New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Offers Free COVID-19 Testing on Mother’s Day, Pastor Jamal Bryant Refutes Bloggers’ Paternity Claims…

Hello World,

I’m shaking my head as I write this because I’ve got so much to communicate so bear with me as I go through what I’m feeling as I write all of this. The good news first: Last month, New Birth Missionary Baptist canceled its COVID-19 testing event as just before it was scheduled to happen, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ordered the state to shelter in place. At that time, the COVID-19 testing was offered at a cost of $125, but now the testing is being offered for FREE! See the flyer above for details.

Okay, now that the good news has been taken care of, let me get into this bad news. Yesterday, I came across this blog post that I will not link to here, but I imagine you can search for it and find it for the time being (more on that later). This blogger referenced an Instagram post in which the author of the IG post wrote that congratulations are in order because a “secret lady,” whom the blogger wrote was a New Birth Missionary Baptist Church parishioner, allegedly and recently gave birth to Pastor Bryant’s child. Pastor Bryant’s ex-wife Gizelle, with whom he has reconciled although they are not remarried as of now, is even mentioned in the IG post.

So that post was obviously explosive and as some bloggers do, this blogger created a whole blog post about this IG post. As a I read the post,  I wondered if the allegations could be true. I’ve written blog posts about the fact that Pastor Bryant has not been perfect regarding his personal relationships in the past. But as I read through this blog post, it did not sit right with me that no sources were credited. As a journalist,  we do sometimes use secret sources in stories as some sources request anonymity before they are willing to be interviewed. However, these sources typically give enough information so that anyone reading the story would be able to discern the truth. Otherwise, it just comes off as conjecture and irresponsible.

That’s why I have a problem with some of these so-called bloggers who lack journalistic training. It is irresponsible and cruel to post false information about people with absolutely no credible sourcing. I’m not gonna lie. I feast on a juicy bit of gossip every now and then, but I know the difference between gossip and the gospel truth. And most importantly, I’m a Christian. I have no problem calling out people within the church, but I do it when I have enough information to support what I write.

I’m glad that Pastor Bryant saw fit to immediately refute these baseless claims. Please see his video response below. He titled the video “Congratulations Are In Order,” referencing the original IG post. But you have to watch until the video ends to see why he did so…In the words of Megan Thee Stallion, it’s “savage.” Also, I like the fact that he is wearing all white which I think is a not so subtle way to affirm that he is blameless, as it pertains to this particular accusation.

Here is a summary of Pastor Bryant’s response:

I’ve been in a tailspin over the last 24 hours because everywhere I would turn on my social media and on my phone, I was met with the words, ‘Congratulations’ and immediately, when I heard, ‘Congratulations,’ I thought, ‘Wow, that’s great. Somebody sees the work of the church.’ That in spite of the quarantine and the churches being shut down, New Birth, even with closed doors, refused to close our eyes to abject poverty or food insecurity. For the last seven weeks, we’ve been blessed to be able to feed 7,000 individuals in metropolitan Atlanta with fresh groceries. We’ve partnered with Trader Joe’s, Publix, Panera Bread, Atlanta Food Bank and donations from gracious people like you.

I thought when I read in social media, blogs, the ‘congratulations’ was that we were doing the work of Christ, feeding the hungry and taking care of those who were destitute. When I realized the congratulations were not us opening up the king’s table, I immediately thought that maybe, just maybe, that congratulations were in order because we were able to secure some 5, 7, 10,000 COVID-19 tests. I thought people were extending and issuing congratulations to us because we attempted to do it about a month ago, and was met with open rebuke because they were those who said they couldn’t afford the laboratory processing fee so we postponed it until every person could have access.

So we were able to partner with a laboratory and with a testing site, both owned and operated by black women, and so those congratulations were considering that so many black businesses are failing and finding themselves without any support even with the stimulus packages that evades minority businesses. So when it is that we open up our parking lot this coming Sunday on Mother’s Day and say that COVID testing would be free to all – uninsured, under insured, Medicaid, there would be no price and you don’t even have to register, that just show up and stay in your car and all of the African-American healthcare providers who are volunteering would come to your car and test you within three to five minutes. DeKalb is one of the most underserved communities in the state of Georgia. I thought that was the, ‘Congratulations.’

