Honorary Doctorate Degree in Ministry

Recent Honorees

Dr. Semuel Causey is the Pastor of McGhee of Memorial Temple Church of God in Christ (C.O.G.I.C.) and Faith and Prayer House C.O.G.I.C in Alabama. 

Rev. Causey has been a pastoral minister for over 38 years serving two churches in Alabama and one church in Mississippi. He has dedicated his life to serving the community through his ministry and has had a positive generational impact on families and individuals in the community. During his pastoral leadership, he also served as the District Superintendent in the Atmore District Alabama Second Jurisdiction C.O.G.I.C for over 20 years and First Administrative Assistant of Alabama Second Jurisdiction for 20 years. He is a member of the Pastors and Elders Council in Alabama.  One of his favorite scriptures is Colossians 1:27 KJV which says, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. 

In 2015, dynamic leader Superintendent Causey, coordinated the logistics aspect of the International Bishop Conference for C.O.G.I.C Worldwide.  Additionally, he served as the Financial Secretary for Alabama Second Jurisdiction for 20 years. Also, he served as the Financial Secretary for Alabama Second Jurisdiction for 20 years.

During his ministry, he has received numerous awards and accolades that include the C.G.O.I.C Service Awards for Pastoral Leadership, District Superintendent, and 1st Administrative Assistant.

“God has given all mankind the opportunity to choose salvation and have access to His kingdom.  Those who were once thought not to have access to His glory can now embrace the love of God and share it confidently within our communities as well as throughout the body of Christ” says Superintendent Causey.

Dr. Keith Chappelle joined Primerica Financial Services in 1981, has served 42 years and is currently a National Sales Director with thirty-six offices across the Midwest. Create Family Wealth Builders, a Nonprofit Agency that teaches families how to build wealth and pass it on generationally.

He holds license with FINRA for Series 6, 63, 26 and 65.  He is a Registered Investment Advisor.  Has been recognized by his company as MVP, Top Producer, and his company’s highest honor the Wall of Fame. Recently recognized in the USA Today in their 2023 Black History Edition for Family Finance.  Received the Men of Influence Award for Excellence in Service and Leadership in the community.  In 2022, received recognition by the Young Moviemakers of America for helping in their Documentary Film: Dallas Gentrification.

Keith Chappelle created Family Wealth Builders, a Non-Profit Agency that teaches families how to build wealth and pass it on generationally. His financial literacy program has gone into schools, churches, small business, and the community. Yearly he awards and recognizes local businesses in the community at a formal awards dinner highlighting their Excellence in Service to the Community. Last year, over four hundred people were in attendance.

Keith was raised in Inglewood, California. Attended School in the Midwest and graduated in 1981 from University of lowa with a BA in Business Marketing. Became a record setting wide receiver and All American while at Iowa. Drafted into the NFL by Atlanta Falcons in 1981. 

He served as a Deacon and Elder at Gospel Tabernacle Church, and Shekinah Glory Bible Fellowship both in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for 8 and 12 years respectively.  Currently is a member for the last twenty years at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship with Pastor Tony Evans.

Dr. Tonya Michaelle Hill is a Regional Vice President with Success Training Institute.  She devoted 25 years to ACN network marketing company where she and her former partner led an organization of 10’s of thousands of independent business owners. Their business generated over $75 million in sales and as a result they were featured in Success by Home Magazine10 times. During that time, Tonya trained on stages across the country with crowds ranging from 2 to over 20,000. She has coached and mentored countless people in the network marketing industry and loves to equip and empower herself and others.

Tonya is a former President of the Avon, OH chapter of Business Network International (BNI) one of the largest referral organizations in the world with over 290,000 members globally. Tonya has been recognized by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce as networker of the year and was featured in Cleveland Magazine because of this achievement. Recently, she was featured in the August 2021 edition of Cleveland magazine for hosting safe socially distant networking events with the Power of More Chamber of Commerce that consists of over 1,600 members. Tonya recently started her own networking group, the Freedom Fighter’s Network, that meets weekly with one goal; to elevate each other in business and in life overall.

In the early 2000’s Tonya received a license as a COGIC minister in order to gain a greater understanding of the word of God. “Having the courage to be honest with yourself is the first step to true freedom” says Tonya.

Dr. David Ira McGee is the founder, and Executive Director of Build Wealth Minnesota (BWMN); which is a 501c3 non-profit designated as a Community Development Financial Institution by the US Department of Treasury. 

Since 2004 BWMN has worked to help thousands of families become self-sufficient and build assets while attaining sustainable social and economic wealth. David has been training underserved populations in financial literacy education for over 20 years. He began training bank personnel in Residential Mortgage Underwriting in 1993 and later began to train members of underserved communities.  In addition to developing and administering culturally sensitive courses in Credit Awareness, Residential Mortgage Underwriting, Loan Origination, Loan Processing, Homeownership education etc. He is certified locally and nationally in several capacities including housing development, loan origination, homebuyer education, financial literacy, credit counseling and other social leadership roles. 

