With the goal of equipping first-time home buyers for the road ahead, Greenbelt’s Zion Church hosted a free homeownership forum on July 22, in tandem with guest speakers from several financial and real estate organizations. Two of the organizations represented at “The Own Your Future: First-Time Homebuyer’s Forum,” were the DAPO Group, a Black-owned Hyattsville real estate group that has their own YouTube channel, and Hearst Home Team, a Black-owned real estate company from Waldorf.
“The goal and hope is that this forum will meet people and families where they are, providing them with the information and services they need most, but may not be sure how to access themselves,” said Dr. Madye Henson-McCannon, chief external engagement and impact officer at Zion Church. “Affordable housing continues to be a challenge for many families in the communities we serve. ‘Own Your Future’ provides an opportunity to change generations through home ownership.”
Zion Church is no stranger to hosting events to empower the community and keep people informed: the church hosted an estate planning workshop in March and the children’s ministry, known as the Xtreme Kidz, hosted a food giveaway at Seabrook’s Gaywood Elementary School on April 14. They are hosting a community garden as well.
“By allowing the children and families to participate in an outreach initiative like this, we’re able to help others and be a community of sorts, where people can get the needs of their families met,” said Kelli Richardson, the children’s church ministry director.
Zion Church members partnered with the Bowie Town Center Summer Series and Mayor Tim Adams (D) to distribute health and wellness information during events and workshops on Juneteenth. They also distributed more than 200 Juneteenth-inspired meal kits, including a recipe card and the ingredients to make smothered potatoes. This is the second year Zion Church has participated in the summer series.
Dr. Henson-McCannon was one of the volunteers who took time out to spread the word about health and wellness.
“The warm weather provides a great opportunity for individuals and families to get outdoors and be active! No matter your age, taking care of yourself by investing in your health should be a priority,” said Henson-McCannon.
“Zion Church is also offering a host of health and wellness events this summer, to include Z-Fest, our community wellness day that meets people and families where they are and with the services they need most, but to which they may not always have access,” he continued. “Z-Fest events are completely free, offering essential health screenings, workshops, and fresh produce to attendees.”
The Rev. Keith Battle, the founder and pastor of Zion Church, has a congregation consisting of more than 22,000 who attend the weekly online sermon, called “Zion Anywhere.” The church has four locations across the greater Washington area, including three in Maryland — Greenbelt, Landover and Fort Washington — and one in Woodbridge, Virginia. Battle is also the chaplain for the Washington Wizards.
“The Own Your Future: First-Time Homebuyer’s Forum,” was open for in-person attendees and was also live streamed. A list of their presented resources is available here.
A list of upcoming events at Zion Church is available here. The next Z-Fest will be held on Aug. 13.
In a previous story, quotes from Dr. Henson-McCannon were misattributed to Zion Church public relations director Danielle Williams. The Washington Informer apologizes for the mistake.