FPA / BACKGRID
Rapper Mase returned to the pulpit to lead troubled The Gathering Oasis Church in Atlanta.
Mase, real name Mason Betha, was pastor at El Elyon International Church in Atlanta more than a decade ago before leaving to attempt a rap comeback.
He cut ties with the church in 2014 after his long-suffering wife Twyla Betha's divorce filing angered his parishioners. Twyla withdrew her divorce filing and the couple was able to save their marriage.
Cornelius Lindsey, who founded The Gathering Oasis Church, announced Mase's hiring in a statement on Facebook Sunday.
Pastor Lindsey, who recently resigned as leader of the church following allegations of spiritual, financial and psychological abuse, was optimistic about Mase's return to the pulpit.
"I've been encouraged by our conversations and your heart for the people. You come with a fresh vision and renewed hope. I'm thankful for our initial conversation that started out talking about life and slowly unraveled into a serious conversation on transitioning that's brought us to this point today," Lindsey wrote.
In a discussion on YouTube, Mase, 45, said he hopes to lead today's lost youth back to the church. He said the violent crime spree that has gripped Atlanta is a sign from God that his people have lost their way.
"I really see this generation being turned back into God's hands. I think there's been a major challenge with the city like being able to direct people back to God and I really welcome the challenge to do so," he said.
Mega church leader and founder of World Changers Church Creflo Dollar praised Mase and Twyla and he has high hopes for The Gathering Oasis Church.
"We are transitioning over to Pastor Mase and Twyla Betha. You know what an act of love to decide that we can't leave you comfortless," he said. "It reminds me of what Jesus did when he left the earth. He said 'I won't leave you comfortless but I'll give you another comforter which is the Holy Ghost who will lead and guide you and teach you in all things. And that's what I see in this transition tonight. Another comforter."
He added that Mason and Twyla are "anointed to get the job done."
Mase was signed to Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records in the late 1990s. The Grammy-nominated rap artist had six Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 singles and five US Rap No. 1 singles.
Photos by Getty Images, ATLpics.net
Rapper Mase aired out his former boss, Sean "Puffy" Combs, calling the 50-year-old music mogul a hypocrite over his allegedly unfair business practices.
Mase, whose real name is Mason Betha, called out Combs after the mogul rejected his offer of $2 million for his music publishing.
Mase was one of the biggest artists on Comb's Bad Boy Records label. Among their hit songs was "Been Around the World."
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Image
Mase, 44, responded to Combs receiving the Recording Academy's Salute to Industry Icons award at the Grammy Awards on Sunday. He was annoyed when Combs vowed to give control back to artists.
The "Harlem World" rapper posted a photo of Meek Mill along with a tweet referencing "young Black kids in slave contracts in the music business."
"I heard your #Grammy speech about how u are now for the artist and about how the artist must take back control. So I will be the first to take that initiative," Mase wrote in a lengthy open letter to Puffy on Friday.
Photo by FayesVision/WENN.com
"Your past business practices knowingly has continued purposely starved your artist and been extremely unfair to the very same artist that helped u obtain that Icon Award on the iconic Badboy label. For example, u still got my publishing from 24 years ago in which u gave me $20k. Which makes me never want to work w/ u as any artist wouldn’t after u know someone is robbing you & tarnishing your name when u don’t want to comply w/ his horrendous business model."
Mase went on to describe offering Combs $2 million for his publishing, but Combs rejected his offer.
"To add insult, u keep screaming black excellence and love but I know love isn’t free. So I offered u 2m in cash just a few days ago to sell me back my publishing(as his biggest artist alive) that always show u respect for u giving me an opportunity at 19 yrs old. Your response was if I can match what the EUROPEAN GUY OFFER him that would be the only way I can get it back. Or else I can wait until I'm 50 years old and it will revert back to me from when I was 19 years old. You bought it for about 20k & I offered you 2m in cash. This is not black excellence at all. When our own race is enslaving us. If it’s about us owning, it can’t be about us owning each other. No More Hiding Behind "Love". U CHANGED? GIVE THE ARTIST BACK THEIR $$$. So they can take care of their families."
Kenny Burns, pictured with former rapper and pastor Mase, hosted the monthly "Cassette" party at District nightclub in Atlanta. Celebrity guests include T.I., Lil Duval, Big Boi, and reality star Erica Pinkett.
Read more »
A loyal reader alerted me to this story last week but I held off on posting it because I needed more to go on. Now that one of the principals in this story has been busted for soliciting sex from a minor, I have decided to run this story.
According to my loyal reader, former rapper-turned preacher Mason "Ma$e" Betha was recently spotted in his hometown of Jacksonville where he is allegedly being courted to head a megachurch called Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church. The church boasts 7,000 members and until recently, was run by a man named Darrell Gilyard.
For the past 15 years, Pastor Gilyard served his congregation well - until a 16-year-old told her momma about the inappropriate text messages he had been sending her. Mr. Gilyard was subsequently arrested on Jan. 14 and charged with lewd and lascivious conduct involving a minor. This was not the first such charge leveled at Gilyard who stepped down as pastor once the allegations came to light.
According to my loyal reader, Pastor Gilyard may be coming to Atlanta to take the helm of pastor Betha's S.A.N.E. Ministries if Ma$e gets his old job. The irony in all of this is no one wins in either congregation. You have Pastor Betha who is rumored to curry the sexual favors of transvestite hookers over his lovely wife Twyla Betha. And now his church may be losing him and gaining a pedophile.
Is God paying attention to any of this?