Friday, June 03, 2005

"Preach, Black Man!"

It seems nowadays that the wave of teleevangelism continues to grow in enormous proportions that to many it seems to be a bit over-exhausted. Nevertheless, there are some that bring an urgency of importance to this spectrum of ministry and uses it with an overwhelming abundance of excellence. If you have ever heard the Reverend Jamal Harrison-Bryant preach anything, you have probably giving him your full attention and experienced mixed emotions that promises satisfaction. Of course, jittery emotions doesn't always qualify a sermon or preached message to being of good standards, but Bryant has a way of reaching to the total man: preaching to the soul, encouraging the spirit and strengthening the mind. That is probably why Jamal Harrison-Bryant has become an overnight sensation to many and is the senior pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination. Founded in 2000 with 43 members, Empowerment Temple AME Church, located in Baltimore, MD, went through several transformations which eventually leads up to their new edifice housing 6,000 active partakers every Sunday morning. He also has set an incredible record for his influence on young people and men which makes up the bulk of his church membership.

And even though he talks a good talk, Bryant has an extensive record of being one of America's revolutionary leaders and continues to show forth the evidence thereof which includes working with the NAACP, being recognized in Ebony Magazine and has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, BET and the controversial "Politically Incorrect" hosted by Bill Maher. And everywhere he goes, he takes a profound message of hope and power that has helped resurrect the teachings of the "social/liberation gospel" which gave way during the late 60s' by legendary theologians of Rev. James Cone and DeOtis Roberts. Many have even compared his teachings and efforts to the likes of the slain civil rights leader, the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

My experience with this new Kingdom-developer has been quite riveting. After being a eight-year member of the AME Church myself before moving on to where I am today (Baptist, non-denominational) , I took notice to Bryant's achievements and recall interacting with the profound pastor online. His words of encouragement helped me to deal with the oppression of religious structures and degrading traditions that I had to face in church. That message of hope still lives with me today and as I look at Bryant's achievements now, I smile with sheer abundance. He's been on TBN since then and has killed the listening audience (in a good way) at T.D. Jakes' MegaFest in Atlanta. Why should I be amazed? His messages are always uplifting, very spontaneous, always inspiring and helps propel a sense of relief to life's worries and problems. He's very humorous and always seems to have a strong connection with his audience. And even when he's in other cultures and arenas, he always has a word for his black people. That's probably why he has such a mighty effect on urban America and has helped made him one of the key leaders of today's Joshua generation.

In a day when most African-Americans tend to think that the NAACP and the SCLC seems to focus more on mild conversation pieces rather than serious issues, the church is becoming more and more visible in tackling the real matters of the time such as economic stabilization, community development, family empowerment, moral awareness and HIV/AIDS research. And if you are looking for that kind of message, Jamal Harrison-Bryant has a word for you....and as he always adds into his oratorical deliveries, you are bound to reply to these words, "Preach on, black man!".


Empowerment Temple AME
Jamal Harrison Bryant Ministries

Mega-Fest 2005

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