Harlem native Mase has returned to the house of the Lord.
In a poster shared on Twitter on the first Sunday in the new year, the Gathering Oasis Church in Atlanta revealed that the former rapper, whose real name is Mason Betha, will now be its new pastor.
“Join us in welcoming our new leader, Pastor Mason Betha!” the tweet read alongside a photo of the “What You Want” rapper.
Mase will be replacing Pastor Cornelius Lindsey, who revealed in a lengthy Instagram post that he and his wife, Heather Lindsey, started the church during the same month and year the on-and-off-again rapper transitioned out of the church environment. “And when I started contemplating moving on from pastoring three years ago, you were considering coming back,” he wrote. God was directing our path individually — separately — until it was time, and the timing was perfect. If all God wanted me to do was remain content in my assignment until you were ready then I’m fine with that.”
The reason behind Pastor Cornelius’s departure was not stated. However, the church community thanked him for all his work during their transition service, which was held on Sunday, Jan. 3. Those familiar with the church expressed their thoughts on Pastor Cornelius’s resignation, many citing financial issues as found in an “open letter” to the church on spiritualabuseendsnow.com.
The “Feel So Good” rapper also shared the news on his Instagram page, writing, “THANK YOU 🙏🏾 Also tag someone who is expecting something great from God and let them know that God has already started answering prayers in 2021.” He added, “Tag someone looking a new church family and remember “ALL PEOPLE ARE WELCOMED” at @thegochurch.”
As fans of the rapper may remember, Mase famously retired from hip hop in 1999 to pursue a religious career. He later became an ordained minister while studying at Clark Atlanta University. He was also the head pastor at El Elyon International Church in Atlanta. However, after a five-year break, the 43-year-old returned to the rap scene with the release of his comeback album, “Welcome Back.” The star left his Bad Boy ties with Sean “Diddy” Combs and aligned himself with 50 Cent’s G-Unit crew.
Mase spoke about his new position and how he plans to bring his community closer to God in an interview shared on the church’s office YouTube page. “I really see this generation being turned back into God’s hands,” Mase expressed around the 14-minute mark. He added, “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.”
Watch the Gathering Oasis Church’s full announcement of Mase as its new pastor below.