Prominent Atlanta bishop and gospel artist William Henry Murphy III (pictured) was arrested Wednesday and charged with unauthorized possession of a weapon after allegedly trying to board a flight with a loaded 9 mm handgun at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Murphy, who was just elevated to bishop a few days ago, heads the popular The dReam Center Church. His weapon, which was allegedly in his carry-on luggage, was discovered by the airport’s X-ray screening machines. Airport security officials also found 10 rounds of ammunition in the minister’s bag.
Murphy, a gospel artist who recorded an immensely popular song, “Praise Is What I Do,” that has thus far received over 4.5 million hits on YouTube, does have a license to carry a weapon, according to a police warrant. There is speculation that Murphy told investigators he forgot the weapon was in his carry-on, but an airport witness told WSB-TV, “I don’t see how you would forget that you had that type of weapon in your luggage.”
Another traveler told WSB-TV, “I think anybody who attempts to bring a gun on a plane after 9-11 is not OK.”
The good preacher faces civil penalties of up to $7,500 and jail time, if convicted.