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Never too old to follow your dreams: LaPlace woman attains doctorate in theology

Dr. Cherry Knight, left, is pictured with Dr. Felton Williams Sr. during a recent graduation from Greater Impact Bible College & School of Ministry.

LAPLACE — At 60 years old, Dr. Cherry Knight is a mother of four, a grandmother of seven and the 2020 salutatorian of her graduating class.

Knight recently earned her doctorate degree in theology from Greater Impact Bible College & School of Ministry.

“I am blessed and grateful to have the opportunity to see this memorable experience at the age of 60,” Knight said. “Growing up, at a very young age, I always knew there was a special calling upon my life and I would operate within the Ministry. I started Bible College in 2015 and graduated with my Master of Theology Degree, but never knew at that moment I would return to school to obtain my doctor of theology degree.”

Knight was born in Mount Airy, and she currently resides in LaPlace. She started her Christian journey as a missionary, and she presently serves as an elder at the Greater Impact Christian Church of Marrero under the leadership of Dr. Felton Williams Sr. and Prophetess Dionne Williams.

Knight was inspired to join Greater Impact Bible College & School of Ministry after working in the ministry for more than 30 years. She was also motivated by the loss of her husband, Clarence West Sr.

Before his passing, West told her to “go for it,” and those words instilled confidence to chase her wildest dreams.

COVID-19 took the world by surprise, but it did not stop Knight from pursuing her studies. While classes were conducted virtually via Zoom video conferencing, graduation was held in person with facial coverings and social distancing protocols in place.

Knight plans to start a non-profit organization in the near future to provide hope to battered women in the community. She also hopes to open a home health care company to serve the seniors of the community.

One of Knight’s favorite quotes is, “With God, all things are possible.” She also finds inspiration in Habakkuk 2:2-3: “And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

When she thinks of her faith, Knight is reminded to never give up.

“I would like to advise young and old who wish to continue their education, but might feel a little intimidated to seek your passion, write it down, work toward what you want to accomplish, never give up, believe in yourself and always dream big,” Knight said. “As former Congressman John Lewis stated, ‘Let’s make good trouble.’ Go out there, do great and always be great at whatever you do.”

Knight’s son, Clarence West Jr., said he was proud to see his mother accomplish a goal that she never gave up on. He sees her story as an example to others that you are never too old to go back to school and pick up where you left off.

During this time, he’s encouraged Knight to hold on and always remember the words of Dr. Seuss: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any way you choose!”

“I know for a fact that she’ll do great on her journey because she’s known for helping people within the community. My late father Clarence Sr. would call her Mother Theresa,” West Jr. said.