Last week, Pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant wrote an open letter to EBONY magazine titled, “Pastor Jamal Bryant Rebukes EBONY,” rebuking a story printed in their March 2013 issue, which accused him of impregnating a teenage member of his congregation.
In the letter, Bryant called the accusation that he slept with a minor, “categorically and completely untrue.”
Pastor Bryant writes:
For 67 years Ebony Magazine has been the drum beat for culture in the African American community. John Johnson its beloved founder dedicated his life to safe guarding our image with great integrity.
The March 2013 edition has left a hole in my heart. On page 124 they published that it’s alleged I impregnated a 17-year-old member of my church. This accusation is categorically and completely untrue. To publish this with absolutely no source lends itself to reckless endangerment to my children, my congregation and my community.
Ebony is not the National Enquirer. A higher standard is required and the statement jeopardizes my ministry to the youth in my church and community. So it is on moral grounds that a retraction is necessary.
In 2007 I participated in an extramarital affair that resulted ultimately in the termination of my marriage to my incredible wife Gizelle. NO minors were involved but my minor children have been affected. I don’t want them to have to live through any further unnecessary pain.
Matthew 18:15 say’s if your brother has sinned against you go and tell him his fault. I solicit your continued prayers for my family, forgiveness for myself and accountability from Ebony magazine.
Flawed but faithful. I remain,
Jamal- Harrison Bryant
(A Father and Pastor)
Here’s Ebony Magazine’s response to Pastor Jamal Bryant’s letter:
“Our ‘Scandals’ package in the March 2013 issue is meant to be a look at some of the more outrageous accusations and events in African-American culture. With this particular story, we examined actual incidents as well as reported rumors which have captured the attention of our community throughout the years. In some cases, the allegations were never verified; however, the very fact that they went public constituted scandal.
We understand that Dr. Jamal H. Bryant is now getting inquiries regarding a rumor we referenced in the magazine. We published the outrageous allegation as it was scandalous, not because it was confirmed. We did not intend to offend Dr. Bryant, and hope that our readers understand the spirit in which the editorial comment was presented.”
Here’s a 2010 video of Pastor Bryant welcoming his wife Gizelle at the Empowerment Temple’s 10th Anniversary.