Billing New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Stonecrest, Georgia, as the “largest land-owning church in America,” pastor Jamal Bryant announced plans Sunday to build affordable housing for seniors as well as a medical facility on the church’s campus that will serve the uninsured and underinsured.
“As you all know, we are two weeks away from making our headway to becoming a debt free church. … We are the largest land-owning church in America. And next year, y’all get ready, cause it’s gonna be construction trucks all over our sanctuary, all over our campus. We’re looking to build right on our campus, affordable housing,” Bryant announced in a service that would later host rapper Kanye West’s Sunday Service.
Citing the rapid growth of the older adult population in the U.S., Bryant explained that he believes God has called his church to invest in the welfare of seniors and other vulnerable populations.
“The fastest growing demographic is now our seniors, for the first time in American history. There are more 60-year-olds than there are 16-year-olds. We are a multi-generational church, and we have to make sure that we take care of our parents and our grandparents.
"So right on our campus we’re gonna be building an assisted-living home for our seniors. Right on our campus it is our intention to build a medical facility for people in this community who do not have health insurance and for those who are underinsured,” Bryant said. "Far too many are dying of curable diseases. And we want to make sure that the church doesn’t just operate on Sunday, but Monday through Saturday, that we are a lamplight to the community. That’s what God is calling us to do."
The Stonecrest preacher also noted that his congregation had now joined a growing list of churches working to help the Bahamas recover from Hurricane Dorian.
“Last Sunday, you remember the consulate general from the Bahamas was here in worship with us and we were able to solidify our partnership with Delta Airlines. I hope you’ll be excited. This Friday, two days ago, our first plane filled with resources landed in the Bahamas,” he said. “We’re collecting resources. ... We’re gonna be shipping out every week to the Bahamas. “
He also noted that the church has partnered with Hampton University which agreed to accept students from the University of Bahamas who were displaced by Hurricane Dorian. JetBlue Airways, he added, has also partnered with the church to fly the displaced students from the Bahamas to Hampton.
In his appearance at the church, West, during his performance, said he is now following after God because the “devil had me chasing a gold statue.”
“To be radically in service to Christ is the only culture that I want to know about,” said West. “In the four walls, out of the four walls, in the school halls. Our father, Christ Jesus, thank you so much for bringing me to the home where I was born, where my mother met my daddy. Thank you for saving me, for replenishing me, for delivering me.”
He said ever since he started drawing closer to God his family life has improved.
“When I found out about You and got closer to You. I got closer to my children. I got closer to my family, ‘cause the devil had me chasing a gold statue. Had me chasing cars, had me chasing numbers. We ain’t know what Billboard was when we were first making music back in Chicago … the power of God cannot be calculated by a number, by a first week sales, by a bank account, by how many cars you drive, by how big your house is, by how many acres you got. It’s God inside of us. It’s God inside of family. It’s God inside of friendships that we hold each other accountable,” West said.
“If you see somebody slipping, you tell them. They be coming at me like, 'Why you so judgmental?' It ain’t for me to judge, but imma say what I see. That’s another thing the devil try to do. ‘Why you keep on speaking up so much.’ I’m just pointing to the Word,” he added.