There was a huge political battle getting ready to take place in Baltimore as Pastor Jamal Bryant was set to challenge powerful Congressman Elijah Cummings for his House seat. Pastor Bryant’s population has grown as he and his church Empowerment Temple in Northwest Baltimore were active during the unrest over the death of Freddie Gray.
Cummings has held the 7tth Congressional District seat for 11 terms and was equally involved in bringing calm and focus to the city. Cummings is considered a political powerhouse in national Black politics.
However, eight days after making his announcement to run against Cummings, Bryant has ended his campaign. The announcement caused shockwaves as Bryant stated that “his Church is his first priority.” Apparently, many members of his congregation were opposed to his candidacy. Bryant released a statement saying, “After we announced our campaign last week it quickly became clear that I had not heard from all the voices I needed to listen to — particularly the members of my church. While many of my congregation have been encouraging and supportive, others have expressed an ardent desire that I concentrate full time on the spiritual leadership of Empowerment Temple. Having reflected on these concerns and prayed, I believe the continued stewardship of my church is my highest calling.”
Bryant is a father of five and a graduate of Morehouse College holding a degree in political science and international relations. He also holds a master of divinity degree from Duke University and a doctorate in ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation. His congregation numbers at least 12,000.