When you become a pastor of one of the fastest growing mega-churches in the country and you're seen on BET and TBN almost every week, and have become one of today's high-profiled influential leaders within the African-American community, you can't help but run across a pile of "haters" further down the road. Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple AME located in Baltimore, may have a big problem with such "haters" and the recent reports hitting the media about his recent troubles with Bianca Wilson and Michelle Wedderburn; two different women who both have filed lawsuits against the famed pastor for a number of issues including paternity tests, peace orders and child support.
A few weeks ago, emails from anonymous sources and a number of bloggers challenged the reverend's integrity and have even pressured Bryant to lightly speak about the situations during recent church services. At the time, the future on Wilson's case is still in the air since she is now pregnant with child and will have to deliver the child in order to prove that Bryant is the father. The two have been summoned a peace order by the court system. As for Wedderburn's case, Bryant has to pay $400 a month for child support - since Bryant has been proven to be the child's father. This decision outrages a number of Bryant's critics since they feel he is a multi-millionaire and believes that $400 a month is next to nothing for the plaintiff. Word has it that Bryant's wife had no idea prior to the opening of this case of Naomi Bryant; the young child conceived by Wedderburn and Rev. Bryant.
Public information and documents on Bryant's cases, including a recent case surrounding a traffic violation, can be acquired at the Maryland Court official website.
When will the church be the church? All I ask for is that the preachers of today start to live the same stuff they profess about in the pulpit. If we get that right, then the world wouldn't have a problem with coming to church on next Sunday.
[updated: August 12, 2007]