The world lost a dedicated servant of God when Elder George Melville Grant, known to many as “Mel” or “Dr. Grant'' passed away on Thursday, April 9, 2020, after battling COVID-19 at SUNY Downstate Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. He was born on November 30, 1948, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to George A. Grant and Bertina (Payne) Grant. In his early years, he attended Our Lady of Victory (Roman Catholic) Elementary School and Boys High School. He continued his formal education by attending Virginia Union University, where he excelled as the football team’s quarterback and was an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. George later attended Adelphi University, where he obtained his bachelor's degree. He then attended Fordham University, where he earned his master's degree in Social Work, graduating magna cum laude.
In 1974, Dr. Grant began working at the Health and Hospitals Corporation as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He soon began to accept progressive responsibility over the next fifteen years as an Addiction Counselor, Vocational Counselor, and Certified Social Worker and Supervisor. He started his private practice in 1987 as a consultant and psychotherapist. Finding his niche, he committed himself to serving God by helping people heal from oppression and trauma.
Anyone who met Elder George Grant could not forget his infectious smile and his ability to bring peace and calm to every situation. He had a unique ability to impact people in a deep and positive way. Although he was committed to his ministry and family, he was a constant advocate for keeping balance in one’s life. He enjoyed visiting family and friends, traveling, and listening to Jazz.
In 1991, a client referral from the St. Paul Community Baptist Church led Elder Grant to an introduction to Bishop Johnny Ray Youngblood, who served as senior pastor. As Dr. Grant spent more time around St. Paul, he grew more excited about returning to the Christian Church. George made a commitment to the ministry and soon joined the St. Paul Community Baptist Church. He allowed himself to fully experience the MAAFA, a sacred and transformative psychodrama highlighting the oppression afflicted upon generations of Africans in America. Eventually, he became a member of the MAAFA cast. Dr. Grant worked as a consultant at the Johnny Ray Youngblood and George H. Murray Academies. It was in this ministry that George found a place to heal. He, in turn, made it his goal to assist others in the healing process.
Elder Grant was a proud member of the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, where his ministry was far-reaching and substantive. He was the Director of the Redemption of Ham Ministry, which he conceived and implemented. As an instructor with the Mt. Pisgah Christian Education Boot Camp, he taught the Redeeming Ham course, which raises awareness about oppression, racism, and the importance of having a safe place to heal from trauma in order to realize spiritual health. After serving as co-chair of the Diaconate Ministry of the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, on November 1, 2016, Dr. Grant was elevated to the position of Elder and subsequently became co-chair of the Board of Elders. Elder Grant also served on staff as the church’s social worker and therapist. He was very active in the creative arts ministry and starred in many of the church’s original productions.
Elder Grant’s most recent accomplishment was being admitted to the Rev. Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Scholars Program at New York Theological Seminary. In February 2020, he completed his doctoral thesis proposal entitled, The Redemption of Ham Ministry: Addressing the Impact of Oppression and Trauma on the African American Family. His scholarly work revolved around the erroneous interpretations of Genesis Chapter 9, along with the resulting adverse outcomes. Elder Grant's goal, as a psychotherapist and religious scholar, was to create a curriculum and psychoeducational interventions that addresses the cumulative effects of oppression and trauma on the psychospiritual health of the African American family, particularly the black male.
Elder George Grant. leaves to cherish his legacy, his partner of 11 years, Rev. Dr. Lisa D. Jenkins, his children, Earl L. Grant, daughter in-law – Charlene S. Grant, Aisha S. (Grant) Seabrook, Yasmine A. Grant, Jameelah (Grant) Jones, Shuaib H. Grant and Dauwd E. Grant.; grand-children; Brittany Grant, Maxwell Grant, Melanie Grant, Vaughn Samuels, Jeremiah Samuels, Destiny Samuels and Imani Samuels; Former Spouse; Iris (Ford) Brown and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, friends and family. Preceded by his death are his sister, Vivien J. Peterson and parents - George and Bertina Grant.
W. E. B. Dubois said, “Men must not only know, they must act.” Father, Grandfather, Uncle, Cousin, Healer and Best Friend— you were never content with simply knowing. You always believed that real ministry was in acting on behalf of God’s people. The world has lost a giant.
"But when anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. " ~ II Corinthians 3:16-18
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