Popular Youth Evangelist Matt Pitt might be in jail for the next 10 months but it's not stopping him from using everything in his power to get his fellow inmates to turn to the Lord. And last Thursday he revealed he was using the power of "beautiful women" to lure men into his church.
"So I'm telling you I am using everything I can to get everybody in this building (jail) saved," explained Pitt in a just over 12-minute phone call from jail with his church, The Basement, recorded in a YouTube video and posted online last Thursday.
He explained to his followers that he had started a Basement operation in jail and is working hard at converting his jail mates for Christ but admitted that "some of these cats are hard" and it wasn't every day that he was able to bring someone to the Lord.
"Some guy was telling me their churches would not let them back in the door because they have been to jail," said Pitt and that's when, toward the end of the recording, he talked up the beautiful and godly women of The Basement.
"I told them, 'my doors just opened for everybody in the jails.... plus.... there's a lot of beautiful women.' So, I am using the women to lure them in there. And these guys are like... Really? And I'm like, 'oh yeah man, we've got beautiful women there.'" The church applauded.
But as news of his offer spread throughout local media, Pitt's offer of beautiful, godly women has been coming under heavy criticism.
"What about the promise of God's grace? What about the promise of a relationship with the Living Savior when we turn from our sin and place our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives? The love of Jesus should be his tool to bring inmates into his ministry, not the promise of a beautiful women!" wrote Justin Massey on the Facebook page of ABC 33/40.
"That's sick. Women are NOT currency, and I don't think that's any way to bring people to god," chimed in Jessica Lynn Birdwell on the page as well.
"The promise of women? Sounds like a radical Muslim…which is very different from what he preaches at his basement for followers…" noted Chris Mathews.
In response to the criticisms, however, The Basement's Vince Lovell told ABC 33/40 that his pastor was just joking.
"Everybody knows he's joking around. He's a big jokester. So, that is what he was doing at the time. But if you listen to the whole video, you're going to hear about inmates getting saved. You're going to hear about inmates giving their lives to the Lord. You're going to hear inmates on the audio saying they had given their lives to God right there in the jail cell," said Lovell.
Pitt, 30, who founded The Basement and built it into one of America's largest Christian youth ministries, was sentenced to spend the next 10 months in jail by an Alabama judge after he violated his probation for impersonating a police officer in 2012 by committing the same offense this year again.