Hi, I’m Fr. Jabriel Ballentine. I am an Episcopal Priest and want to be your personal pastor, helping you build and maintain the faith and relationships that will enable you to defeat White supremacy as you journey to the Promised Land. Welcome to my site and thank you for visiting!
Along our Journey through America, Moses went down to Egypt-land, to set her people free from bondage. And Dr. King assured us in his Mountaintop Speech that we, as a people, would get to the Promised Land – that place where our lives would be equally valued in the eyes of all, as being created in the image of God. But, despite our victories as a people, White supremacy has still prevented us from making it to that place of Beloved Community. The lives of Black people are still not of equal value to our Society.
James Baldwin said, “To be a Negro in this Country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”
I founded JahBread LLC to help people who are relatively conscious, i.e. “Woke Folks,” to identify the Promised Land and harness the power they need to get there. We help people find a faith that isn’t tainted by White supremacy and helps them build Beloved Communities where we can reconcile the problems of our shared world as true equals.
We still have to make it to the Promised Land. And to make it, we will have to defeat White supremacy. I discuss that in my eBook, Reparations: The Foundations of Black Power. You can download a free copy here, if you want to better understand how I believe we can overcome White supremacy & racism.
On my poetry album, Journey to the Promised Land, I share more of this African Orthodox Christian interpretation of Scripture that shapes my perspective. And in my book, Game Changer: How to Find a Championship Love, you’ll learn the aspirational view of marriage and family life that will help us succeed in securing freedom.
My media appearances
Recently, I’ve been featured in the following media:
- Orlando Sentinel: “White privilege impacts blacks and whites: My Word” May 5, 2015
- Orlando Sentinel: “Central Florida pastors search for common ground between blacks, whites” April 26, 2015
- Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations “The One Thing We Learn from Ferguson“
- The Orlando Times: “Recusal, Removal, Rallies And The Debate Over Death Penalty Relevance”
- Central Florida Episcopalian: “Orlando church opens doors to hospitality careers” October 23, 2014
- Homekeepers with Arthelene Rippy May 2, 2016
- Libertarian Party Minority Viewpoint February 19, 2009
- thelantern (The Ohio State University): “Past Mormon teachings irk Romney critics” March 4, 2012
For years, conscious men and women have messaged or phoned in and called me their personal pastor. They might go to church regularly but often they don’t. Yet whether they have a pastor at church or not, they consider me a companion with whom they can unpack the Gospel in a way that enables them to better live the Life of Thanksgiving.
To that end, I produce sermons and podcasts on spiritual & relational development, Black empowerment and racial reconciliation. But I also like to have fun, so every now and again I’ll splash in something out of the ordinary…just to keep you on your toes! You can find out more on my Start Page here.
Between social media & my online media, I am constantly publishing content. You can follow me on Twitter, subscribe on YouTube, like my Facebook fan page. Blacks with Power is published weekly. Racial Heresy is published monthly. My sermons are published as the Spirit moves me. Be sure to click the links and subscribe so you don’t miss my newest post.
I am a personal pastor and public theologian who inspires people through biblical insights and spiritual vision to develop the faith and relationships they need to find their way to the Promised Land.
I host two podcasts.
Blacks with Power podcast is a theological guide for those Blacks in America who want to be part of the solution to the issues confronting Black life in America and want to discover ways to use their power in order to advance the Cause of Freedom for themselves, their family and others.
Racial Heresy, cohosted with Fr. Cayce Ramey, is a monthly podcast on Christian theology and racial reconciliation that debunks the established racial doctrines which keep us separate and helps people engage in meaningful conversations across the color line.
I hold a Master’s Degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary and a Bachelor’s from the University of Maryland. I’ve been told I’m likely the youngest Black priest to serve as an Executive Council Member for the Episcopal Church, serving as liaison to the Church’s Commission on Anti-Racism.
It might seem strange to many that I am a priest in the Episcopal Church…there aren’t a lot of Black Episcopalians, I know. But the Episcopal Church is one of the oldest churches for Black people in America. And it’s Anglican Mother (the Church of England) is the church of the islands colonized by the British.
Being raised in the Caribbean (#VIMassive, #RockCity aka St. Thomas, Virgin Islands), and as a respecter of history it’s only right that I be Episcopalian. But, even though I am a “Cradle Episcopalian,” I wasn’t always one…
I was baptized as a baby and confirmed as a pre-teen in All Saints Cathedral Church, and did all of my early education through high school at the attached small private, Anglican school. One of my godfathers was an Anglican priest (Very Rev. Thomas W. Gibbs, III). I served on the altar as a child and Bishop E. Don Taylor would regularly tell my family that I would be a priest.
I came from a privileged family. My grandparents immigrated from less commercial islands (Nevis & Tortola) to seek opportunity in America…or at least the Caribbean version. They worked hard and found the freedom together that they each singularly left their homes to find. Along the way, they blessed their children with opportunities and those children ultimately returned to make valuable contributions to the Virgin Islands: one served as a School Principal, one as Dean of the Business School, another as Chief of Staff to the Governor and my mother as Attorney General.
Add in that my father served there as Chief Deputy US Marshal and my uncle served as Warden to the jail.
Yet I ran from all of that…
I fell away from the Church. The Black Anglican Church of the Caribbean was so different from the White Episcopal Church of the USA. And when I was battling depression from the culture shock of my own loss of privilege and becoming a minority overnight, Episcopal Clergy were less than welcoming.
Over time, I became Rastafarian. I was no longer in the Caribbean, and I wasn’t on the east coast for most of this time. So, I had to rely on books and occasional elders for my development. For seven years, I studied the teachings of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey and His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.
I returned to Christianity and studied for another seven years under a bishop, several monks and other clergy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, who introduced me to the simple and profound faith of Orthodox Christianity.
Yet, on the way to that realization, I did everything I could to reject what I did not understand. I screwed up in college, got fired from good jobs in positions of power, had a child out of wedlock, got married way to early, had a child and the accompanying drama that prevents a parenting relationship, got married again before really healing from my first, and then became a single father. And…that train wreck taught me a lot about relationships! #MercyLord
If you’ve struggled to find or maintain a winning relationship, you might want to check out my free seven day email series where I unpack the foundational lessons I learned.
There’s so much more to each of those stories…but everything in time! LOL
In our relationship – yours and mine, I know that I have a more direct approach. I try my best to do so in love and with love. This is our relationship though, so please let me know if that love fails to come across. Interact with me and with my content. Question it…comment on it…challenge it. But let us commit to staying in relationship, working through our differences until we find the Glory of God.
As important as it is for me to have this relationship with you and I encourage you to hold me to my part, it’s more important for me to do that with my new (2014) and last wife Sonya, my firstborn Omari and our newborn Makeda. And it’s most important for me to do that with our Lord. Please pray for us that we can stay safe from the enemy on our journey!
We live in the Greater Orlando area, specifically Dr. Phillips, Florida. For fun, we enjoy the beach and regularly retreat to the ocean. I enjoy harassing my children and playing with my wife. I regularly share some of my family moments on my Instagram. When we are not on travel and when I’m not serving as a priest elsewhere, we attend the Church of the Messiah in Winter Garden, FL.