‘EBONY’ Magazine Apologizes To Pastor Jamal Bryant For Reporting On His Rumored Affair With A Minor

March 4, 2013  |  

Source: Facebook

In their March 2013 “The Real-Life Scandal Issue,” EBONY magazine published a feature entitled “Simply Scandalous,” in which they listed and briefly discussed a host of “real-life” scandals and scandal-esque rumors that rocked the entertainment world. Among those tidbits printed by the publication included one that involved Maryland’s Empowerment Temple pastor, Reverend Jamal Bryant. The excerpt on Bryant reads:

When: 2007

WTH: Bryant, a charismatic, flashy pastor and founder of the Empowerment Temple AME Church with 10,000 members in Baltimore, was accused of extramarital affairs, including one rumor that he impregnated a 17-year-old church member. His wife, Gizelle, filed for divorce in 2008 after more than five years of marriage.

The Outcome: Bryant’s popularity and ministry have not wavered at Empowerment Temple.”

Bryant, clearly unhappy with the publication’s decision to write about his alleged involvement with the teen expressed  his disappointment in an issued letter entitled, “Pastor Jamal Bryant Rebukes EBONY,” reports The Christian Post.  The letter reads:

“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)”

Within 24 hours of the Pastor’s public chastisement of EBONY, the iconic publication issued a public apology.

“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.”

Bryant, who has openly confessed to participating in an extramarital affair in the past, is placing pressure on EBONY to retract their statement regarding his rumored involvement with a minor on “moral grounds.”

Should the magazine retract their statement? Did they owe Pastor Bryant an apology at all?

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  • Guest

    Well if Fantasia got one from JET…

  • Gimmeabreak78

    Am I the only person who doesn’t care that a sham preacher’s feelings are hurt because Ebony got the age of his mistress wrong? *Kanye shrug*

  • Meemo

    Ebony is wrong to say they reported on “rumors” b/c they are scandalous. Ebony is about building up our race, not tearing it down. The article shouldn’t have ran in Ebony at all! Much less a lie. It’s irresponsible and disheartening.

  • he doesn’t deny the affair or the baby. so she was 17 and 1/2 when it went down? Or just turned 18? I mean was he waiting Xing the days off on the calendar until he could get her? Gross!

  • L-Boogie

    They can apologize; however, what is the status of his marriage?

  • Denise

    Wait a second. Pastor Bryant did indeed have an affair. That affair did indeed result in the dissolution of his marriage and the pregnancy of a young parishioner. All of this is printed in the letter Pastor Bryant submitted to Ebony. The bulk of his complaint is about saying the girl in question was 17. Madame Noire would be well-served to print the letter in its entirety, to give readers a more comprehensive view of this complex issue.

    • Jay Lane

      It ain’t complex. He banged a pyt and is not super psyched about having the issue rehashed with his children. Mind you, these are the same children he didn’t seem to mind indulging in an affair in front of in their church home but now suddenly it’s an issue and EBONY is the party being “reckless”? Spare. Me.

    • kds0116

      I know right. I don’t understand what Pastor Bryant is refuting. I read about this story years ago in a Chrisitan newsletter. This “rumor”, if that’s what you want to call it has been whispered about in the Christian community all over for years. It is what it is. Just get in line behind Bishop Long for your seat, and quit playing with folks hurting and looking for hope.

  • Rosemary Davis

    I think Ebony better pull that check book out I smell a slanderous law suit coming on but this what they get for not fact checking now they want to turn what they printed to make it seem as if they were talking about something else why report anything rumor wise if it is not true because folks will start talking about misguided information and before you know it what is not true could end up sounding true although it’s not

    • its not a rumor…. there is video clips of him getting up infront of his congregation apologizing to his church about what he did. Now the part about the young ladies age, that may be wrong, but this is not all a rumor.

      • Rosemary Davis

        If true than why did Ebony issue an apology.In 2007 he admitted to being unfaithful so maybe that was the video that you are speaking about

      • Ben

        I think you should get your facts and dates correct…. He apologised for the affair in 07.he even mentioned it in the letter!

        This ebony accusation is something new. It is false!

  • If it’s untrue, then EBONY definitely needs to apologize and print up a retraction. Minors and sex are one thing you can’t play about in this day and age.

    • Amija James

      Yes, it’s one thing to have an affair, but when you start talking about underage girls, that’s a whole different level of effed up.

  • Gigi

    “Ebony is not the National Enquirer. A higher standard is required…” <<<This right here is the reverend's point and one with which I truly agree. The rest, I can't speak to.

    • Gigi

      What in the world just happened to my comment?!