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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
Nine days after getting out of jail, youth evangelist Matt Pitt returned to preaching at the Basement on Tuesday night. It was his first sermon since he was released from the Shelby County Jail on Palm Sunday.
Pitt was charged with impersonating a peace officer in Calera in May of 2012. The evangelist pleaded guilty to an amended charge of attempting to impersonate a peace officer and was sentenced to two years probation.
Pitt's probation was later revoked when he was charged again with impersonating a peace officer for an incident in June of 2013 and had to serve the remaining time of his sentence in the Shelby County Jail. He was released from jail early for good behavior.
Dozens of people attended Tuesday in support of Pitt and supporters tell FOX6 they see his incarceration as a positive thing.
We took our cameras inside where the service was held but after just a few minutes we were asked to leave. However, the service was streamed live online.
Pitt spoke to the crowd for about 30 minutes about his time in jail and even joked about his smile on his mug shot.
Even though Pitt got in front of the camera it wasn't ours. We asked Vince Lovell, Chief Operating Officer of The Basement why.
"I'm sure the media is going to hit him up with all kinds of questions about his case and his lawyers have really advised him not to get in front of a camera because that's all that they're going to ask," he said.
Joel Randolph has been following Pitt for years. He said at times this past year has been tough but he was excited to see the youth evangelist back on the stage.
"You can look at anything as positive or negative. But as an individual you can make a decision to make the best of any situation," said Randolph.
Lovell said the organization is looking forward to the future and see's Pitt's past as another way to become stronger.
"If anything it's grown our team close. It's made our family unite. It's like when you strike a family member it just makes the family want to stand up and come stronger together," said Lovell.
Also discussed on stage Tuesday night was the Jefferson County Grand Jury hearing into Pitt's charge of impersonating an officer in Jefferson County. It's expected to start next week.