“I have been blessed to have made it my life’s work to educate and empower my community to bring about impactful change and generational wealth accumulation to many”, says McGee.

David has served in his church for the past 20 years as a Deacon, Minister, Sunday School Teacher, Elder and Trustee, Assistant Pastor, and Servant in the Healing Ministry.

Kerri Leslie Pruitt, a published author, and the esteemed Founder and Executive Director of The Dannon Project, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Ministry from West Coast Bible College & Seminary (WCBCS). The prestigious degree will be presented to her during the upcoming honorary doctorate degree ceremony in May 2024, which will be held both in-person and virtually.

Dr. Phillip S. Porter, President of West Coast Bible College & Seminary, expressed his excitement, stating, “Kerri is passionate and possesses the expertise to serve at-risk persons, including youth and adults in underserved communities. We are thrilled to welcome Kerri Pruitt into the West Coast family.”

Kerri is a published Author and Executive Director. She is the founder and Executive Director of The Dannon Project, a non-profit organization serving at-risk persons, including youth and adults who may be underemployed, unemployed, undereducated, at risk of homelessness or homeless, and youth and adult previously incarcerated persons (PIPs) returning from prison or jail. She is recognized nationally for her 10-year career as a federal technical assistance consultant in fiscal and human resources. She is also a user-friendly GrantSuite© MIS software developer and a trainer for multi-funded governmental programs. Kerri is a national leader in the fight for providing quality, compassionate, supportive services to the most needy in our community.  

She is the Chief Fiscal Officer for Leslie Patton and Associates Management (LPA) Consulting Firm. This is a supervisory and training contractual position. Kerri has over ten (10) years of experience with HRSA grants and contract management, providing Training and Technical Assistance to various branches of the Federal Government, HRSA-funded grantees (Health Departments, Hospitals, Universities, Government, Non-Profits, Healthy Start, Head Start, rural, urban and Island settings).

Mrs. Pruitt has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2009 Feeding Dreams Champion for her work in serving PIPs, the 2015 AllState Champion for Good; the 2015 A.G. Gaston Community Service Award, and the 2015 Spear Servant Leadership Award presented by the Vulcan Foundation.

In July 2014, under Kerri’s leadership, the White House recognized The Dannon Project as one of the nation’s foremost “effective career readiness programs.” In 2019, Kerri was invited to speak at the White House for the First Step Act and to provide insight on reentry and workforce development programming.  In 2020 Mrs. Pruitt received the 2020 Leadership Award from TAP (Together Assisting Participants).  In 2021, Kerri received the Alabama Minority GOP “Making a Difference Award.” In 2022, Mrs. Pruitt received the Award of Distinguished Excellence from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Kerri’s favorite quote says, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it” by Edith Wharton.

Kerri Pruitt has a Master’s in Business Administration from Glendale University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from LaSalle University. She has the following certifications:

  • McKing and Associates, Certification for Results Through Performance Excellence for HRSA, Atlanta, GA
  • Western Kentucky University Head Start Certification for consultants in Management and Governance in Nashville, TN. Ten years of experience providing TA and monitoring visits to Head Start agencies in Region IV

She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, businesswoman, and dreamer. She and her husband, Jeh Jeh, have a daughter, Jehme.

Dr. Cheryl Elizabeth Williams, the esteemed Founder and Executive Director of Fundamentals for Foster Care.

Cheryl’s unwavering dedication and enthusiasm have been instrumental in providing foster children and alumni aging out of the system with self-esteem education and mentoring support. Her efforts have significantly improved the lives of numerous vulnerable foster youths in Texas, as evidenced by the distribution of over 1,000 personalized self-esteem educational gifts and notes of encouragement.

Cheryl’s remarkable leadership has been pivotal in establishing and managing Fundamentals for Foster Care from the ground up. She has cultivated strong partnerships with over 100 agencies and nonprofit organizations to ensure the well-being of foster youth and alumni. Her exceptional success is a testament to her ability to manage budgets, analyze variances, and develop effective strategies to minimize deviations, control costs, and optimize resource allocation.

Cheryl shared her perspective, saying, “I encourage individuals to recognize the challenges faced by children in foster care while also embracing the profound power of Jesus Christ’s love. By integrating education and spirituality, an extraordinary force arises, capable of transforming hearts and minds and inspiring courage in the world around us.”

In addition to her impactful contributions to foster care, Cheryl has established herself as a versatile professional. She is a certified life coach, professional speaker, bestselling author, Area Director in Toastmasters, and a certified personal trainer.

Cheryl graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kansas State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Studies. In addition to her academic achievements, she has obtained various certifications, including Optima Training and Surrogate Training, AHIP Certification, Certified Life Coaching, Certified Personal Trainer for both Youth and Adults, and Human Rights Consulting.