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ATLANTA – (Business Wire) Growing support around the popular business best seller, LOVE LEADERSHIP: THE NEW WAY TO LEAD IN A FEAR-BASED WORLD (Jossey Bass), landed Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant in Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Church to celebrate “Men’s Day,” Sunday, October 18, and share his message of “leadership based on giving, and a new holistic movement from civil rights to 'silver rights.'” Afterwards, the church hosted a book-signing where many of the attendees waited in line to have their books personally autographed by the author. Proceeds from booksales on this day benefited the Andrew Young Foundation.

In addition to his book, Bryant was there to speak on the work of Operation HOPE, which has served more than one million individuals in “silver rights,” financial literacy and the language of money, and empowerment since it began in 1992. His message was so moving that his speech also sparked a request for an Operation HOPE Banking Center Network (HBCN) to be included in the church’s new resource center addition.

“For better than 123 years, the Ebenezer Baptist Church has been directly engaged in leading the Atlanta community, 'Men’s Day' has become one of those benchmarks. As we celebrate our 49th Men’s Day, this year’s theme reflects the commitment of brothers seeking to be faithful to the work of ministry – 'Men of Purpose: Serving the Lord with Faith and Perseverance,'” said Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, Ebenezer’s senior pastor. “We welcome John Hope Bryant, a man who has worked tirelessly to provide renewed vision, hope, self-respect and opportunity for those who feel that they are without power.”

“Men’s Day” at Ebenezer Church has set the standard for generations, creating programs aimed at inspiring and supporting the men’s congregation. Throughout the month of October, special activities, training and mentoring sessions were given to feed the mind, body and soul of the male membership, culminating in Sunday’s service.

Built on the solid foundation in the word and work of Jesus Christ, Ebenezer has been a beacon of light to the community and to the world. Bryant’s visit brings with it the promise of a new partnership that will include a HOPE Center. The facility is expected to assist and engage the community through the empowerment programs that have made the HOPE Centers so desirable. They include: first time homebuyers program, credit and money management workshops, financial emergency preparedness, and a cyber-café.

"Financial literacy and the economic empowerment of the poor are consistent with that work and commensurate with the pastoral legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. (Daddy King) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Like them, I believe that the whole community is our parish. This is why I am so pleased to partner with Mr. Bryant, a real leader in the field of social investment, by locating the Atlanta Operation HOPE Center in the planned Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Center," added Rev. Dr. Warnock.

“The new center intends to help fulfill Dr. King’s mission to deliver economic parity to the poor and disenfranchised and it builds on HOPE’s mission to move the underserved from ‘civil rights to silver rights,'” said Bryant. “It is an honor to be in such prominent company and to have the opportunity to bring HOPE to a place of such inspiration, and I thank both Andrea Young, executive director of the Andrew Young Foundation, and my personal hero and mentor, and Operation HOPE global spokesman, Ambassador Andrew Young, for introducing me to the Ebenezer family.”  Civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young was the closest aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement and continues to do "good works" around the world today.

Men’s Day Speakers Through the Years Include:

1960 – The Reverend Henry Hick C. Crane
1961 – Dr. Mordecai Johnson

1962 – Dr. D. G. Anderson

1963 – Dr. Lucius Pitts
1964 – Dr. William Gray
1965 – The Honorable Nelson Rockefeller
1966 – Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
1967 – The Reverend Dr. Charles G. Adams
1968 – Senator Edward Brooke
1969 – Father J.J. Mulroy
1970 – Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
1971 – Attorney Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.
1972 – The Reverend Walter F. Fauntroy
1973 – Dr. Alonzo A. Crim
1974 – The Honorable Coleman A. Young
1975 – The Reverend Dr. Charles G. Adams
1976 – Dr. C. A.W. Clark
1977 – The Reverend Otis Moss
1978 – The Honorable Andrew Young
1979 – The Honorable Andrew Young
1980 – The Honorable Maynard Jackson
1981 – The Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker
1982 – The Reverend Dr. Charles William Butler
1983 – Dr. Benjamin F. Payton
1984 – Mr. Lerone Bennett, Jr.
1985 – Mr. Dick Gregory
1986 – The Reverend Henry C. Gregory, III
1987 – The Reverend Dr. Harold A. Carter
1988 – Dr. James Melvin Washington
1989 – Bishop John Hurst Adams
1990 – The Reverend Dr. Robert M. Franklin
1991 – The Reverend A. Russell Awkard
1992 – The Honorable Michael R. White
1993 – The Reverend Dr. Edward Wheeler
1994 – Mr. Earl T. Shinholster
1995 – The Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
1996 – Benjamin S. Carson, M.D.
1997 – The Reverend Dr. Frederick G. Sampson, II
1998 – The Reverend Dr. William H. Gray, III
1999 – Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu
2000 – The Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
2001 – The Reverend Dr. Clifford A. Jones, Sr.
2002 – The Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
2003 – The Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. & The Reverend Otis Moss, III
2004 – The Reverend Dr. John Kinney
2005 – The Reverend Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr.
2006 – The Reverend Al Sharpton
2007 – Attorney Willie E. Gary & The Reverend Dr. Cleophus J. LaRue
2008 – The Honorable Artur Davis & The Reverend Dr. Tokunbo Adelekan
2009 – John Hope Bryant & Reverend Dr. Charles G. Adams

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Operation HOPE is America's leading nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. With more than 400 private sector partners, 1500 nonprofit organizations and schools, and 100 government partners in 68 major U.S. cities as well as South Africa, HOPE has raised more than $500 million in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders. Through international initiatives and its three principal programs, Banking on Our Future (teaching school children about money), HOPE Coalition America (Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, 1-888-388-HOPE, financial emergency preparedness and disaster relief), and Walk-In HOPE Centers (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), Operation HOPE has delivered services to more than one million low-wealth individuals and assumed the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. To learn more about HOPE, visit www.operationhope.org or read our blog at www.operationhope.org/blog.

Ebenezer Baptist Church
Shanan Jones, 678-933-5091
Operation HOPE
Sherry T. John, 213-891-2908


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