DETROIT - Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick made his first public appearance Sunday in Detroit after his prison sentence was commuted.
Kilpatrick did not address the media on his way into the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church Sunday. Inside, Kilpatrick preached to a crowd for the first time, recalling the moment he says God called to him behind bars, "One day the Chaplain came to me and he said, 'I want you to be worship leader,' and I was scared because I never had been worship leader and then he told me, 'It's not really about you. That's what the Lord moved me to tell you, that's what you're going to do.'"
From there, Kilpatick says he was meant to become a preacher and says his faith got him through his darkest days in prison, including his time in solitary confinement. "I learned it's alright to be honest with God because he knows anyway, I learned how to pray with no one around, I learned how to worship woth no audience, I learned how to preach with not a single person in the room," Kilpatrick said in his sermon Sunday. Kilpatrick says he is a changed man, after serving more than seven years of a 28 year prison sentence for a series of federal corruption crimes.
He's still beloved by many in Detroit, including Larry Dilworth who was one of the first to arrive at the church Sunday morning.
"Everyone can change. I believe he can change and I'm glad he's going to do it in the ministry instead of politically," Dilworth told FOX 2's Veronica Meadows.
Meanwhile, community activist Maurice Hardwick addressed the skeptics, "To hear him tell his testimony, to come back to the place where the darkness was and to turn on the light and shine his light was truly an amazing moment," Harwick said, "It's for Detroit and our youth to see you can be locked up but not locked out."