Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was recently released from prison after his sentence was commuted by former President Donald Trump, preached a sermon at a historically African American church.
Kilpatrick, who was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 28 years in prison after being found guilty of various corruption charges, but served only seven years before his commutation, preached a sermon at Historic Little Rock Baptist Church.
“This is Kwam,' right here. This is what you get, what you got. I ain’t trying to trick nobody, manipulate nobody, I ain’t trying to cheat nobody, I ain’t trying to do none of that — the light is on,” declared the former mayor, as reported by the Detroit Free Press.
Kilpatrick went on to speak about wanting to build his own ministry, explaining that while in prison, he served several months in solitary confinement, adding that “God was with me in there.”
“I learned how to pray for nobody. I learned how to worship with no audience. I learned how to preach without a single person in the room,” he continued.
The Christian Post reached out to Historic Little Rock Baptist Church for comment on this story; however, the church's spokesperson was unable to respond by press time.
Kilpatrick was elected mayor of Detroit in 2002. But 2013, he was found guilty of various crimes tied to a racketeering conspiracy, among them bribery, extortion and fraud.
In addition to Kilpatrick, 32, other individuals tied to his crimes were also convicted, with his friend Bobby Ferguson, a contractor, getting a 21-year prison sentence.
“Kilpatrick and Ferguson established a ‘pay to play’ system that made breaking the law standard operating procedure. Kilpatrick extorted city vendors, rigged bids, and took bribes,” the FBI said in November 2013. “He used funds from nonprofit civic organizations to line his pockets and those of his family. And he was unabashed about it.”
One example cited by the FBI was a donation of $500,000 that was meant for community improvements. Instead, Kilpatrick spent the money on “luxury vacations, spa treatments and golf clubs.”
On Jan. 20, Kilpatrick was one of 70 individuals whose sentences were commuted by Trump before he left office, with the White House noting the strong support for the decision among the Detroit community.
“Mr. Kilpatrick has served approximately 7 years in prison for his role in a racketeering and bribery scheme while he held public office,” stated the White House. “During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates.”