In his first public appearance since being freed from jail in January, Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Mayor of Detroit, gave a sermon at a local church on Sunday.
Fox News said that Kilpatrick did not talk to the reporters as he made his way to Detroit's Historic Little Rock Baptist Church. Kilpatrick first spoke to a congregation inside, remembering the day he said God called him in prison.
"One day the Chaplain came to me and he said, 'I want you to be worship leader,' and I was scared because I never had been worship leader and then he told me, 'It's not really about you. That's what the Lord moved me to tell you, that's what you're going to do,'" he told them.
Kilpatrick also shared his experiences serving in the chapel, where he spent 6 1/2 years of his eight years in jail before being invited to deliver a sermon.
His testimony included his time in solitary confinement, during which he claimed to have sensed the prayers of the public for him.
"I learned it's alright to be honest with God because He knows anyway, I learned how to pray with no one around, I learned how to worship with no audience, I learned how to preach with not a single person in the room," he went on.
Now speaking as a free man, he said, "God said you're the one who came back."
His appeal to Trump
According to the Christian Post, Kilpatrick was one of the 70 people whose sentences were commuted by former President Donald Trump before leaving office.
The 45th White House noted that "during his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates."
Following his conviction in 2013 and a 28-year prison term after being found guilty of numerous corruption offenses, Kilpatrick only spent seven years of his sentence.
As a result of his conviction, Kilpatrick was denied all of his previous appeals, reports Detroit Free Press. Nonetheless, he was able to persuade Trump that he was deserving of an early release, claiming that he had been unfairly targeted by the media, hustled by the government, and punished unfairly.
Kilpatrick was freed when Trump determined that he was not a danger to the society and that he had made full restitution for his previous misdeeds.
His personal ministry
In an interview with Deadline Detroit, Kilpatrick was asked if he has any plans to start a church after being invited to preach.
"Good question," he answered. "I think it's dangerous for people to just say, 'Hey I'm going to open up a church.' I think that's what the problem is with the state of the, quote, unquote, church of today. People are so turned off by it."
He explained that this requires a call from God, but he will do it if he's led to it and a way is opened for him in a specific church.
He did, however, talk about the ministry opportunities he had while incarcerated in prison. In addition to being chosen as a worship leader or delivering a sermon during chapel time, his room became a counseling space where listened to troubled inmates.
"I know that's what I'm supposed to be doing," he said of his shift to ministry away from politics, Deadline Detroit noted. "I can't imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life."
Kilpatrick will be attending theological seminary school at Columbia University in the fall.