The Most capable candidate to bring back MBC! : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I finally had a chance to see one of the sleeper hits of the summer. The storyline revolved around the HBCU Experience. I speak of the movie "Drumline." Being a graduate from a HBCU, I was proud to view the movie with my kids and speak of the many experiences from the classroom to the football games. Only at a "classic" do persons actually dress up and attend the game...and cheer for the band louder than the football team. Well, I was proud to see that one of the featured bands was the "MBC Marching Wolverines!" It was great to see Cookman, Clark and others...but MBC stole the show! This school has to be saved...delivered from its financial bondage! Too much history and community pride is on the line! My question is this: who would be the best candidate to head the school in the direction of financial stability? Who would be best qualified to save the school? Remember...Dr. Floyd Flake is busy Wilberforce. I await your response...especially you my dear friend who is from the land of orange juice and mangos!

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2003


Ray My daughter and I also rented the movie Drumline. It was wonderful to watch it with her. She is a Zeta and when they mentioned the Sigma's she was beaming from ear to ear. (I am not greek so I hope I named the correct fraternity that is her brother fraternity, I know Jazzman is in that one). Anyway I was saying to my daughter I wish there was a way we could capoltilize on the movie to bring attention to the school. The wolverines were incredible! I have been in contact with the Alumni director at Morris Brown and I am hoping that the alums will also have some suggestions of who the next President should be. Let's keep praying. For it isn't over until God says it is over

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2003

Hello Brother Allen,

I am new to the AME church and even though I have a copy of the 2000-2004 Discipline what I am proposing is probably not according to the "modus operende" of the AME church. However, after seeing Bishop John Bryant in the May issue of Ebony magazine as being one of the top 100 black leaders in the US, I think that this individual is probably the president of the bishop's council. Therefore, it would seem most appropriate if he would at some point put the word out to AMEs all over the world that we are going to establish a "Save Morris Brown College Fund". According to STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE US (ten year old data), the AME church has 2.5 million members. Folks, we could solve this problem very rapidly.

Does my idea seem to simple or grassroots driven? If it does, I like to point out that this is the way Morris Brown College was started based on offerings from the people. I find it very suspicious that I have not heard this crisis mentioned in my church. Can anyone explain to me the inertia of our body in regards to this issue? Would I be out of order if I sent a direct e-mail to Bishop John Bryant in regards to this issue? Does anyone know his e-mail address? Or am I suppose to follow the chain of command by telling the pastor of church first and then he tells a presiding elder and then a presiding elder tells a bishop and then a bishop tells the president of the bishops council. In military school and in the US Navy, I always got into trouble by not following the chain of command. Whenever, I wanted to get something done, I always went straight to the top.


-- Anonymous, April 28, 2003

Thank you for letting us know Bishop Bryant is in the May issue of Ebony Magazine. Bishop Bryant is my prelate and I want to tell you and everyone he is truly a man of God!! Bishop Bryant is helping Morris Brown. The fifth district collected over $80,000.00 for MBC so far. He is aware of the problems and is actively helping. Please move to the fifth district and he will be your Bishop. He is working hard in our district. I am thrilled that Rural Ministry is also a priority for Bishop Bryant. The fifth district includes 14 states from Alaska to mousourri north to canada and south to mexico. Bishop Bryant is an exceptional leader as is Dr. Cecelia Bryant our Episcopal Supervisor.

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2003

Brother I too rented the movie and then purchased it the next day. I too was moved when seeing the MBC band.Somethin must be done. To Brother Jazzman if you use Bishop Bryants secretary (her email is listed off the 5th District site (use AME Links). He will get it.By the way where is Professor QED (Smile)

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2003

Drumline brought back memories for me because I was a member of the Marching Wolverines in the late 1960s. I had the opportunity of working with Mr. Johnson and the Band Boosters for a number of years.

