A former imperial wizard
of the Ku Klux Klan is now an ordained minister in one of the nation's largest African-American denominations.
Johnny Lee Clary was ordained a minister in the 6 million-member Church of God in Christ (COGIC) on Saturday during a service led by Bishop George McKinney, pastor of St. Stephen's Cathedral Church of God in Christ in San Diego and a member of COGIC's 12-member general board.
Clary, who is based in Oklahoma, will serve as an evangelist under McKinney's oversight, and his ministry will emphasize racial reconciliation.
"Bishop McKinney and I both felt like racial reconciliation was needed now more than ever," said Clary, who befriended McKinney in the early 1990s when the two spoke during a Promise Keepers event. "We feel like it makes a huge statement that the former national imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan would join the Church of God in Christ and reach out with the Church of God in Christ to bring racial reconciliation to America."