More on The Ambassador “Situation”

Published by Torrence Glenn on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 6:07 pm.

The Ambassador Statement

Going to keep it honest.  I was prepared to ignore this. Was pretty much over to tell the truth. But since the debate on The Ambassador, his  “moral failure” and my take on the situation became so intense on this blog, I kind of felt I had to address his recent statement of apology. I’m pretty sure you’ve read the statement on other gospel sites since we were all sent the same thing, but I’ll reprint it here. The statement is pretty long, so I’ll give my SHORT take on it after the statement.

*******

Dear Friends and Supporters:

First I want to thank everyone for your understanding, mercy and grace while my family and I worked on rebuilding our marriage and reconciliation. From the very beginning, I have wanted to communicate with you. However following the advice of the church leadership, and others to whom I entrusted my restoration, I remained silent.

Back in late April 2009, the Lord exposed me and consequently delivered me from being entangled in a season of willful disobedience, deception and darkness. I was involved in a non-sexual but very inappropriate relationship with a woman other than my wife, thereby betraying my Lord, my wife, family, Epiphany Fellowship (the church I love and was instrumental in founding) my co-laborers and ministry supporters like you.

It has often been suggested that no genuine Christian can willfully sin habitually for a prolonged period (1 John 3:6). And that those who do sin cannot do so without some sense of great conviction and internal disturbance. My life is a personal witness to this statement, as I for several months battled great depression, gradual and graphic spiritual deterioration.  However, it indeed was God’s mercy that exposed me, breaking sin’s enslaving grip on me. It was also His mercy which used that to lead me to experience what David did when Nathan revealed that the “gig was up” and said, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7).

Like David, I instantly knew that, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). I was crushed by an enormous weight of guilt, shame, fear and sorrow, and I knew that the journey back to “ground zero” would be insanely difficult.  Even to this day, I wrestle with that shame from time to time, but I also know there is one place I can turn—the gospel! I have to continually contradict my feelings and believe the rest of 2 Samuel 12:13, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”

After nearly a year of retreat, rehabilitation and intense family focus, God’s grace has me reset on a trajectory toward spiritual wholeness. Like Paul the great apostle I admit, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect…” “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14). God’s grace is teaching me that I am not supposed to attempt to “work” my way back to some supposed level of super-spirituality and then come out feeling “qualified.” But I am to recognize that I am never “sufficient in myself,” but “our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). As someone once said “He doesn’t call the qualified, but rather qualifies the called.”  I am deeply comforted by this gospel truth and equally dependant on its reality. Without this comforting and affirming word, I might never have come back to the service of our Lord.

So I say now, what I believed then—I sinned greatly against the Lord Jesus, my wife and family, the other woman and her family, my church, and all my ministry co-laborers and supporters.  I ask you to forgive me for being a prime example of the spiritual leaders I have often “put on blast” in the past, and further reinforcing the notion that the church is full of hypocrites. Forgive me for how my actions have caused many to be confused and insecure about the faith, and brought disruption to the peace of homes, churches, and ministries. May God give you the grace and the ability to forgive me, “as I have received the Lord’s forgiveness” (Colossians 3:13). By God’s grace, many that I have offended have forgiven me, most notably, my wife and kids. Pray that the Lord will continue to permit us to build on this foundation that will give the Lord Jesus Christ the greatest glory.

This has been an extremely painful time and now I accept the fact that although God’s grace is based on the merit of Christ and not my own performance, favor with man (Luke 2:52) must be gained through consistency over time. All I ask is for the opportunity to get started!

I have spent the past ten months in concentrated prayer, counseling, reading, studying, and fellowshipping with saints, and I am committed to diligently continuing on this course.  Unfortunately, the sin has taken a toll and has created some unpleasant consequences. Among many, the one that particularly grieves me is the separation from my church. With regard to the Epiphany Fellowship, I will not be permitted by the leadership to continue in covenant fellowship. This decision brings me much grief. However I trust the Lord Jesus Christ to heal my heart and that of my family and the covenant community.