Much to my shock and my amazement, the congratulations was not about feeding 7,000 people, nor about providing free testing to some 70 to 10,000 people on Mother’s Day, but reckless and irresponsible bloggers who went on with no facts, with no evidence and might I add with no truth to make a baseless accusation that I have fathered a baby in April, May, February, January, here in Atlanta and was hiding this baby, from some mother in Atlanta or in my church, that, no. 1, is 1000 percent untrue, a 1000 percent faulty.

In days gone by, I usually don’t say anything. Michelle Obama informed us that when they go low, we go high. If it was just for me, I could just withstand it, ignored it and keep going. But I had to think about my daughters who are now of the Internet age, who have to read these falsities by cowards who would write things, with no boundaries, no compassion, no understanding, but flagrant lies.

I have to think about the church that I’m pastoring, that I’m grateful to pastor: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church here in Stonecrest, Georgia who has gone through a battery of assaults and attacks on the Internet before I ever came. I made a commitment to God and to these people that I would never take them through a storm, through hardship, through embarrassment, through anything that would bring shame to the body of Christ. And I’ve withheld on to that covenant and to that vow to God and to this church.

I’ve had to think about what this would mean to the gospel and people would, in fact, use this as a runway to believe that you can’t outlive your past. Because it is fodder for so many people who believe that if you made any mistake in the past, you’ll keep doing them in the present and relieve them in the future. God is a God who restores and transforms. We sing it often, ‘Things I used to do, I don’t do anymore. Places I used to go, I don’t go anymore.’ And as a consequence, I do not stand as somebody who has done everything right. I haven’t dotted all of my i’s. I haven’t crossed all of my t’s. But one thing that I can stand to true is the man that I am now, is not the man that I used to be. And all of it is credited to God’s saving power, His grace and His forgiveness. There’s somebody who needs to know, you can outlive your past. It doesn’t matter what people think or what people say. And in the words of William Shakespeare, ‘To thine own self be true.’

Amazingly, I read in physics, when I was still a high school student, that there was something about the force of momentum, whether it was a thing or it was a person, when you are moving with momentum, the only thing that can stop you is what is in front of you. What is behind you does not have the authority, the force or the power to do so, only what is in front of you. I’m grateful to God that the Lord is allowing and affording us the opportunity to do a great work in Atlanta, but I’m telling you that no power, principality, no hater, no envy, no jealousy, no spite, no vindictiveness will be able to stop the momentum of God that is moving in my life and in the life of New Birth church.

I’m thankful for all of you who have extended prayers and genuine deep-seated concern for me, for my mental health and even for my family. I’m grateful. Please, whatever you do, especially on this National Day of Prayer, please keep praying for me. I am not what I should be, but I thank God that I’m not what I used to be.

In the words of that great American writer, ‘Rumors of my demise have greatly ben exaggerated.’ Mark Twain said that. So to those of you who are celebrating prematurely, hoping that the enemy was going to win, and that character was going to crack, and that ethics would somehow elude me, I’m sorry. And to the bloggers who wrote this with no names, no evidence, no proof and all the more, with no truth, this blog is for you. (Pastor Bryant then pauses to hold up a blue balloon with the word ”Congrats’ and ‘Way to Go,’ written on it along with multicolored confetti dots. ) I wanted to extend to all of you, ‘Congratulations.’

And now,  I will let you hear his words out of his mouth so that you can hear the savagery for yourselves! Ha! I have to give you a few cool points for that one, Pastor.

He goes on to say that on Saturday, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church will be feeding 1,000 people who are in need of groceries. His exact words then are, ‘Somebody blog that,” and so I am. If you are in need of groceries and you live in the A, mosey on over to New Birth where the food is free and the pastor aine putting up with it with some of y’all no mo…

And furthermore, if you need a free COVID-19 test, come through on Sunday…

Pastor Bryant was named the new pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, which had suffered through years of controversy, at the end of 2018. Since then Pastor Bryant, who has also suffered through controversy (some from his own making), before he arrived, has created both good and interesting, to say the least, headlines after he arrived. But this one — good, bad or indifferent — should not be attributed to him.

