Atlanta Church Saves Morris Brown With Donation

Atlanta congregation comes to the rescue of embattled HBCU.

Posted: 08/15/2011 04:09 PM EDT

This Sunday the Cascade United Methodist Church of Atlanta handed over a large check to Morris Brown College, helping the school eliminate its hefty debt to the U.S. Department of Education.


“We are truly, truly blessed that you have embraced us in this campaign,” Morris Brown President Stanley Pritchett said on Sunday. [The check] helps us to insure that the future is stable for Morris Brown Colored College and all of our HBCU institutions.”


Rev. Dr. Marvin Moss presented the $22,000 check to the school's president on Sunday after initiating a nearly month-long fundraising effort on behalf of the college. Moss galvanized his membership through special offerings and online donations from members.  


“We recognize the historical significance of Morris Brown College to our community and the world,” Moss said in a statement last week. “We are grateful that our Cascade members have answered the call during these tough economic times. We are called to be a light in the community so we are pleased to participate in this vital way.”


This May, Morris Brown inked a deal with the federal government that would allow the college to settle its $9.9 million debt for just $500,000. The Department of Education gave Morris Brown until August 24 to make good on the offer. The hefty debt is part of the more than $30 million owed by the college to various creditors and ultimately what caused the college to lose its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2003. Morris Brown accumulated the debt after years of failing to refund unused federal student aid money.

Although the Department of Education debt has been cleared, Morris Brown must still wait out the lengthy process of re-accreditation, which can last up to five years, and show that it has met certain academic and financial markers before it can regain its accreditation status.

(Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman)

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