Lithonia church opens market for minority-owned, small business

One metro Atlanta congregation has put a twist on Black Friday. It's centered on minority-owned, small businesses.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is spearheading the effort. Its pastor found similar success when he led a similar initiative at his previous church. About 100 vendors participated.

“The energy is always amazing when you get entrepreneurs in this type of space set up shop,” said Pastor Jamal Bryant. “We're intentional about promoting minority, black businesses and circulating dollars in our community.”

Inside of the Family Life Center at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, this is the congregation's first year taking on an effort to redefine Black Friday. It's called Kwanzaa Plaza.

“We're not intentional in how it is that we give a boost to our own we give money to every other community I think it's our season our time to do something different,” the pastor said.

Shoppers can find jewelry, Afrocentric Christmas decorations, some even being made. There are items for fraternities and sororities, children's books and the author, as well hair stylists Pamela Booker's All-Natural Hair and Skin Care company.

“It's important because we get overlooked a lot and we need this for our community,” said Pamela Booker, Koils by Nature.

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Pastor Jamal Bryant brought the idea with him from a previous church he led in Baltimore.

“We did it for three years, so usually it was about fifty vendors so to be right on the door of one-hundred is awe-inspiring,” the pastor.

While it's a first for New Birth, it's not likely to be the last.

“You get to meet the actual business owner a lot of business owners they have their families here they are really, really showing everybody what the community is all about when they come together,” said Pastor Bryant.

Kwanzaa Plaza runs Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. And Sunday from noon until 7 p.m.

It will take place in the church's event center on Woodrow Road in Lithonia.

Organizers expect things will be busy after Sunday services.