So unlike other bloggers, I will not be saying, ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to some phantom woman who has been referenced in this “story” as was instructed in the original IG post. And that’s pretty much all I have to say at this point.

Any thoughts?




Hello World,

BET recently announced comedian and actor Anthony Anderson as the fourth host of the upcoming “SAVING OUR SELVES: A BET COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT,” special.  Anderson joins stars Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, and Regina Hall as host for the two-hour special broadcast. “SAVING OUR SELVES: A BET COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT,” is set to air TODAY, Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 8 PM EST.

Performances include Alicia Keys with a special tribute to New York City, and a Gospel moment with Kirk Franklin featuring Fantasia, Jonathan McReynolds, Kelly Price, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Le’Andria Johnson, and Melvin Crispell III.  Exclusive performances by John Legend, Usher, Jhene Aiko, Chloe X Halle, CeeLo Green, H.E.R., Ella  Mai, Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, Swae Lee, Anthony Hamilton, Tyrese Gibson, Buju Banton, DJ D-Nice, SiR,  D Smoke, and Charlie Wilson.

Additional celebrity guest appearances will include  Tiffany Haddish, Ciara, Don Cheadle, Deon Cole, Angela Rye, Dr. Rheeda Walker, Charlamagne Tha God, Symone D. Sanders, DJ Khaled and Chance The Rapper.

Expanding the reach of the telecast, BET will simulcast the special across BET and BET Her domestically, as well as their channels internationally bringing awareness to over 90 million homes.  Additionally, BET will join forces with Bounce to help expand the audience to include free, over-the-air broadcast viewers with Bounce simulcasting “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort.”

Addressing the communities around the world, a global check-in segment for “BET Saving Our Selves: COVID-19 Relief Effort” will highlight how various regions around the globe are coping through COVID-19. BET Breaks’ International talent Nomalanga (South Africa), Flora Coquerel (France), and Jourdan Riane (UK) will report on how the pandemic is affecting their countries. British Hip Hop Artists behind the viral “Don’t Rush” social media challenge, Young T and Bugsy, and Idris Elba’s wife, Sabrina Elba, will make appearances as well.  Internationally, the show will be broadcast on Saturday, April 25 in the UK at 9:00 pm BST, Korea at 9:00 pm KST, Africa at 6:00 pm CAT, and France at 10:30 pm CEST.

The focus of the initiatives is to combat the racial disparities of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Recent findings have shown that Black Americans are being disproportionately harmed by the health and financial devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. BET, in partnership with the NAACP, United Way Worldwide, leaders in the African American creative, civil rights and business communities will provide critical financial, educational and community support directly to the African Americans hardest hit by this crisis. Corporate brand donors who have generously contributed to the fund include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Toyota, Salesforce, McDonald’s, AARP, Pine-Sol®, Morgan Stanley, TJ Maxx, Weight Watchers, and NBA.

You can now donate to the fund online via or by texting BETGives to 51555.  More information on BET’s partnership with UWW and additional extensions of our relief efforts are forthcoming. For further details, please visit

Any thoughts?


Seven Scriptures to Provide Insight to the Coronavirus Crisis (ODE to 20/20 Vision)


Hello World,

By now you must know that any vision board someone created for 2020 has been totally wrecked. I haven’t had 20/20 vision since before I was in the third grade when I started wearing glasses, but I was among those who decreed and declared that 2020 would be my Year of Perfect Vision. When this Coronavirus Crisis started a month ago or so, I thought my resolution to have 20/20 vision was misguided. But a month later, I see the Good Shepherd is faithful and guiding me (and all y’all)  into perfect vision after all — even if it wasn’t what I thought I saw at the dawn of this New Year. As my hubby shared with me, I do believe individually we will have personal insights, and that there are some collective insights that all of us will share. Below are seven insights tied to Bible scripture that I’ve had that are personal and collective. Let me know if you see what I’m seeing or if you have a different view in the comments.

