Bishop Eddie Long’s Son Edward Long Carves Out Radio Career Following Dr. Jamal Bryant Becoming New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s Pastor…

Hello World,

It’s not easy being a preacher’s kid. That’s one thing among others I know for sure. I was one for 38 years so I know of which I write. The scrutiny by an entire congregation of folk.  The inability to make mistakes and be downright foolish as a young person in private. The expectation that you will grow up to be carbon copies of your parents. These situations are what I experienced as the pk of a small church pastor so I can only imagine that Edward Long experienced this on a MUCH larger scale as the son of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s Bishop Eddie L. Long. The megachurch was once helmed by his father.

And Edward Long has had some other crosses to bear as well. His father passed away suddenly in January 2017 and although he wasn’t immediately named as the new pastor after his father’s death, he thought he had a chance to finally fill his father’s shoes when the pastorate opened up again following the departure of Bishop Stephen A. Davis according to the AJC. He applied for the position and was among 138 candidates in a national search. Bravely, Edward Long shared his thoughts about the process and the ultimate decision in a recent sermon at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Below is what the AJC reported in the article “Edward Long Shares Feelings About Not Being Named to Lead New Birth.”

“I’m standing in a place now where publicly my character is being judged,” he said. “I can come out here and throw a pity party and cry like a baby because things didn’t go the way I anticipated them going.” Instead, he made the decision to “praise while I’m in the pit. I’m not going to have a pity party, I’m going to party in the pit.”

Long mentioned Bryant in his sermon. “I didn’t choose Dr. Jamal Bryant, but a choice was made so I’m not going to speak against him. I’m going to speak for him. I’m not going to talk trash about him. I’m going to love on him and pray for him.”

Read the entire article HERE.

Truthfully, if I were in his position, I would be hurt too. But there is no law that says that just because your parents did something, you have to do it too or to the degree that your parents did it. And I’m sure being named after a parent causes even more pressure to be like that parent for which you are named. Martin Luther King III has his father’s name but it is his sister Dr. Bernice King who has more closely followed in their father’s footsteps. This expectation doesn’t just happen in the field of religion. Willow Smith, who is named after her father actor Will Smith, rebelled when her father was trying to make her follow his path in entertainment. She mentioned having to forgive him for that on Red Table Talk, her show with her mother Jada Pinkett Smith and grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Jones. My mother has said that I’m just like my father except that I’m a female, but thank God she didn’t see fit to name me Denzilla. Willow after Will is cute. Denzilla after Denzil. Not so much 🙂 But I digress…

Thankfully, following the disappointment and rejection he felt after not being chosen as New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s new pastor, Edward Long is carving out a career on his own terms according to the AJC’s article “Eddie Long’s Son Returns To First Passion: Radio.”

On Jan. 31, during Super Bowl weekend, Long, the son of the late Bishop Eddie L. Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, launched “Lit Nights With Ed” on Praise 102.5. The late-night show airs from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 p.m. to midnight Saturdays.

“It feels purposeful. It feels divine. It feels like this is what time it is,” said Long, 36, about going back into radio, an interest he’s had since he was a student at Stephenson High School. “I want to continue to move forward with the vision the Lord gave to me really since I was in high school and college and through my professional career and now.”

Read the entire article HERE.

This is what Edward Long said about the AJC article on his Instagram account:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

POSITIVE PRESS 📰🗞 Extra, Extra, read all about it! Radio isn’t my only passion, but my first passion. I didn’t want to preach, but once I accepted the calling, I became very passionate about it too! To me, they are more similar than separate. Link in bio to read the full article by @shelia_poole & 📸 by @emilymhaney. @ajcnews https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/eddie-long-son-returns-first-passion-radio/VcrDbmJCycqgnQ92RwDw7M/ (Swipe right) Tune in to @litnightsshow LiT Nights w/ ED 🙌🏽 with @iamedwardlong and co-host @bre_singleton on Praise 102.5 fm in Atlanta. We’re bringing inspiration and the mainstream together to form what we call #UrbanInspiration. Download the MY PRAISE ATL app or listen only as we at www.MyPraiseATL.com.

A post shared by ED (Text EDwardLong to 71441) (@iamedwardlong) on

From one pk to another, I wish Edward Long much success in radio and wherever God leads him…

Any thoughts?

Pastor Jamal Bryant’s Ex-Wife Gizelle Bryant Pens New Novel Loosely Based on Her Life!

