New Birth Missionary Baptist church will re-direct Kanye’s hefty donation

Church will bless cash-strapped Morris Brown College with the money to establish scholarships for students

Kanye West
Kanye West (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Live Nation)

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia is taking a financial contribution it received from Kanye West, and giving it to cash-strapped Morris Brown College to help establish scholarships.

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On Sunday, the Metro Atlanta-based church’s venerable new pastor Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant announced that the Grammy award-winning rapper wrote a check to the church when he paid a surprise visit during a pop-up service on Sept. 15, as part of his “Sunday Service”.

Originally the generous donation was slated to be redirected to Brown’s general scholarship fund, in honor of Donda West, the rapper’s late mother who worked for some 31 years in higher education, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

However, later in a Periscope live, Pastor Bryant said that the scholarship will be earmarked for English students. Donda West, an English professor, died at the age of 58 from complications after a plastic surgery procedure. She started her career in education in the 1970s teaching at Morris Brown an obituary states.

“I went into prayer, and it dawned on me in prayer that Dr. Donda West, who was the mother of Kanye West, is a former professor at Morris Brown College,” Bryant said during Sunday’s service.

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The amount of the benevolent gift hasn’t been announced just yet.

With a decade of fiscal woes, Morris Brown, an HBCU, is still trying to rise from the ashes and steady itself after losing its accreditation in 2002.

Kevin James recently took the leadership position as interim president on March 1 and says he has plans to seek accreditation for the college from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a federally recognized accreditation organization, according to Gale Gay, a spokeswoman for the school.

On Sunday, James was on hand and spoke with New Birth’s congregation and announced that the school was able to secure approval from the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission as a higher learning institution.

“When you lose your accreditation, you close,” James said Sunday during service. “But for some reason, for the past 17 years, Morris Brown College has been able to survive. We will be the first historically black college in history … since 1837 to actually come back and be fully accredited under these circumstances.”

James also called the recent action a “major step” toward accreditation.

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“I know what Dr. Donda West represented while at Morris Brown, and her mind for African American literature, was to empower, equip and engage students to be something radical that can change community and change society,” Bryant said.