The NAACP has always had a strong relationship with the religious community — one of its closest allies for nearly a century. From the beginning, the NAACP has been regarded as the fighting arm of many churches with numerous members participating on both fronts. Many NAACP units are led by ministers and other church officials, and churches often hold NAACP membership drives as part of their community activities.
On October 18, 1997, the NAACP National Religious Leadership Summit was held with a diverse cross section of major U.S. religious leaders representing more than 44 million members. The powerful Summit resulted in recommendations for the formation of a National Religious Affairs Committee that would coordinate an annual NAACP Religious Community Day on the fourth Sunday of each February, the inclusion of a national NAACP representative on the program of annual conventions of religious denominations, annual fundraising campaign for the $50 million endowment fund, conduct religious affairs workshops during the state conferences, regional training conferences and the national convention; educate pastors, churches and religious leaders on the history and programs of the NAACP, and present moral and ethical interpretations of the civil rights struggle and the church’s relationship to the struggle for all denominations.