CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Editor's note: This story is a part of our "Making A Mark" series.
A local church is serving as a place of worship and a place of learning with its new library focused on Black literature, history and culture.
"We're loving, we welcome anybody... It's just a big family," said Candy Hayes, a deaconess at Trinity Faith Diamond in Chesapeake.
Hayes is also assistant manager of the church's bookstore. Earlier this year, she came up with an idea to encourage literacy and cultural awareness for the congregation and the community.
"People are reading, [they want to] know more about the[ir] history," said Hayes.
In July, Hayes launched a library within the bookstore that features Black authors and highlights Black history.
"The 1619 Project... President Obama's book, Michelle Obama's books... where we come from, where we're going," Hayes said of some of the people and topics discussed in the library's more than 250 books.
"We have to get more bookshelves because we have so many books," Hayes said. "So, that makes me happy, too, because, you know, people say, 'I didn't know this [book] existed. I didn't know about this.'"
And with each book checked out, Hayes said the library supports Trinity Faith Diamond's mission to empower and enlighten.
"It's a learning church. You know, they're teaching us," Hayes said. "So, this is just an extension of their teaching."
The library is open every first and third Sunday following 10 A.M. service. Anyone can come and get a library card or donate books in good condition. For more information, call Deaconess Candy Hayes at 757-404-6235.