The Characteristics of Northern Black Churches with Community Health Outreach Programs

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Thomas, Stephen B. and Quinn, Sandra Crouse and Biingsley, Andrew and Caldwell, Cleopatra (1994) The Characteristics of Northern Black Churches with Community Health Outreach Programs. American Journal of Public Health, 84 (4). pp. 575-579.


OBJECTIVES. The Black church has a long history of addressing unmet health and human service needs, yet few studies have examined characteristics of churches involved in health promotion. METHODS. Data obtained from a survey of 635 Black churches in the northern United States were examined. Univariate and multivariate statistical procedures identified eight characteristics associated with community health outreach programs: congregation size, denomination, church age, economic class of membership, ownership of church, number of paid clergy, presence of other paid staff, and education level of the minister. RESULTS. A logistic regression model identified church size and educational level of the minister as the strongest predictors of church-sponsored community health outreach. The model correctly classified 88% of churches that conduct outreach programs. Overall, the model correctly classified 76% of churches in the sample. CONCLUSIONS. Results may be used by public health professionals and policy makers to enlist Black churches as an integral component for delivery of health promotion and disease prevention services needed to achieve the Year 2000 health objectives for all Americans.