Hello World,

One of my favorite ways to relax on a Sunday evening is to watch The Real Houseswives of Atlanta. While Real Housewives of Potomac star Gizzelle Bryant doesn’t live in the A, I wonder what her ex-husband Dr. Jamal Bryant, who recently became the new senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia thinks about his ex-wife’s new book “My Word?” The novel, which is being published by Brown Girls Books, according to Gizzelle’s Instagram page  is “loosely based on my dramatic, happy, fun, sad, crazy life.”

Below is the description of the book, which can be pre-ordered before it’s official debut on April 3o:

After marrying her college sweetheart, Ginger Williams gave up her own professional dreams to help her husband follow his dream of building a megachurch. It’s not long before Ginger and her husband, Jeremy, turn a small D.C. church into a burgeoning empire….catapulting the couple into a popular powerhouse.

But with a bigger spotlight comes more temptation…and the power is corrupting Jeremy in ways Ginger never imagined. When she seeks the advice of her peers on the First Ladies’ Council, she’s shocked when they tell her to accept Jeremy’s infidelities so she doesn’t damage the church and affect the many business opportunities coming their way.

With every part of her life—family faith, and finances—hanging in the balance, Ginger must decide if she will continue to live in the shadow of the sins of her husband…or face life on the other side of the pulpit.

Is Ginger really Gizzelle? And is Jeremy really Jamal? That would only make sense…And Gizelle, with some rosary beads dangling from her red lips, is the cover model for her upcoming novel so….My Word For Real!

Gizzelle wrote about the inspiration for “My Word” on her Bravo blog

“I have lived a very interesting life. I am now in a space where I want to share tidbits of my story in a fictitious way on my terms… Again, whether I wrote one book or 17, this is FICTION and I can’t nor do I want to damage the black church…”

Although both Dr. Jamal Bryant and Gizzelle Bryant (or Jeremy and Ginger 🙂 ) have spoken about what broke up their marriage, they seem to be getting along well right now, at least according to Gizzelle’s Instagram’s page…

She congratulated him about coming to New Birth….

Dr. Bryant will officially be installed as senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church on March 10!

 

And on last Father’s Day, Gizzelle said this about Dr. Bryant…

So will you be buying “My Word?”

Any thoughts?

Should Divorced Men Such as Dr. Jamal Bryant, Newly Named New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Pastor, Be Allowed in the Pulpit?

Hello World,

Now that Season 3 of OWN’s “Greenleaf” is over until next season, I’m back to finding my religious drama and intrigue in real life! LOL.

Last week, Atlanta was abuzz with the news that Dr. Jamal Bryant, founding pastor of Empowerment Temple, an A.M.E.  megachurch of about 10,000 members in Baltimore, Maryland was leaving his church to be the new pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, which also has about 10,000 members, in Lithonia, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. He will preach is first sermon at New Birth on Sunday, Dec. 9.

The announcement has people talking for many reasons. One of those reasons is that Bryant’s tenure comes after the death of the controversial church founder Bishop Eddie L. Long, who passed away in January 2017 after battling cancer. Prior to his death, he wrote about his life in his memoir “The Untold Story – The Story of Adversity, Pain, and Resilience.”  In a previous blog post about this memoir, I wrote, “Is Bishop Long going to address what really happened with those young men who accused him of sexual misconduct as their claims were settled out of court and why he settled? That’s all people want to know at this point!” What is ironic about that post, which I wrote in 2016, is that the post was about Bishop Long AND Pastor Jamal Bryant. Here is a link to the post “Bishop Eddie Long Releases New Book ‘The Untold Story’ While Pastor Jamal Bryant Sidesteps Paternity Claim Today… What Are The Biblical Requirements for a Pastor?” I had no idea that two years later that these two men who be forever linked by last week’s announcement.

And that blog post brings me to another reason why people are talking about Bryant being named pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Even without all of the Bishop Long controversy, Pastor Bryant has enough controversy that he can claim on his own – from a fairly recent out-of-wedlock paternity allegation to the admission of infidelity in his previous marriage to Gizelle Bryant, one of the stars of “The Real Housewives of Potomac.” He was dating R&B singer Tweet but I guess they have broken up because I haven’t heard anything about them still being together. He referred to her as his “Last Lady” in the clip.

Below are a few comments I saw on New Birth’s Facebook page following the announcement last week:

“New Birth still has members?”

“WoW I’m shocked they gave it to Jamal with all the scandals he been through…but no man is perfect and I wish him the best.”

