Byrd who also serves as Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Seventh-day Adventist Church was originally approached for the endorsement by Molto DiModa, an Armani marketing executive with an Adventist family member who faithfully viewed Byrd’s Breath of Life programming. “I’m not religious myself but every time I visited my aunt’s house, Carlton Byrd was on and I noticed he had a thing for bow ties,” said DiModa.
“I looked into the Adventist market and it was clear that Adventists as a group don’t know a thing about real fashion so I approached Dr. Byrd for an Armani bow tie endorsement deal,” said DiModo. He stressed that he could think of “nobody better suited to introduce dress sense to the Adventist niche.”
DiModo admitted that Byrd took some convincing and only accepted the deal (which stipulates that he wears exclusively Armani bow ties on camera) after deciding to pass any endorsement earnings on as donations to Oakwood University.
“We gratefully accept this gift pledge from the man most of us would say is the best-dressed pastor in Adventism,” said Oakwood spokesperson Kirk Franklin, as news of Byrd’s philanthropic decision broke. “As far as we know, Dr. Byrd is the first Adventist pastor to score a fashion endorsement deal — and judging by how most of our ministers dress, he is likely to be the last.”
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