Jamal-Harrison Bryant has been named the new senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in the Stonecrest area of metro Atlanta. Here are 5 things to know about his new Atlanta megachurch.
Eddie Long: New Birth was built into a megachurch by Bishop Eddie Long, who died of an aggressive form of cancer in 2017. Long became pastor of the church in 1987, when it had only 300 members. As of 2010, it had grown to more than 25,000.
It’s stilll a big church: After the church was rocked by a scandal in 2010, membership started to decline. Church officials said last summer the membership roll was just over 10,000. Bryant’s Empowerment Temple in Baltimore also has 10,000 members.
Atlanta Metro: New Birth is located about 21 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta in the Stonecrest area of DeKalb County.
Coretta Scott King: The funeral for the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. was held here, at least in part because of the size of the sanctuary. In 2006, more than 10,000 people crammed into New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to say a final farewell to Coretta Scott King.
Influential chairman: Thomas Dortch Jr. is chairman of the New Birth church board, an indication of the kind of position New Birth has played in the religious and political life of metro Atlanta. Dortch is former state director for U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and chairman emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
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