T.I visited the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta where Jamal Bryant is the Pastor. The rapper, along with his wife Tiny, were accompanied by 2 Chainz and wife Keshia, who sat next to them in the front row.
After a picture of T.I. with a stank look on his face went viral, T.I. explained the context of the photo to Killer Mike during a recent episode of his podcast, #ExpediTIously.
The rapper said, “I cut my fellowshiping short at Magic City to get 45 minutes of sleep to drive by here and be accosted and basically exploited,” T.I. Told Killer Mike. “As soon as I sat down—mind you, I’m telling you they had already raised the offering. [The pastor] had already raised the offering—when we sat down, there was a whole new agenda… It’s like they rung the red bell at the Player’s Club… You ain’t [about to] run no game on me. I will not be extorted.”
T.I. said the pastor was calling on 20 people to each donate $1,000 as soon as he arrived.
However, Jamal Bryant caught wind of T.I.s comments and quickly denied the allegations by releasing a lengthy statement on Instagram saying in part that, “There was NO money grab intention but part of an internal strategy to mobilize our church community to move towards economic independence. As black men, I hope we can come together “expeditiously” to find common ground to build. I want to invite both of you to come and give church another chance. I promise you I’m more interested in your life than your life savings!”
Shortly after, T.I. responded in Bryant’s comments saying that he has nothing but “love and respect” for the pastor and that he would be down for another meeting.