Kwame Kilpatrick preaches at Detroit church in first public appearance since prison release

Former mayor spoke at Historic Little Rock Baptist Church

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was back in the spotlight on Sunday as he preached to a packed church in Detroit.
Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was back in the spotlight on Sunday as he preached to a packed church in Detroit.

DETROIT – Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was back in the spotlight on Sunday as he preached to a packed church in Detroit.

It was his first public event since his release from prison. He spoke at the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit. He was greeted with a standing ovation and shouts of “Kwame.”

Read: ‘The Kwame Kilpatrick rollercoaster ride’ -- The rise and fall of former Detroit mayor

In his sermon, titled “It’s Not Time To Die”, he spoke about redemption and being reborn during his eight years in prison.

He arrived to the church in a Jeep and waved briefly, but did decline to speak with the media. He was greeted warmly by supporters.

“I want to thank you for praying for me,” he said during his sermon.

Kilpatrick served seven years of a 28-year prison sentence for corruption. He was released in January after former President Donald Trump commuted his sentence. His message on Sunday was one of redemption.

Read: Trump commutes sentence of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick after 7 years in prison

S“God moved me and said, ‘You the one that came back,’” he said. “I know ya’ll. I’m not in Cleveland, Atlanta, I’m not anywhere else. I’m in Detroit. I know ya’ll.”

Support for the former mayor hasn’t waned since his time in federal prison. Families flocked to hear him preach.

“I believe that he regrets what has been done, but knowing Kwame, he is a person that will excel,” an attendee said.

Kilpatrick now lives in Atlanta, but he was back in Detroit this weekend to speak.

“I ain’t trying to trick nobody, manipulate nobody, cheat nobody, none of that. The light is on,” Kilpatrick said.

Read: ‘They thought I was dead’: Kwame Kilpatrick delivers message about redemption in ‘I will not die’ sermon


About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.