A concept for a Sojourner Truth Museum in Battle Creek will cost $91 million, according to members of the museum's board of directors.

Pastor Bill Stein, known in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo for operating God's Kitchen meals for the needy, is the chair of the Sojourner Truth Museum board of directors. Stein tells WBCK they have worked up a vast concept of ideas which would converge into a single-point destination for the museum, as well as a church, amphitheater and conference center.

The concept involved purchasing the Binder Park Golf Course from the City of Battle Creek and building the museum complex at or near that site, creating a destination attracting a mix of visitors to the area.

The latest, different concept involves purchasing the former Fremont School - closed in 2016 by Battle Creek Public Schools - and converting it into the museum and conference center. Stein said the concept would have to be updated were the Fremont option to come through, as an amphitheater would not be possible on that site.

Steln told WBCK the board hopes to raise the $91 million from a combination of private donations and grants, with hopes that local granting authorities like the Kellogg Foundation will consider supporting the effort. Stein even said the board will reach out to Oprah Winfrey, who has supported similar efforts in Washington, D.C.

GoFundMe pages have been set up for donations.

Click the player below to hear Stein and Rev. Dr. William Bell, treasurer of the Sojourner Truth Museum board of directors, discuss the concept and the potential funding.

Hear The Richard Piet Show weekday afternoons from 5:30-9 on WBCK.


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