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

Once promising politician recently announced he is joining the ministry

Kwame Kilpatrick preaching Sunday, June 13 in Detroit.
Kwame Kilpatrick preaching Sunday, June 13 in Detroit. (Natasha Dado)

DETROIT – Speaking Sunday to a large crowd at Historic Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick shared a message about redemption while delivering a powerful sermon called, “I will not die.”

The former Detroit mayor was sentenced to prison for 28 years in 2013. He was convicted of fraud and racketeering. In January 2021, former President Donald Trump granted Kilpatrick a last-minute commutation and he walked free.

“Oh, God, oh. They thought I was dead. They literally beat me to death. But I came to my sick. They thought I was dead. But I came to my sick,” said Kilpatrick while delivering the sermon centered around his own personal experiences in prison.

The once promising politician spoke for more than one hour encouraging people to triumph over their own personal battles.

“I know many of you have lost children, you’ve lost spouses, you’ve lost your parents. This has been a horrible 18 months. But I’m here to tell you, it’s not time to die ... I know that you’re dealing with cancer and COVID, diabetes, but I’m here to tell you, it’s not time to die. I know somebody in here is facing thirty years in prison. I know they’re after you. I know you think it’s all over with. But I’m here to tell you, it’s not time today,” Kilpatrick said.

He was introduced as “Reverend Kwame Kilpatrick.” Kilpatrick, 51, recently announced he is joining the ministry and got engaged. He did not discuss his future aspirations on Sunday. He does have plans to attend divinity school at Columbia University.

This was his first public event since he was released from prison in January.

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


About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.