People always say that the black community never takes care of its own. In the past couple of weeks Tyler Perry stepped up to the plate and now two churches in Atlanta are making a difference.
Eight years ago, a couple of Atlanta churches challenged a group of second graders. They told them if they graduated from high school, the churches promised pay for them to attend the colleges of their choice. “So often we tell young people to stay out of trouble, to stay in school and we don’t do enough to encourage them,” explained Rev. Raphael Warnock, Senior Pastor of Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Ebenezer Baptist and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church are partnering on the project.
“We adopted these kids when they were in the second grade and at the time they all lived in Bowen Homes housing project,” shared Warnock. “We said to them, that if they would stay in school and stay out of trouble, when they graduated, we would make sure that they made it through college.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up in Ebenezer Baptist, so it’s appropriate that the churches partner with the non-profit “I Have a Dream” Foundation to work toward getting the kids through high school and college.
Rev. Warnock sees the 60 kids in they’re sponsoring as much like himself.
“I grew up in the housing projects of Savannah, Georgia and wanted to attend Morehouse College. I didn’t know how I was going to get the tuition money, but there were people who encouraged me,” he explained.
Organizers are using Warnock’s 40th birthday celebration for a “Dreamers and Dreamkeepers Fundraiser” for the cause.
“Our guest artist for the night is Stephanie Mills,” Warnock said. “And, Mr. Jonathan Slocumb, the comedian, will be the MC. There are a number of other celebrity friends of mine, Byron Cage and Dottie Peoples and some others that are just going to drop by for good measure. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”