Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his wife, LaTicia Kilpatrick, are introducing a bold new ministry called Movemental Ministries by hosting a service at 7 p.m. in Atlanta on Jan. 20.
The Kilpatricks intend for the ministry to serve as the transformational work of Jesus Christ and provide an outlet for those dealing with mental and spiritual issues brought on by the global pandemic.
When asked how he came up with the idea for this church, Kilpatrick recalled the seven years he spent in federal prison after being sentenced to 28 years, Detroit News reports.
“When I was in prison the first 18 months I was there, I was feeling sorry for myself, I was angry, mad at everybody, including people I didn’t know,” said Kilpatrick with a laugh.
When he entered the chapel at El Reno in the federal prison in Oklahoma, he met Bruce Smith, a Vietnam veteran standing at 6’3, who asked him if he had a personal relationship with God.
Kilpatrick honestly replied, “I told him, no, I don’t. I’ve been in church my whole life [and] I realized I did not. He was a white guy from Yukon, Oklahoma, that I never thought would be like this,” said the new pastor.
Smith relished in Kilpatrick’s honesty, sat in the back of the chapel, and spoke to Kilpatrick about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Kilpatrick, moved by Smith’s deliverance of the word of God, fell to his knees with tears in his eyes and dedicated his life to Christ. Kilpatrick worked in various posts and the chapel for the next six years as a janitor, sweeping the floors, wiping the pews, cleaning the bathrooms, and eventually teaching Bible studies.
The chaplain even requested that Kilpatrick preach a sermon.
“It was the most nervous I have ever been. I’ve spoken at Democratic conventions, [given commencement speeches] at large colleges but standing behind that pulpit preaching that first day to about 50 men; it was the most nervous and challenging day of my life, and [then it was] exhilarating. I did not want to do anything else after that,” said Kilpatrick of his first pastoral experience.
As Kilpatrick continued to seek God, he read a book titled The Permanent Revolution that discussed the first century Christians and how their movement turned the world upside down. The book emphasized the term movement, which significantly impacted Kilpatrick, who promised to follow in the apostles’ footsteps and create a movement upon his release from prison.
According to the Associated Press, a few years later, he received clemency in January 2021 from President Donald Trump in the final hours of his presidency. Within six months of being at home, he received confirmation to begin his ministry.
And recently, the former Detroit mayor and his wife announced they are expecting their first child together.
The unique aspect of Movemental Ministries is that Kilpatrick decided to be completely virtual.
On Jan. 19, he launched the ministry’s website to host opportunities for prayer and encouragement, two Bible studies a week, workshops, sermons every Saturday, and forums and seminars.
Also, his new book Off The Grid will be available on the site on Jan. 20.
Kilpatrick also plans to distribute grants to churches experiencing financial difficulties due to the pandemic so they can continue their outreach.
“One of the gifts that I have is knowing how to navigate the political machinery in Washington and state capitals and help churches become all they should be,” he says.
In addition to assisting other organizations, Kilpatrick wants his ministry to engage people who may feel disconnected from institutionalized religion and a European depiction of Christ.
“Our goal, our heartbeat of Movemental is to engage people. Most of our community knows something about church. But I don’t believe that most of our community have truly engaged in the authentic manhood and eternal friendship with Jesus Christ…so we may change from the inside out,” he explained.