Thursday, November 06, 2008

Retired rapper-Turned Preacher Expands His Church Ministry to Arizona

Former Bad Boy Records rapper Mason “Mase” Betha is preparing to launch a new branch of his El Elyon International Church (EEIC) in Phoenix, Arizona, as he continues to fulfill his call to serve God.

The entertainer-turned-pastor says, that he picked Phoenix after making several recent trips to the city. According to Betha, the new EEIC branch falls in line with his plan to expand his ministry beyond its Atlanta location, he told

“It just makes sense that we are on both coasts,” Mase told in a statement. “Our vision has always been to plant churches all over the world, and Phoenix is the first of many. We love the city of Phoenix and look forward to making a tremendous impact.”

Betha’s expansion of the EEIC marks another chapter for the rapper, who released a 2004 album Welcome Back, which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned the singles “Welcome Back” and “Breathe, Stretch, Shake.”

In addition to releasing Welcome Back, Betha continued to generate talk among rap fans, after rumors surfaced of a possible signing to 50 Cent’s G-Unit Records and an appearance on the 2005 remix to Fat Joe’s hit song “Lean Back.”

The rapper, who retired from the music business in 1999 after declaring himself a born-again Christian, ultimately returned to working on his ministry full-time, as he faded from the rap scene once more.

Despite plans of launching the new EEIC branch on Dec. 31, Betha will continue to oversee EEIC’s flagship church in Atlanta, which is currently undergoing renovations.

Those interested in working with Betha at the new church can take part in auditions the rapper and his wife will hold for musicians and singers on Thursday (November 6) at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix.

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