After all this I have so much more tenderness toward the “fallen,” and an appreciation for the glory of a gospel that is so easily preached but not as easily applied. Lord permitting, I plan to proclaim the gospel with even greater passion than ever before and herald its liberating truth wherever the Lord will allow. The plan is also to musically represent the Lord Jesus so that the “fall of Ambassador” will not end with a period, but rather, with a comma. As you may or may not know Cross Movement the group had retired but as a soloist I was planning to continue as long as the Lord Jesus would provide grace. The release of my third solo album The Chop Chop actually fulfilled my contractual obligation with Cross Movement Records, so now as The Ambassador I’m trusting the Lord for new direction and for what lies ahead.

My experiences during this time of seclusion and obscurity have indeed been very challenging. And, I’m still not clear on all the things that the Lord has been doing. But I plan to leverage every lesson learned and every insight gleaned for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

Since the very beginning, I have been under the care of a restoration team led by Pastors Byron Craig of Macedonia Baptist Church (Norristown, PA) and Zach Ritvalski of Sweet Union Baptist Church (Philadelphia, PA).  They have given me the “green light” to move forward in serving the Lord Jesus Christ publically. My wife has also given her blessings and support to this decision. Therefore The UpLift! Group and I are actively seeking God’s direction for new opportunities to honor the name of Jesus Christ.

The nature of my call to be an aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15), a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18), and his ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20), compels me to reengage my generation and “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you (me) out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).  This experience has taught me many things but one that will always stand out and I hope to become the embodiment of is God’s grace and mercy is more than sufficient.

William “The Ambassador” Branch

www.theambassadoronline.com

www.myspace.com/upliftagency

*******

First, I’d like to say congratulations to the Ambassador and wish him the best.  I think the statement was rather LONG, but as an artist who hasn’t had a chance to talk to their fans in a year I can see how once you got your shot, you’d be a little wordy.

I was a little taken back by the need to clearly state that the relationship he engaged in was “nonsexual” yet inappropriate.  In no way am I saying that sexual contact is required to cheat or betray a relationship, nor do I attempt to excuse it, but it does make me wonder if the level/type of  “punishment” and/or restoration was befitting of the issue.  Yes, I used the word punishment because that’s really how I see it.  There are consequences to everything we do, but when you place the decision on those consequences into the hands of others, it comes off more as a punishment than anything else.

Another thing that stuck out  to me from the statement that actually kind of bothered me a bit was his former church’s decision to not allow him to return to ministry there.  Real talk, that FOOLISHNESS irks me!  If his wife and family have forgiven him and he’s taken what we’d all probably consider reasonable (almost extreme)  steps to fixing the situation, why in the world can he not return to ministry? People sin and make mistakes all the time, some more extreme than others but when all is said and done if everyone who did something wrong got sat down FOREVER, there would be no churches anywhere! What kind of crazy is that?  Sorry, but Epiphany Fellowship, I think this is a bad lesson to teach folks.  Do you sing this modified Donnie McClurkin tune there? “We fall down but we get up. For a saint is just a sinner who fell down, and from there we chained em to a chair.” I’m hoping and praying that Epiphany Fellowship actually has one. I know a lot of you are reading this with a little surprise.  Yes, I have strong views on situations like this, but I’m also a stronger believer in forgiveness, especially when someone’s obviously repentant. (Don’t get me wrong, some folks are still worthy of a *side eye* but that’s not for this particular blog post.)

My favorite portion of this statement and probably the most encouraging was this line right here: “I ask you to forgive me for being a prime example of the spiritual leaders I have often “put on blast” in the past..” This is where the real lesson is folks! When as leaders in church, you put folks on blast for their issues and try to act like you don’t have any of your own, this is where I have serious problems.  I didn’t follow The Ambassador’s ministry that much so didn’t know him to be that kind of artist, but I have taken issue with artists like Tye Tribbett and Da Truth for putting folks “on blast so strongly” and I’ve made no secret of that. So for The Ambassador to see the error in that kind of  self righteous presentation, I think is a great lesson! Yes, we should teach right and wrong but there is a way to do it!

I’m hoping all works out for The Ambassador. Now I will say that I definitely think there were some other motives in the release of this very LONG statement (like letting the gospel industry know he’s a free agent and no longer with his former label) but I’m not tripping. It is what it is. A man’s gotta eat!

