In a recent interview with the LA Times, Montel Jordan discussed his upbringing and the evolution to being a megachurch pastor at a multicultural non-denominational church.
Despite his surroundings, he didn't get involved with gangs. "I was more fearful of my dad than I was the Crips and Bloods," he says. "If we even thought about gangbanging or being around that, he would take us out first."
Instead, Montell's life revolved around the Baptist church. The grandmother of a local Crips leader was a part of the same congregation, which gave Jordan immunity. "That was a Crip neighborhood," he adds. "They knew we were church kids, so it was almost like we had a pass, we had protective covering, we could walk all through the neighborhood."