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James Render II was born in Detroit, Michigan. He’s the son of Hattie (Foster) Thomas and the late well to do businessman James Render I.  He has five siblings. He’s a State Certified teacher who holds a BA in Communications from the City University of New York, a Post Bachelors degree in Education and an MA in Language Arts from Wayne State University.

Render, formerly a fourth grade elementary school teacher for five (5) years in New York City (Harlem), @PS153 (Adam Clayton Powell Elementary School), received the surprise of his life one day when the Superintendent of District 6(six), the district in which he was teaching, came to his classroom to congratulate him on his teaching abilities that uplifted, empowered and educated children, for which he also received an official letter in his teacher’s file to document the occasion.   

Render says his teaching ability comes from God. He’s been aware of his teaching gift since childhood; he believes his formal education only served to enhance and put into play what God had already given him. While living in New York City and using his teacher’s salary, Render with his former girlfriend Michele Sweeting (first artist) kicked off JDF (Jesus’ Disciple Forever) Records Inc. This was the very first time he attempted to endeavor the responsibility of a record label. He had a modicum of success when he became the number one independent Gospel music label in New York City for six weeks. However, because of the lack of experience and know-how, JDF Records tumbled and Render lost $33,000(a lot of money at the time). He was determined not to give up on his dream and vision. Render studied around the clock and learned the ins and outs of the record company business. He put time into learning and working with radio promotions, retail marketing, public relations; he managed groups, and worked in other crucial aspects of the business. He traveled the country attending meetings, going to seminars and reading different books that focused on the record company business. He met influential people in the recording business. He ascertained the business through trial and error. “It was laborious, nevertheless worth the time spent getting an understanding,” he retorted. Render said after acquiring this knowledge, he was ready to enter into the arena once again. However, this time he was prepared.

When Render moved back to Detroit to take care of his elderly father, he came out of the classroom as a fulltime teacher. He began substitute teaching in order to have the flexibility to assist with his father and work with his new upstart record label, Motor City Praise Records. He said the Lord gave him the name and prepared him to operate it with the efficiency and spiritual insight needed to be successful. The second time around was the charm (see below). He says the Lord gave him Lamentation 3:19-24. This scripture serves as the impetus behind Motor City Praise Records and Render says “Lord I won’t forget.”

He loves the Lord and gives Him all credit for what He’s done in his life. Render says, “Thank you Lord for being the God of second chances. It’s great to know you can always start again. Thank you Great One. LORD, Life is not worth living, if you’re not there to love each step of the way”

James Render II is a dual resident of New York City and Detroit, Michigan. He’s a member of Bethel Gospel Assembly in New York City. While in Detroit, he’s under watch care at the Word of Faith International Church. He’s the proprietor of Motor City Praise Records Company in Downtown Detroit.