Hundreds gather for prayer vigil at Morris Brown College

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Friends, family and supporters of Morris Brown College converged on the school’s campus over the weekend for a special “National Day of Prayer.”

Saturday’s event, which was described as a prayer vigil, attracted hundreds keen to show their support for the historic black college as it struggles to stay afloat. Among the crowd were alumni, some of whom were students over 50 years ago, as well as recent graduates.

The highlight of the day was a keynote address by Preston W. Williams II, the newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees. In his impassioned speech, he outlined plans for the school to file for bankruptcy to avert a “significant portion” of its campus going into foreclosure next month.

Benjamin Harrison, a spokesman for the 6th District African Methodist Episcopal Church, which oversees the school, told theGrio, “filing for bankruptcy will give the school breathing space to reorganize and restructure plans for the college.”

Dr. Stanley Pritchett, president of Morris Brown College, told the audience, “we are here because we are making a statement that Morris Brown College is not going anywhere.”

The day-long event also included speeches by civic and governmental officials, as well as a series of prayers delivered by clergy and lay members from throughout the state of Georgia.

Speaking to cheering crowds, Caesar Mitchell, President of the Atlanta City Council, said ,”Morris Brown College is not dead.”

The college, which is more than $30 million in debt, was facing foreclosure on September 4 after investors called $13 million worth of bonds tied to the school.

Morris Brown was founded in 1881 by freed slaves, and is one of the nation’s oldest historically black colleges.