What do you think? And oh yeah, I said it would be short and it wasn’t. Sorry, I’ll release a statement tomorrow to officially apologize.

Torrence


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This post was mentioned on Twitter by TorrenceG: You asked (well some…) My take on The Ambassador’s Apology. http://bit.ly/cT9WHg...



Kurt Said on

I think there is more to it than people know. Cause I can’t see why epiphany fellowship would cast him out like that, unless there was more to it. That church and there pastor, Eric Mason, doesn’t seem to be the type that would outcast an individual.



Tashia Said on

I was side eyeing the length of the sermon, i mean apology. i don’t know tha details of what Ambassador did, but he was throwing shade. I agree he was letting folk know that he wasn’t sat down from CMR but that he fulfilled his contractual duties with them by giving us The Chop Chop. Well i had to take it all in and at first i didn’t think this was sincere, but hey i can’t judge, i don’t know tha man! i like ambassador and support his music. i hope that he can move on from this “moral indescretion”. as far as Epiphany Fellowship, what’s up with that? and are yall so Holy over there, that dude is like a disease to your fellowship? but hey he apologized, and im over it too, we all have to work out our own soul salvation, can’t be lookin at these artists, ministers or preachers, we need to look at God, cause man will fail you every time.



Tavares Said on

LOL…Torrence, I couldn’t read it all because I totally didn’t think it was necessary. If this was required for mistakes and error, then WE ALL would be writing our asses off EVERY SINGLE DAY, cuz we fall short in some way whether minimally or maximally (perhaps that wouldn’t be so bad for those with wide-loads). People can be so judgemental and unforgiving. The bible is clear about the simplicity of asking for forgiveness and no where does it state you need to write a novella asking the forgiveness of people whom you did not commit the offense against. Disappointing people is not a sin, but rather it’s a result of not reaching super-human expectations. All this was unnecessary. God-forbid, let me make a mistake like that and watch who gets an apology: my God and my wife, my children…and maybe (not likely) my church, but that’s it!!!



Kia Glenn Said on

I was Duce’s publicist for many years. His statement was “long” because Duce has always been one to give lengthy statements both orally and written. Whether you agree with him or not, he always puts a lot of thought into what he says and provides great details/Biblical support with his explanations. From my perspective, there was nothing more to it than that. Anyone that really knows him can verify his tendencies to be “lengthy”. I’m glad he and his family are working towards an incredible future. Praise the Lord! Romans 8:28



LISA MORSE Said on

I just wanted to start off saying that there is no one in this world perfect! Many of us want to reach perfection, but as stated we will never be that! I believe the Ambassador felt as though he owed everyone an apology because his ministry. I can only assume that when your ministering to people whether your a Pastor in a church, Rap Artist, ect, & your ministering the word of God your walk has to back up your talk! Who would he be to deliver the word and not follow/receive himself. I am glad that he has people in his life that has not given up on him suchas his wife, family, and fans because i am a true fan and i will continue to listen to his music! For those who once did and decided not to anymore remember these two words FORGIVENESS & JUDGEMENT!! Are you judging? Did you forgive? Much love Ambassador, and when you get back on your feet don’t forget us at the ROC!!! ROCHESTER NEW YORK



Darnell Davis Said on

Very well said Torrence. You pretty much covered it all in your statement. It’s funny how people hold you to your faults. Though Ambassador made a mistake, God has given him another chance. So, who are we to decide whether or not he is “now qualified” to come back to ministry? Not trying to be deep but, Ye without sin cast the first stone. In other words, KEEP IT 100! We all have issues/struggles/problems that we deal with. I think that this is teaching us not to judge, and teaching us how to forgive. The fact of the matter is this, None of us are perfect and we’ve gotta stop with the self righteous attitude, because it’s running people away from the church. Much love to Ambassador, and keep moving forward.



AN.EPIPH CAT Said on

I go to Epiphany and I think there are two sides to every story. Your outrage is 1. LATE and 2. you do not know the whole story either. I think the only people that do are The Masons, The Branches and the other family that was invovled. You’re kinda gossiping and it’s unnecessary. I think that you should let God vindicate and do what God does. If there needs to be a correction in the way the leadership at Epiph has decided to go in then let the sovereign God whom we serve make it clear to them to go in a different direction. Otherwise…it’s house biz. We love Duce. He is our brother in Christ and will always be.