It is my opinion that the AME Church has allowed its leadership to treat its 2.5 million connectional members with total distain when it comes to financial responsibility to education. Most AMEs do not know that historically Morris Brown College was receiving $250,000 per year from the connectional Church and another $100,000 annually from the Sixth District. This pittance would cover academic scholarships for only 23 of the 2,300 students who used to attend the College. Consider that tuition covers only 60% of the cost of a college education. That said, just to support the enrollment benchmark required at least $2.5 million in support to breakeven.

What makes matters worse is that the AME Church has treated Morris Brown like a nap-headed stepchild, and these same folks hold the destiny of ten other institutions of higher learning in their incapable hands. Morris Brown and four-year institutions of Wilberforce, Allen, and Edward Waters, along with seven junior colleges historically received only one dollar ($1) from the connectional church. It is pathetic that the AME Church connectional leadership can document only contributing $2.5 million per year for educating youth at their own institutions.

It was appalling to hear that the Sixth District of the AME Church, which includes the entire state of Georgia and the birth Church of Morris Brown College, proudly announced that they raised $80,000. One United Methodist Church in Atlanta raised more than $60,000 in 30-days for MBC in less time. That’s an average of $10 per member and almost as much as all of the AMEs in the state of Georgia!

So why is there any discussion as to how to save Morris Brown College? If the Bishops of the AME Church are so powerful and their pastors are so intimidated by their authority, all the Bishops have to say is…”Pastors, you have 30-days to produce $10 for each member of you respective congregations.” That’s $25 million dollars, which would nearly eliminate the entire debt of Morris Brown College, and set the tone for fundraising for the flagship college of the AME Church. This is true self-help and taking care of your own.

Some have asked, “Where are the alumni?” Well, there are three problems. First, there are less than 10,000 graduates in the history of the college. Second, according to UNCF, Morris Brown alumni have historically been among the highest in per capita giving of any HBCU alumni group, and the highest in the state of Georgia. The Morris Brown National Alumni Association was founded in 1902, but it has gone through an extended period of ineffective leadership but the opportunity cost was less than $200,000.

To put this into prospective, if you need to raise $25 million dollars real fast, would you go to a group of 10,000 living and deceased alumni or, would you combine this group with 2.5 million men, women, and children of the AME Church? To me this is a no- brainer.

The Atlanta business community and alumni did much to save Morris Brown in the early 1990s. The Chairman of the Board at that time was Bishop Donald Ming who drove off Dr. Samuel Jolley because he was not good enough, but Atlanta’s major business leaders and the education community saw his good works and appointed him President of the Atlanta University Center.

Bishop Ming’s model of an excellent president was Dr. Deloris Cross, who proceeded in four years to totally decimate the limited financial underpinning of the College. But she had help. Bishop Ming left a legacy of incompetent financial management from the board level to being the principal party in replacing a VP of Finance who had previously been the lead CPA auditor for the College with an accountant who had no experience with non-profits, let alone a college.

It is going to take African Americans, with AMEs in particular to set the tone for revitalizing Morris Brown College. The previous and potential financial contributors will not give until the AME Church proves that it has the leadership that understands there must be an adherence to its fiduciary and fiscal responsibilities. If the AME Church does not come to the table, Morris Brown College will cease to exist and the other institutions whose futures are in the hands of the AME leadership structure will soon suffer the same fate.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

I too am an alumnus of Morris Brown. I received a baccalaureate in Music in 1966. With all due respect to others opinions, having worked closely with Bishop Ming, without a doubt I feel that Bishop Ming was a champion for Morris Brown. The financial problem which face our schools are not directly the fault of any one bishop, nor of the contributions made by the church.

The entire budget of the AME Church is less than $12,000,000 a year. The budgets and any five of our largest churches exceed this amount. Yet this is the total amount that we give to run 19 Districts, their institutions, churches and schools. It is therefore obvious that we must do a whole lot more.

I have written legislation, which will increase our budget, more than tenfold. It has gone through all the channels and is now included in the legislative package of the Connection Lay. I hope each delegate to the General Conference will get a copy of it and make it a priority of legislation to be passed.

Morris Brown College, however, cannot wait. It is imperative that we act and do it now so that this rich history and legacy will not be lost and that it still will continue to bless generations yet unborn.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

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