Jamal Harrison Bryant

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Jamal Harrison Bryant
Born (1971-05-21) May 21, 1971 (age 45)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Occupation Pastor
Years active 2000-present
Children Naomi Bryant,Angel Bryant, Adore Bryant,Grace Bryant,Topaz Bryant, John Bryant
Website http://www.jamalbryant.org

Jamal Harrison Bryant (born May 21, 1971)[not verified in body] is an African-American pastor, as of February 2008, of the Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland in the U.S. He is the son of Bishop John Richard Bryant and Rev. Cecilia Williams-Bryant,[not verified in body] the latter of whom, as of this date,[when?] is an official of the 4th District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.[not verified in body] The younger Bryant is a graduate of Morehouse College and of Duke Divinity School.

Early life and education[edit]

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.[citation needed] While growing up, Bryant saw the influence and dissected the messages his mother and father delivered each time they stepped in the pulpit.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] The time spent in Africa helped change and prepare Bryant for his call to the ministry in the church.[citation needed]

Bryant dropped out of high school after the 11th grade but later obtained a GED to further his education.[citation needed] He holds a BA degree in Political Science and International Studies from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia[citation needed] and earned a MA of Divinity degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.[citation needed] In 2005, he received his Doctorate of Ministry degree from the unaccredited Graduate Theological Foundation.[1] In 1988, Bryant spent a year in West Africa in what he calls his "Damascus Road experience."[2][dead link][page needed]


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.

Empowerment Temple[edit]

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[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Other television appearances[edit]

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.[citation needed] According to Ebony Magazine, Bryant was labeled as one of America’s future leaders.[citation needed] 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 also made appearances on Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Potamac" as Gizelle Bryant's estranged husband.[3]

AME review after divorce[edit]

Officials of the AME denomination intended, as of February, 2008, to enter into discussions regarding Bryant's leadership, following mutual filings for divorce by Bryant, and spouse and fellow Hampton alumnus Gizelle Bryant.[4]


In February 2008, both of the Bryants, Jamal and Gizelle, a fellow Hampton University graduate, are described in a reliable published account as having mutually filed for divorce, "[h]e… seeking a 'limited divorce,' while his wife has requested an 'absolute divorce,' according to papers filed in Baltimore Circuit Court."[4]


  1. ^ http://www.gtfeducation.org/research/project-list.cfm
  2. ^ Bennett, Joy T. (2007). "The Rev Jamal-Harrison Bryant: from G.E.D. to Ph.D. and a global mission" (print). Ebony (September). Retrieved 9 February 2011. [dead link][page needed]
  3. ^ http://www.bravotv.com/people/gizelle-bryant
  4. ^ a b Reddy, Sumathi (2008). "Questions, concerns over pastor's divorce" (online). The Baltimore Sun (February 16). Retrieved 21 February 2016. Controversy surrounding the divorce case of the Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant—the flashy, influential pastor of the Empowerment Temple—will likely be addressed at the annual conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church next month. / Bishop Adam J. Richardson Jr., who presides over the Second Episcopal District, which includes Maryland, said that although he was not aware of any formal complaints about Bryant's pending divorce and his wife's allegation of adultery, Richardson planned to broach the topic at the conference in Baltimore. / 'There will be some questions that I ask,' Richardson said in a recent interview. 'Simply the same questions that we have with every pastor that deal with the character of pastors and whether or not anything official has come to the secretary of the conference about the moral or religious character of a pastor.' / … Bryant and his wife, a former model, are known for their flashy lifestyle, which includes a Bentley and a multimillion-dollar Canton waterfront property. Their lifestyle has attracted criticism from those who say the church is more about his business enterprises and building wealth than religion. Her original divorce complaint stated that he earned more than $350,000 a year. 

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