AN INSIDER!! Said on

To an epiph cat…What happened between The Gaines &The Branches with the intercession of the Masons has been made very clear to the people who needed to know. So, your comment is 1. IGNORANT and 2. Foolish and clearly you don’t know both sides based on your rebuttle to this blog. Your allegiance is clear…listen Everyone is entiltled to say how they feel based on a letter that just came out therefore the blog was not LATE. What was late was the length of time the Ambassador was “allowed” to speak out about the truth on what REALLY happened. So, it is clear that you stand by your man (Eric Mason) but don’t front like you have the Ambassador’s back all he will ever be to you is a bro in Christ cuz you have no control over that. I just don’t beleive that the Sovereign God would have done what the “leadership” at Epiph did… NO SIN IS GREATER OR LESS THAN THE OTHER…SO IF A GAINE CAN COME BACK THEN A BRANCH SHOULD BE ABLE TO TOO…IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO HOMIE!!!!! It’s everybody or nobody it’s as that simple…GOD is not a respector of persons…



AN EPIPH CAT Said on

Ok so what you did was wrong. There was no need to put on blast the other families name.Your very name “An insider” is why there were issues in the 1st place. And that issue is that cats talk too much. PERIOD. What you think you know is prob one side too. Like it’s no about an alligence to a man. However, God is sovereign and nothing happens without His being aware of it. You like many others have made attacks and if you RE_READ what I said I acknowledged that there are two sides to every story. So may be you should like calm down and take what I said for what it was and what I’m saying is who really knows other than the families invovled. Like may be use the time to pray about it instead of being angry and just putting cats on blast for no good reason. Cuz that wasn’t very Christ like. You got very personal in your statement and you can’t say whether or not I care for or love Duce. I never was really close to him and that’s ok. Does it hurt that all of this went down? ABSOLUTELY however, Christ will be glorified reguardless of what I think of the situation. All you’ve said is opinion and what I said was opinion too. So…why dnt we both shut up and study the scripts for OURSELVES and see what God really has to say on the matter? Oh and then seek our sovereign Father who know AND sees all.



AN EPIPH CAT Said on

Ok you’re angry and disrespectful. And it’s obvious. My statement was not one of disrespect and yours was. If you re-read my statement I said there was two sides to every story. You put names on blast. Like you went too far. Like my alligence is to whom? My statement clearly said that there are 2 sides to every story. AND your username states a problem. LIke too many ppl heard too much, thought they knew much and they shouldn;t have known a lot of the things they did. Because they have caused division. Now…we both are saying how we feel. We are both obviously opinionated SO….why don’t we both shut our mouths and read for OURSELVES what the Lord says on the subject and pray for our brother, his fam, our churches. The Lord does things that we don’t “feel” are the right thing OFTEN. So to say that you don’t feel like God would do something like this or wouldn’t allow for it to go down is not really worth much. God doesn’t do what we please He does what He pleases. He is NEVER caught off guard by the things we do. AND lastly again if the leadership at Epiph is wrong then their consequences will be more harshly judged by our Father in heaven who knows and sees ALL.



GodGator Said on

I’ve known Deuce for a long. There is one important thing to remember here. It’s more than music, it’s a ministry. He was in a position of leadership in the church and the Bible has strict rules on church discipline that were carried out. These are non-negotiable, no matter what the severity of the offense is. Forgiveness means that we are spared the wages of sin, which is death. It does not mean, however, that we are exempt from the consequences of our actions. Deuce would be the first to say this. Example: if you have sex outside of marriage and a pregnancy results, and you repent later on, does that mean the kid disappears? No! You still have to handle that situation throughout your life. If you end up marrying someone else, then the relationship with that child is more than likely going to be difficult. Check your scriptures, the same thing happened to King David in the Old Testament, and he was ‘a man after God’s own hear” aka a pretty holy dude. People mess up, and people are forgiven, but things can’t always go back to how they were. Epiphany didn’t do anything wrong, thats just how its gotta be.



