Rev. Jamal H. Bryant, pastor and founder of Baltimore’s Empowerment Temple AME Church, has come under fire for his remarks seeming to support open marriages on his new television talk show “The Preachers.”
“The Preachers,” which began airing earlier this month on FOX, is a talk show composed of four preachers: John Gray, associate pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Tx, Dr. E Dewey Smith, pastor of The House of Hope Atlanta in Decatur, Ga. and Orrick Quick, pastor of God Seekers Church in High Point, N.C. plus Bryant.
On July 12, The Preachers had Academy Award winning- actress and comedian Mo’Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks on their show.
Mo’Nique and her husband, who host a podcast about their open marriage, spoke candidly about their relationship.
“When we first came out with it [open marriage] everybody said, ‘Oh my God, how could Mo’Nique let that man do that to her? Because she’s this big woman, he’s this good looking man and because she has this money she going to let that man do whatever he wants to do, just to say that she has a fine man,’” Mo’Nique said on the show.
Pastor Gray, who kept asking whose idea was it to start the open marriage, seemed surprised when Mo’Nique said it was her idea.
“I’m an entertainer and this is my best friend ever, and what I did not want to do is be dishonest with my best friend,” said Mo’Nique. “There may be times I may want to be with other men. And my best friend said to me, ‘Mama, I loved you since the 10th grade. Do you think you being with another man is going to have anything do with me loving you?’ And then he said, ‘You know, if you can be with other men I can be with other women.’”
In response Bryant, who got divorced after fathering a child with a member of his congregation, said, “I think that’s amazing and a lot of people think that is novel and y’all ‘church people’ are going to have a heart attack,” said Bryant. “I believed in open marriage, I just forgot to tell my ex-wife about it,” he said while laughing.
This is not Bryant’s first time being front and center in the news and media. In May, Bryant took to social media to address allegations of him refusing to acknowledge he recently fathered a child.
In video posted to Periscope Bryant said, “Over the last week a lot has been said, a lot has been suggested and like you I was thrown into a tailspin. I had to shut down for a minute so that my response would not be that of a man but be priestly as a man of God. To that end, let me say to you, I am one of those rare people who are flawed with character. With all of my issues, I don’t run from them but I stand right next to them.”
Bryant neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.
In February 2008, Bryant and his ex-wife Gizelle Bryant filed for divorce. Gizelle is currently a cast member of the television show “The Real Housewives of Potomac.” In an interview on the Joe Lockett show Gizelle said, “I would recommend that people getting married, really need to know who they are individually before they can connect with somebody else.”