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Inside Rev. Jamal Bryant’s final Sunday at Baltimore’s Empowerment Temple: Joy, tears, humor

Pastor Rev. Jamal Bryant delivers his final services at the church he built, the Empowerment Temple, before leaving for a new job in Atlanta. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun video)

Jonathan M. Pitts Jonathan M. PittsContact Reporter

The Baltimore Sun

When the Rev. Jamal H. Bryant took to the pulpit for his final day of services in Baltimore on Sunday, he says, he had no idea how things were going to turn out.

Half his congregation at the Empowerment Temple, the AME church he founded in West Baltimore in 2000, seemed upset at his recent decision to leave for a position in the Atlanta area, he said. Half seemed happy he’d have new opportunities.

It didn’t take long for the charismatic preacher to establish the kind of tone that has allowed him to turn the Empowerment Temple from a small Bible study in his living room into a spiritual and social-justice powerhouse with a worldwide reach.

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