By Victor Ochieng
The Black Panther movie was such a big success. It didn’t disappoint, and its performance has marveled many. This is more so because the movie has good content; it’s inspirational and, as some of its fans say, it promotes family values. True or not, what we know is that it’s indeed a success.
Because of its fame, many pastors are riding on its appeal to promote their ministry works. One such preacher is Jamal Bryant. He did a poster advertising an event called “The Gospel of Wakanda,” a Sunday event in which members of his church were invited to come to the service dressed in their best African attire.
“It’s notable that Marvel released Black Panther last weekend with discussions of racial identity on the national stage,” says a commentary under the invited poster shared on The Old Black Church blog. “The film wears its African origins and culture on its sleeve, striking all the right notes without ever feeling cheap or gimmicky.”
Pastor Bryant and his Empowerment Temple Church are keen on taking advantage of the Black Panther success and ride on it throughout March and all the way to Easter. During the period, the church is asking parishioners to come to church in their best African outfits.
This isn’t new about Bryant. He’s known for taking advantage of topical issues to grow his fame or, better still, attract people to his church. As for him, it doesn’t matter; he can use politics, social issues and now movies.
What has, however, put some people off in his latest strategy is the design of the invitation poster, in which he’s pictured sitting on a throne-like seat. While some of his followers on Instagram were clapping at him, praising him for coming up with “The Gospel of Wakanda,” there are those who feel he’s exalting himself instead of exalting the Kingdom of God.
Many commenters on The Old Black Church took a swipe at Bryant for his use of the Black Panther theme in his sermons.
“This Black Panther stuff [is] going way [too] far folks,” wrote one commenter who appeared put aback by the poster. “Please people get back to studying the WORD of GOD!!! People are getting to carried away…nothing about this movie was scriptural.”
Then there is a commenter who said outright that Bryant is only keen on putting on a show.
After all is said and done, maybe it’s time Bryant focused on preaching the pure gospel of the Blood of Jesus instead of his theatrics that only work to give him fame and not draw more people to the Messiah.