The National Collective Empowerment Group
The National Collective Empowerment Group, Inc. (CEG) was formed in 1993 as a result of concerns raised by pastors and church members in Prince George’s County, Maryland and the Metropolitan D.C. area regarding inequitable access to services provided by local banks and businesses. Churches were faced with severe challenges due to redlining and other questionable practices. The goal was to gain economic empowerment and justice in their business dealings. After several meetings, the group decided to join its efforts under the name The Collective Empowerment Group of Prince George’s County (Maryland) and vicinity. The Rev. Jonathan Weaver, pastor of Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church, was elected President and served in that capacity for more than 10 years. Since its inception, the CEG has continuously grown to its present membership of more than 150 churches, representing over 200,000 persons. Since 2004, CEG member churches have been approved for more than $300 million dollars in loans and have on deposit in excess of $130 million dollars with area banking partners. The collaboration between the CEG, its member churches, covenant banks and business alliances have offered significant savings and other benefits to the community at large.
Collective Empowerment Group – Metro Cincinnati Chapter
In 2008, a group of pastors from Cincinnati met with Rev. Dr. Jonathan Weaver. At the end of the meeting it was decided to begin a CEG chapter in Cincinnati and become an affiliate of the National Collective Empowerment Group, Inc. along with 5 other chapters across the country. Rev. Tracy Ventus, pastor of the New Mission Missionary Baptist Church was elected President and Bishop Dwight Wilkins, pastor of Macedonia Living Word Fellowship was elected Vice President. During its nearly 10 year history, it has been exciting to see how much CEG has grown. We have 23 Member Churches and 45 Strategic Business Partners. This cooperation between the church and business is known as marketplace ministry which is “The directing of evangelism and other Christian activities toward the secular marketplace.”
The basic principle of doing good while doing well is a tenet of a marketplace ministry as well as invoking Christian principles in everyday life including your business or workplace. We are extremely proud of the work CEG has done since our launch.
As CEG moves forward we look for ways that we can: 1. Assist small businesses on their growth and development; 2. Assist the community with self-empowerment as it relates to housing, jobs and personal financial literacy.
The recent economic challenges facing the African American community has prompted us to expand our efforts to impact our communities. In addition to our many programs, we are a partner in CEAI – Community Economic Advancement Initiative – which is managing the development of affordable housing for community members and through our covenant banking partner, CenterBank of Milford, which is providing financing for the purchasing of these homes. This is just one of the innovative ways to deliver behavior-driven services to the community. As we look toward the future, we are looking for new ways to continue to give back to the community. As a non-profit organization, Christian focus organization, we are investing in socially progressive and impactful projects, such as the CEAI. Additionally, we are always adjusting and improving our offerings based on what our business and community members want and need.