ATLANTA — The leader of El Elyon International Church in Atlanta, Georgia has left his position as ‘pastor’ and returned to his former career as a rapper, reports state.
Mason Betha is known as Ma$e in the hip-hop world, where he became a platinum-selling artist in the 1990′s until he decided to leave rap to become a minister. Earlier this year, some members of his congregation expressed concern that he might be returning to his old ways when he went back to the hip-hop scene part time.
“[T]hey believe Mase is living a double life, spending as much time in the studio with hardcore rappers as in the church,” TMZ reported in March. “And they say his messages from the pulpit drip in hypocrisy, because what he raps about is exactly the opposite.”
Part of the concern centered on Ma$e’s appearance on the song Tricky Situation, performed by Remo the Hitmaker, which speaks of the dilemma of having a relationship with a woman who is already engaged.
I get the honeymoon, you marry her” Ma$e raps in his guest appearance, referring to having sexual relations with the woman. “Too bad I never keep my word.”
However, in his role as pastor of El Elyon International Church, Betha delivered messages about being faithful in marriage. His book series What Do You Do After I Do? is touted as a teaching tool where “Mason and Twyla Betha share keys to build a marriage that will last a lifetime.” Betha also offered marriage counseling at his church for struggling couples.
But reports state that while teaching about marital matters, Betha “secretly” filed for divorce in January after 12 years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.” He later withdrew the proceedings a month later. Members of the congregation said that they had no idea about plans to divorce, and some were angry about the matter.
Now, TMZ reports that Ma$e has left his congregation completely to return to rap life.
“On-again, off-again rapper/pastor Mase has officially left his parishioners of the El Elyon International Church high and dry … and has run back to the rap game full time,” the outlet states. “He’s dropped all ties with both churches and is playing regular rap gigs around L.A., jumping back into his former lifestyle hardcore.”
Reaction the matter has been mixed.
“Is this where you wanna be when Jesus comes? Pickin’ on poor little ol Mase?” one commenter asked.
“This is one of the reasons why most people skip church on Sunday!” another stated. “Hypocrites are at the pulpit.”
“It’s a shame,” a third simply said.