1. At a visceral level, I now know no one can boast of his or her self-sufficiency.  I knew this intellectually, but babay, experience is the best teacher. In the Bible, Jeremiah 9:23, it says, “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches.” Yes, some of our richest are sheltering in place in yachts, but they still have to shelter in place while the country is shut down. Some of our strongest have gotten sick and or died during this Coronavirus Crisis. The wisest in our society have been confounded by COVID-19. I’ve read that it was initially thought that those with underlying conditions (cancer, diabetes, etc.) are more susceptible to COVID-19, but now, there is some debate as to what is considered an underlying condition! So whoop, there it is…

2. All people are needed for society to function. A Facebook friend shared that the number of selfies have decreased over the last month or so…And for good reason, I think…Have you seen some of these celebrities? Who knew that Diddy had so much gray hair?! His stylist did, undoubtedly. With all of us sheltering in place and social distancing, people aren’t getting their hair did and dyed. In Romans 12: 4-5, it says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,  so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. ” Hairstylists matter! Their gifts are essential. In my opinion, they should be counted as essential workers, but I won’t belabor that point on today.

3. If you don’t spend your money, I can’t make my money. As a lover of words, I have helped financially support many many authors over the years. But truthfully, if some musicians waited on me to buy concert tickets to support themselves, they would go broke. I buy concert tickets like twice a year if that. And since people are sheltering in place and basically only buying groceries and paying for water, gas, etc., many have stopped making money. Again, I realized this intellectually but to see it play out is an eye opener for real. That’s that 20/20 vision. As the Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” In other words, in the plain spoken words of OutKast, “If you don’t move your feet then I don’t eat, so we like neck-to-neck.” And I have paid a pretty penny to see them in concert 🙂

4. Debt is the devil, and saving is sanctified. According to news reports, many people have been financially ruined in the course of a month. I can’t evaluate anyone’s financial portfolio individually but you have to wonder if debt and a lack of savings has contributed to such swift falls. In Romans 13:8, it says, “Let no debt remain outstanding.” And in 1 Corinthians 16:2, it says, “each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up.” Financial experts recommend saving 3-6 months of your living expenses. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Ask God to direct you to a financial planner or coach who can teach you how to do it. I did, and her teaching continues to bless me 10 years later!

5. When I help you, I help me. One thing that has really struck me about the mandate to flatten the curve is that we’re primarily doing so to not overwhelm the healthcare industry with COVID-19 patients. However, but when we help the healthcare industry in this way, we are also helping ourselves. The fewer people who are sick means the less likely it will spread. Further down in Romans 13, verses 9-10, it says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love does no harm to a neighbor.” Y’all help me, help you. Stay at home until God through the scientists recommends otherwise…

6. Being around other people encourages like nothing else. Y’all, I’m an introvert, and after a few hours around a lot of people, I have to retreat by myself. I start to feel overwhelmed almost like I’m an overloaded system that is stuck and can longer work. But now that our society has been sheltering in place, I’ve been fantasizing about going to street festivals. I cannot wait until I’m close enough to a bunch of people that I smell their sweat. Yes, I miss folks’ funk! LOL. And that’s why so many of us are meeting together via Zoom and other software to connect. It says in Hebrews 1o:25 to not stop “meeting together.” As an introvert, I do value and need time away from people but I also need to connect with people as well. 20/20 vision is becoming clear for this introvert.

7. Elders should be elevated. As the daughter of older parents, I already believed this, but this Coronavirus Crisis has forced us to take a hard look at how society sees our elders. Our elders are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and so we must make sure that we care for their well-being. And this is biblical. In Psalm 71:9, it says, “Do not cast me away when I am old; Do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” One day, if we’re lucky and blessed, we will be an elder and as I said earlier, when I help an elder, I’m actually helping myself. If we do this thing right, elders will be elevated as they should be.

So that’s all I got for now, but here’s a song to encourage me and you…

And this song is Scriptural too…

“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17

Any thoughts?