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The National Black Church Initiative kicked off its latest initiative Sunday aimed at bringing 10 million African-American men back to church.

The National Black Church Initiative is a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African-Americans and is committed to bringing African-American men back to church. The seven-year plan will include partnerships with major Black religious leaders and denominations nationwide to provide technical assistance to aid churches in reaching African-American males and sustaining their membership.

“The Black church must commit to reaching African-American men to mold Black males into strong fathers, husbands, members of society and protectors of our community. A society cannot exist without sober, ethical and functional men participating and leading families into a new age of African-American successes. The Black church must impart Biblical mandates for individuals, families, the community and the nation,” said a statement from the organization.

The initiative is a part of NBCI’s larger Healing Family Initiative, which seeks to bolster African-American families against the tide of violence, poverty, moral depravity and failure.

“Given the serious issues facing African-American men, including rising levels of incarceration, drug use and unwed fatherhood — we can no longer stand by while our men openly defy God’s word,” said Rev. Anthony Evans, president of NBCI.

“There is something missing from the heart of the Black church — the presence of our Black brothers,” Evans said. “The sisters have all the power and will have to stand down to create a balance. There will be some push and pull in the congregations, but this is a sacrifice that we all will have to make. You cannot have a church where women are in lead of every ministry,” he said.

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