Marcel Said on

Wow… I’m just amazed at this exchange in the comments section. People defending their churches and pastors like gang members defending their territories. I love the “realness” of it all, but I think it’s important to stay mindful of the bottom line and that’s dude or “duce” committed a sin, repented and is now seeking forgiveness from his supporters. All this “other stuff/conversation” about the backstory is not important. Yeah, the letter was long, but it revealed his heart and I appreciate that. And yeah, it’s unfortunate that he is no longer able to serve at his old church, but it’s not the end of the world Ambassador or Saint who goes through this. His time serving that ministry up obviously; And I’m sure there is a ministry somewhere that will see his situation/testimony and invite him in. It’s not over… No need for hard feelings. I know that if it was me in his position I wouldn’t opened myself up to this type of criticism – celebrity or not. These type of conversations don’t help anyone. @Torrence – I think you’re doing a great job. Keep at it. Stay in the LIGHT, Y’all.



AN INSIDER Said on

You can blast Torrence but when someone blasts you you can’t handle it…it’s cool…GOD got!



.. Said on

Man, this (and the last post) really highlights the black church’s biblical illiteracy. Please read your Bibles (in context) people. Seek what God’s Word says about all of this, rather than using your on intuition based on churchianity and not CHRISTianity.



Just a few of the In-Laws Said on

Duce, we have heard your cry and are witnessed of a genuine repentance in you. Only God knows the heart, but and we are both blessed and encouraged and we believe you. Remember to hold to Jesus’ holy word of blessing to Peter [while HE was preparing to die for Peter and us], “Satan [still] desires to sift you as wheat; but Jesus prayed for you that your faith should not fail.” Therefore, Bro. Duce, now that you have returned to HIM…”strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32. We stand with you. Bro. Torrence thank you for giving a voice where there [sometimes] is none, and for keeping it real!



Glossy4HIM Said on

Saints, please remember that everything we write and blog the Branch children may have access to read someday. Please, lets show some respect for them, as well as some grace and mercy; and that kind of love without condemnation. While keeping it real lets also keep it Holy; you know, like Jesus is Holy – 1 Pet. 1:14-16. Peace.



Now I See Said on

Wow! What courage. Ambassador thank you for doing this thing right. I mean wow! Truth is so hard for saints in the Body of Christ. I mean just when you think that the truth is dead, God sends saints to revive it again, in the most unusual ways. Wow, I am floored by your courage and openness. God does desire truth from us doesn’t He? So, amen! I will pray for you and your wife, especially in these last days. May God’s truth continue to be your strength and shield. Yeah!



truWord Said on

I believe da Lord has greater plans for Duce. So whether or not he is accepted back by Epiphany is ultimately in God’s hands. Maybe da Lord wants him to expand his horizons and he also has to let God have His way in order for him to continue in ministry as the Lord commands. I don’t know him personally, but do know he can be lengthy (just peep his song “Talk a Lot”) . Anyone who knows anything about his ministry in the past knows this (as the author obviously explained he doesn’t know anything about it, makes you wonder why he would do a blog about him though). So does that know The Ambassador wouldn’t have gave a second thought about that. I don’t think he did this with the intentions to let those know he’s a “free agent.” The Ambassador probaly could’ve jumped ship to be more widely known a long time ago, but chose not to because he felt to compromise the will of God to do so would not be right in God’s eyes (as explained in his column “Just how “Christian are you anyway”). So I don’t think he’s looking to get signed to just anyone outside of God’s will for him. He also explained in a recent interview that he was looking for work else where (outside of rapping) but was unable to find a job and know believes da Lord has led him back into what he was originally called to do. Relay the gospel in hip-hop like I’ve never heard anyone else do it. In my opinion he’s da best to do it consistantly. In closing, my plea is that people please research deeper b4 u make statements that could turn out to be untrue in the end (stay) tru…



truWord Said on

I’m sorry for the spelling errors (I said DOES instead if THOSE that know The Ambassador and I said KNOW instead of NOW believes da Lord has led). That’s what I get for not proof-reading (stay) tru…