Atlanta Pastor Jamal Bryant shocked many recently when he declared he wants his church, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, to start a weed farming business. During an interview with the “Cool Soror” podcast on Dec.7 with Rashan Ali, Rev. Bryant said such a business venture would not only generate income for the church but would also be a way to bring more Black boys into the church.
Bryant, who used to be married to Gizelle Bryant of the reality show “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” opened the interview by saying, “I’m looking for people that smell like weed.”
When Ali started to laugh, Bryant went on to explain his new business plans.
“No, no, really. New Birth is the largest land-owning Black church in America. So my position to my deacons is, why are we not raising cannabis?”
Bryant added, “I’ll be able to bring in Black males that are able to do it legally. I’m teaching them farming. I’m helping them to enhance the ecosystem.”
According to Bryant, it would be a win-win.
“So if the Black kid in Bankhead says, ‘They’re growing weed at the church! Where can I join?’ I don’t need a pamphlet for him,” the pastor said.
However, in Georgia, the state has strict laws against the sale of cannabis unless for medical purposes, Black Enterprise reported.
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Bryant has major plans for the church, which he took over in 2018 after the death of former pastor Bishop Eddie L. Long in 2017. At the time, the church was carrying more than $30 million in debt, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That debt is now about $29 million, Bryant told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2019. Among the plans to turn the church around was to develop its land.
New Birth owns at least 250 acres in DeKalb County, of which about 180 acres are “buildable.” The church plans to develop some of the acreage to build affordable housing and assisted living for senior citizens and a family medical facility– and now possibly a weed farm.
Photo by Terrance Barksdale: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cannabis-buds-in-close-up-photography-9159316/Pastor Jamal Bryant, Facebook, Official Business Page for New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.