Harriette Cole, the Rev. DeForest B. Soaries Jr. and Erin Shelly
Harriette Cole Media           

If African Americans do not get control of personal debt and begin to live healthier financial lives, “we will never own our neighborhoods,” and “we will never leave a legacy for our children.” This dire prediction from a prominent religious leader has motivated a financial-freedom movement that is grounded in religious teachings.

Wednesday’s episode of The Root Live: Bring It to the Table is titled, “Living a Biblically Sound Financial Life.” Host Harriette Cole speaks with that leader, the Rev. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, N.J., where teachings include strategies to address the cultural, psychological and spiritual influences on financial wellness.

Soaries teaches his parishioners to control their “wants” in favor of their “needs” and to stop living in servitude to debt. Also interviewed is Erin Shelly a member of First Baptist Church, who has used the reverend’s guidance to improve her financial circumstances.


The Root Live: Bring It to the Table video series continues every Wednesday through Dec. 24. Other topics in the series include the following:

* whether crowdfunding can finance your dream;
* LGBT partners and benefits: knowing your rights;
* how to keep from going broke after divorce;
* managing your children’s financial expectations.

To watch an earlier episode of The Root Live: Bring It to the Table, click here.

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