
– Cynthia Jordan, Chair, New Horizons Baptist Church building committee
— New Horizons Baptist Church was founded by Reverend Richard Preston in 1832
— Pastor Britton is the church’s first female pastor
— New Horizons Baptist Church is known as the “Mother Church” of the African United Baptist Association and has been a landmark institution in the African Nova Scotian community for almost 190 years
— the African United Baptist Association was founded by Reverend Richard Preston in 1854 and is comprised of 19 historically Black Baptist churches across Nova Scotia
African Nova Scotian Affairs:
— website: https://beta.novascotia.ca/government/african-nova-scotian-affairs
— Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AfricanNSAffairs
— Twitter: https://twitter.com/OfficeofANSA
African United Baptist Church Association: https://www.aubans.ca/web
Count Us In: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan in Response to the International Decade for People of African Descent, 2015-2024: https://ansa.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/dpad-action-plan.pdf