Jamal Harrison Bryant
|Jamal Harrison Bryant|
May 21, 1971 |
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Children||5 daughters Topaz, Naomi, Grace, and twins Angel and Adore|
Jamal Harrison Bryant (born May 21, 1971) is an African-American preacher and pastor of the Empowerment Temple AME Church in his hometown of Baltimore. He is the son of Bishop John Richard Bryant, Senior Bishop and Presiding Prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
Early life and education
Bryant was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Bishop John Richard Bryant and Rev. Cecilia Williams-Bryant in Cambridge, MA while Bishop Bryant (at the time Rev. John Bryant) was the pastor at St. Paul AME Church. While growing up, Bryant saw the influence and dissected the messages his mother and father delivered each time they stepped in the pulpit. When his father was elected bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church the summer of 1988, the family spent time in Africa for their first assignment. The time spent in Africa helped change and prepare Bryant for his call to the ministry in the church.
Bryant dropped out of high school after the 11th grade but later obtained a GED to further his education. He holds a BA degree in Political Science and International Studies from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and earned a MA of Divinity degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. In 2005, he received his Doctorate of Ministry degree from the unaccredited Graduate Theological Foundation. In 1988, Bryant spent a year in West Africa in what he calls his "Damascus Road experience."
Prior to his role as pastor, Bryant served as the director of the NAACP’s youth and college division. A dynamic motivational speaker, he was responsible for over 650 youth councils and college chapters representing over 68,000 young people in the United States, Germany, and Japan. Today, his ecumenical messages have been heard in places abroad such as South Africa, Belgium, England, and India.
Jamal Harrison Bryant founded Empowerment Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1999. The congregation has grown rapidly, becoming a major Baltimore mega-church with more than 10,000 members. Rev. Bryant and the congregation have a large digital and television footprint. Rev. Bryant claims more than 35,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, and his "Power for Life" program is broadcast on nine different stations around the country.
Under Bryant’s leadership, his church has expanded into the Empowerment Academy serving grades pre-K through seven and the Empowerment Family Life Center. These two institutions serve the community by offering quality education, foreclosure assistance, food and clothing, Christmas gifts, and Single Parents’ Wheels car-buying assistance program. The church has pledged thousands of dollars to get guns off the street and to lower the crime rate.
Over the years, Bryant’s ministry has also become an international effort as he has ministered in Africa, France, England, India, and Australia. He is the host of the Got Power? television broadcast which is seen in 35 cities in the U.S., and the radio broadcast is currently heard by a half million people across the continent of Africa.
“Power for Life” TV and Radio broadcasts
Bryant's “Power for Life” broadcast can be heard weekly on both internet radio and on podcasts and across the United States, the Caribbean, England and throughout the continent of Africa. His television broadcast can be seen weekly on such Christian networks such as Trinity Broadcasting Network, and also on BET's Morning Worship segment on weekday mornings. Excerpts of his sermons can also be seen online at his online website.
Other television appearances
In addition to his own program, Bryant has appeared on BET’s Meet the Faith, CNN, C-SPAN, and Politically Incorrect. He has also served as a panelist on the National town hall meeting entitled, “The State of Black America”, and “The State of the Black Church”, hosted by Tavis Smiley. According to Ebony Magazine, Bryant was labeled as one of America’s future leaders. He is currently serving as spiritual advisor to Omarosa on the reality show The Ultimate Merger. He also served as Spiritual advisor to K-Ci & JoJo reality show which also aired on the TV One network. He was a skype guest on a VH1 Special Love & Hip Hop in Hollywood where the panel on the show debated/discussed about his homophobia in terms of the church.
Bryant has a daughter, Topaz (born in 1998), with an Atlanta woman named Crystal Madison.
He married Hampton University graduate Gizelle Bryant in 2002. They have daughters Grace (born November 2004) and twins Angel & Adore (born April 2006 ). In summer 2007 rumors exploded in the church that Jamal had gotten a 17-year-old church member pregnant. Church leaders asked him to step down while they initiated an investigation and awaited paternity test results. Jamal only responded that it is a private matter. Months after the investigation, Jamal Bryant remained the pastor of Empowerment Temple.
After Michelle Wedderburn filed for a child support increase, he finally acknowledged that he had fathered a daughter named Naomi with her in 2001.
In January 2008, Gizelle filed for divorce, but later cancelled the filing on January 24. In 2010 Gizelle attended Empowerment Temple and was called wife and first lady by Jamal, causing many to wonder if they had divorced. In 2012, Jamal Bryant was interviewed by Roland Martin concerning his affair and divorce where Bryant confirmed that they were divorced,living together, good friends and were co-parenting their children well. He stated in the interview that had he not divorced her he knows he would have been unfaithful again.
- Bennett, Joy T (September 2007). "The Rev Jamal-Harrison Bryant: from G.E.D. to PH.D. and a global mission". Ebony. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- http://www.jamalbryantonline.com Bishop Jamal Bryant's online weblink
- https://twitter.com/GizelleBryant/status/265113496159666177 Happy 8th Birthday Grace
- Sumathi Reddy (February 16, 2008). "Questions, concerns over pastor's divorce". The Baltimore Sun.