Rev. Gaston Smith, the hugely-popular but a lil' bit felonious pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City, is a man of the cloth. Very fine cloth, often tailored into three pieces with a classy handkerchief jutting from a breast pocket and accompanied by some gators on his feet.
The man plain looks good. Why not get paid for it?
Smith was convicted in December 2009 of looting $10,000 in county funds that were supposed to help Miami's poor. He avoided prison time, and kept his position behind the pulpit of one of Miami's most influential black churches, but was ordered to pay back the stolen money.
Perhaps a need for a cash infusion led Smith to become the pitchman for Rasool's, the famed menswear emporium located in the heart of Liberty City. Smith's "Shop at Rasool's" signs can now be spotted throughout the neighborhood. The one pictured above is posted outside of the store. And Smith has a starring role in the store's latest commercial:
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Special hat tip to Banana Republican Francisco Alvarado, who spotted the commercial while watching Monday Night Football on ESPN in Hialeah.
Smith stopped talking to us halfway through our feature-length profile on him, and he has not returned a message left at his church inquiring about this newest endeavor. But we can attest that this isn't one of those celebrity endorsements without any real passion behind it. Smith was forced to release his personal bank statements to authorities during his trial, and we pored through them. We recall that Smith spent several hundred dollars at the menswear spot.