Pastor Frederick Haynes III of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, has been making media rounds this week to clarify rumors that he was streaming the Dallas Cowboys game during a recent Sunday service.
A visitor at Friendship West Baptist Church tweeted a video from the main sanctuary on Nov. 20 showing the Cowboys-Ravens game streaming on the projection screens as the pastor was speaking.
"Bro, Cowboys fans are down for the cause," wrote user @JakeFromKonoha along with the video clip below. Football fans on social media immediately began retweeting the post that was subsequently picked up by local and national media outlets.
It was then widely reported that the football game was being played during the worship service. However, as soon as church members and staff read the inaccurate reports, they quickly sent out a statement to correct the public's misconceptions.
"For all concerned, we had an event going on immediately after church and wanted to make it easy to watch," the church tweeted.
Friendship West Baptist Church later released a press release to present the facts of what happened that day.
"The Dallas Cowboys game was turned on in the lobby and screened in the main sanctuary as the church transitioned from services to an event," the press release read.
The pastor of the church also followed up with television outlets and daytime talk shows that had criticized the church for playing a football game during a Sunday service. The daytime talk show "The Real" was one of the shows that reported the inital story, which was false, so the hosts invited Haynes onto the show to clear things up.
"We thought it was time to set the record straight. We reached out to the Friendship West Baptist Church and are pleased to welcome to the show, Pastor Frederick Haynes III," co-host Tamera Mowry-Housley said before beginning a skype interview with the pastor.
Haynes then spoke to what really happened.
"On that particular Sunday we were economically empowering and supporting small black businesses through what we call, West Wall Street," he said. "So between the first and second service and after the second service we gave our members an opportunity, in the North annex [and] the lobby area to spend time with the businesses and to support them economically as we move into the holiday season."
The Cowboys entered week 11 with the best record in the NFL, and the pastor excitingly added, "The beautiful thing about it was that it was also during the day when our Dallas Cowboys were 10 and 1. On a serious tip we knew that our members would want to rush out and see the game so we said, 'Here's what we're going to do.' We don't want our members to rush out and not support our businesses. So as soon as church was over that's when we had the screen blow up with the Cowboys game, and the next thing I know I was on 'The Real.'"
Co-host Loni Love chimed in and said she was concerned because when she first saw the video she thought the game was in fact playing during the service. The confident pastor, however, reiterated that it was after the service, even spelling out the word A-F-T-E-R to further clarity.
Despite the negative press, the Dallas church leader said his ministry is locally known for helping the community with empowering underserved businesses, feeding the homeless, granting scholarships, giving loans, and providing summer jobs and mentorships.
Mowry-Housley concluded by apologizing to the minister for reporting the misinformation and then they ended the segment with all of the host shouting, "Praise the Lord!" with their hands in the air.