New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Holds ‘Getting To Know You’ – An Intimate Encounter Designed For You To Get To Know Dr. Jamal Bryant THIS Wednesday!

Hello World,

As of Sunday, Dr. Jamal H. Bryant, the controversial former pastor of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, Maryland is now officially charged with leading New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia! I wrote about his pending arrival in my post “Should Divorced Men Such as Dr. Jamal Bryant, Newly Named New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Pastor, Be Allowed in the Pulpit?” about two weeks ago.

The pastor who has been known for saying stuff that many pastors dare not say in a sermon such as these h**s ain’t loyal titled his inaugural sermon at New Birth yesterday “Bite Me” according to the AJC. Shelia M. Poole reported that “he warned the congregation of serpents in their midst who want to see them fail, but said they must hold on to their faith and praise God, even in the midst of adversity.”

Below is a video of the entire sermon…

Below is Candice Benbow’s lengthy opinion of about “Bite Me”…


He also announced that New Birth would be back on international television in the New Year, and that at the church’s Watch Night Service on Dec. 31, a big announcement would be made and would be broadcast live on the Word Network! He acknowledged his mother and sister, Dr. Thelma Bryant Davis, who is on OWN’s “Chad Loves Michelle” and 100 of his Kappa Alpha Psi brothers who were in the audience.  Some of my Facebook friends were there on yesterday and had good things to say about his first day on the job so to speak.

But Dr. Bryant is not waiting until next Sunday to engage his new congregation again. On Wednesday at 7 p.m., Dr. Bryant is promising an “intimate encounter” in which his new congregation will get to know the pastor outside of the pulpit. Sister Circle’s Rashan Ali is the host for the evening. I wonder if congregants will be able to ask questions to him directly.

Below is a brief video about the upcoming event…


If I attend and am allowed to ask a question, I want to know where did Dr. Bryant get that fabulous Louis Vuitton scarf he wore on V-103 two weeks ago? LOL. I loved it so much that I’m thinking of getting my husband one for Christmas. Shhh. Don’t tell him…

 

In all seriousness, I would like to know how Dr. Bryant is going to restore public trust in New Birth Missionary Baptist Church outside of the church after the scandal sullied its reputation? Even if you weren’t a member of New Birth, it was respected by a wide swath of people in the community once upon a time. And now, not many people seem to be checking for New Birth anymore. New Birth desperately needs a New Birth…

What do you want to ask him? Don’t be skurred. He may see this blog post and answer your questions!

Any thoughts?

Should Black Men Be Responsible for Ending Sexism in the Black Church?

Hello World,

On Sunday, I read an interesting article in The New York Times entitled “It’s On Men to End Sexism in the Black Church” by Lawrence Ware, a minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention. It intrigued me because much of what I read reminded me of the entire thrust of Season 3 of “Greenleaf.” (One of my favorite show titles from this season was “She Changes Everything.”) Lady Mae realized that she had forfeited her calling to ministry, folding herself into her husband’s calling like hers never mattered. During Season 3, she reclaimed her call to ministry which ignited a power play against her husband who struggled to see her as an independent force and not his appendage. And what compounds the dynamic is that Bishop was always able to see and acknowledge his daughter’s call to ministry but his former partner in life was treated in some respects like a pretty prop.

Below are a few excerpts from the opinion piece:

“When I was little, my favorite church services were when women took charge. This happened only a few times a year, on the fifth Sunday of a month. But it always meant that the spirit was high and the music was good. On one of those special Sundays, when I was 9, I first noticed something odd: The guest minister sat in regular pew seats, not in the seats at the front of the church reserved for the clergy. And she delivered the sermon from the lectern, a little wooden stand set apart from the congregation, not at the pastor’s sacred pulpit — the place whence God spoke.”

“If a young, unmarried woman got pregnant, the congregation would whisper about her until the child was born. When these young mothers returned after giving birth, many knelt at what was called a “mourner’s bench” after the sermon, to publicly apologize for indulging in sexual sins. To this day, I’ve never seen a man do the same.”

“For too many of my friends, even black men who identify as Christian, their awakening to the injustices women have long faced are linked to selfish concerns: namely, they must first have a daughter to hear what black women have been telling us all along. If that is what’s required for change, then too many men will continue to live in a way that does harm to women.”

If you attend a black church, have you witnessed sexism there? My church, a black church, is part of an association of mostly white Christian churches. As far as I know, women are not allowed to be pastors and or ministers at churches in this association. According to some, Scripture mandates this stance. “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” 1 Timothy 2:12-13

However, female ministers are allowed to use the pulpit to speak at my church on various special occasions. And I love female pastors/ministers I must say! That is one of the reasons why I enjoyed OWN’s “Greenleaf” from the very beginning. I love that the show began with Grace struggling in her call to ministry.

Have you witnessed sexism at your church? Do you think women should be allowed to be pastors/ministers at churches?

Below is Ware’s final thought on the matter:

The black church would not exist without black women. However, for far too long, black men have forced them to be second-class citizens. It is time for black churches to do better. Not because it is popular right now, but because it is right.

Should Black Men Be Responsible for Ending Sexism in the Black Church? To read Ware’s entire article on the issue, go HERE.

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?