James David Manning is the chief pastor of the ATLAH World Missionary Church located in New York City where he has been since 1981. Manning was born in Red Springs, North Carolina on February 20, 1947. He grew up there and picked cotton and tobacco as a boy. The day he graduated from high school, Manning took a bus to New York. He became radicalized in the 1960’s and spent three and a half years in prison for burglary, robbery, larceny, and other charges. While in prison, Manning became a devout Christian. He does not shy away from sharing his story about his life of crime and how God helped turn his life around.
In 1985, Manning graduated from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York with a Master of Divinity degree. He also has a Doctor of Philosophy degree which he earned from his own ATLAH Theological Seminary. Manning has used his platform as a minister and pastor to speak out about several issues including the gentrification of Harlem, criticizing Barack Obama for his parents interracial relationship, criticizing other black leaders including Charles Rangel and Al Sharpton, and speaking out against homosexuality.
Manning has posted several video messages on his church’s website as well as on YouTube that address his feelings about the plight of African Americans and black men in particular. While some of his views are considered controversial, what Manning has to say does cause one to stop and consider what things, past and present, continue to contribute to and perpetuate the plight of black people in America.
The following video clip is of Manning discussing the mindset and psychology that contributes to black people being poor. He also discusses why black people being poor is not likely to change. To hear more about his views and why he feels this way, check out the clip below.