Harold O. Davis Memorial Baptist Church
by Lynn Adler
RN: I'm Kermit Newkirk and I'm pastor of the Harold O. Davis Memorial Baptist Church. I'm also Project Coordinator for Nehemiah Phase I Development of Affordable Homes in Philadelphia
LA: Rev. Newkirk, let's get right into it. What is Nehemiah all about?
it's based on the biblical character, Nehemiah, who went to the king
because he saw the condition of the city and he got permission from
the king to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the gates and the walls
of the city. And what Nehemiah's about really is to go into depressed
areas of the inner city and areas where nobody's really developing,
that people have forgotten, abandoned, and bring truly affordable homes.
Critical for our success is: organized people, organized money, and
a critical mass of land, so that we can bring not just two, twenty,
thirty, fifty houses, but really three hundred, four hundred, five hundredpresent
a new community in the midst of a most blighted area. We got that concept
from our sister organizations in New York, ABC, who did about two thousand,
three thousand in East Brooklyn. BUILDT, Baltimorean's United In Leadership
Development in Training, did about seven hundred in Baltimore. So, the
concept is now here in Philadelphia and that's what we're planning to
dodevelop new communities in the midst of blight.