“Facts: No pastor wants the debt associated with NB! It will take a name to fill the seats & ‘encourage’ people to give! We are all flawed & human! However, for the church’s sake, i pray there’s real accountability worked into his contract! Literally, he just left court on stalking charges! There’s a pattern of poor judgment! I’m just gonna pray!”

 “Plenty of women to choose from.”

“Wow, I can’t believe these are Christians on the church website with this garbage. Talking about men of God like we are talking about Love and Hip Hop! Messy!!! Truly I wish that Pastor Bryant would not even go down there in this mess. Because he is loved and wanted at Empowerment Temple and ALL over the country. Half of the people on here don’t support the church financially or spirituality. The way our world is today we better, get our lives together. We don’t know when the Lord’s going to call us home. Please stop being so quick to point out what we think is somebody else faults and get our own selves in order. NB congregation on your new appointed Pastor. Pastor Jamal, love you! I will be praying for you and supporting you the same as I did at ET. I believe in you and the God we serve.”

“Episode of Greenleaf Coming!!!!”

“So he switching denominations!?”

See ALL of the 538 comments and counting HERE.

All of this chatter has got me thinking about being a pastor as a single divorced man. If real life is stranger than fiction (like what went down on OWN’s “Greenleaf” following the divorce of Bishop & Lady Mae), what should be expected from the pastorate of single divorced man? And should single divorced men be allowed to be pastors at all? Years ago, Atlanta-based but known worldwide pastor Dr. Charles Stanley, who is one of my favorite pastors, caused a lot of controversy when he decided to remain pastor of his church, First Baptist Church of Atlanta, following his divorce. His stance was particularly controversial when he previously said he would step down if he ever divorced.

Do you think divorced single men should be pastors? Below are three views on this topic:

  • While many in the Southern Baptist Convention called on him to step down over his divorce, Stanley refused to give up his role as senior pastor. ‘God said you keep doing what I called you to until I tell you to do something else,’ he told CNN. “I got that straight from the Lord. … I was simply obeying God.’ He added: ‘If somebody doesn’t love you and doesn’t want to live with you, you can’t — nowhere in the Scripture does it say that you’re to preach the gospel until someone does this or that.'” excerpted from “Charles Stanley Names Successor but Will Remain Sr. Pastor, Says Retirement Is Unbiblical” by Leonardo Blair
  • “In the end, it remains the choice of the congregation whom they call to be a pastor. If a man was divorced prior to becoming a Christian, then 2 Corinthians 5:17 comes into play: “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” A divorced man’s pre-Christian life is certainly part of the “old things” that pass away. Life in Christ warrants for all believers a “new lease” on life. Congregations may also, legitimately, conclude that a divorce for a Christian man was so long ago in the past that it should not hinder his witness or his work in the pastorate. There are no hard and fast rules; only principles, to guide a man in the ministry or a congregation seeking a pastor. ” excerpted from “The Divorced Pastor: Is He the Husband of One Wife?” by Michael F. Ross
  • “I really think we need to look at it on a case by case basis, especially if the man was divorced for one of the two biblical exceptions: the wife’s infidelity (Matthew 5:32) or an unbelieving wife divorcing him (1 Corinthians 7:15). Although I respect an autonomous church’s right to set whatever policies it deems appropriate (as long as those policies don’t violate Scripture), I, personally, don’t think it’s right to deny a man the office due to his wife’s sin that he had no control over and may have done everything in his power to prevent.” excerpted from “The Mailbag: Can a Divorced Man Be a Pastor?” by Michelle Lesley

If you are unfamiliar with Dr. Bryant altogether, here is a brief bio from the AJC. Boston-born Bryant, a third generation pastor, is a graduate of Morehouse College, Duke University and Graduate Theological Foundation. As he failed the 11th grade and received a GED, he started at Morehouse College, which is in Atlanta, on probation. He is the father of 5 daughters. Also, his sister Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a relationship counselor for Pastor Chad Johnson and his fiancée Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny’s Child, on their OWN reality show “Chad Loves Michelle.” (I am really enjoying this show by the way.)

I listened to Dr. Jamal Bryant being interviewed on a local radio station V-103 last week, and he is very personable and upfront about the fact that he has not been a perfect shepherd. And I especially loved how he closed out the interview with this prayer “Lord, Your Will. Nothing More, Nothing Less & Nothing Else.” The first time I heard that prayer was from Bishop Greenleaf, my favorite fictional pastor! LOL. I don’t mean to be cavalier here because we’re talking about real lives and the saving of souls, but art is inspired by real life…

Anywho, any thoughts Saints?