Donald Sterling attends a predominantly black church in LA

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Donald Sterling attended a church service at a predominantly black congregation in Los Angeles Sunday.

Senior Pastor J. Benjamin Hardwick personally invited Sterling to attend Praises of Zion Missionary Baptist Church, saying the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner should be forgiven.

“I want you to know, my friend, we pray for you,” Hardwick told Sterling.

Sterling was greeted by the gospel choir upon his arrival and told NBC4, “I’m here to support this wonderful group.”

Hardwick, who is a senior pastor at the church, met Sterling two weeks ago and invited him to worship — saying he did not believe the 80-year-old owner was a racist.

However, churchgoers had mixed reactions to Sterling’s attendance.

“I feel sorry for him because, first of all, he’s a slum landlord. And second of all, I don’t think he really cares for people as he should,” said one church member.

Meanwhile, others welcomed him, saying he did the right thing by attending the service, which Sterling called “fabulous.”

Sterling filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in L.A. Friday suing the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver for damages that exceed over $1 billion, alleging that he was denied constitutional rights by the NBA.

On the same day, the NBA announced that the Clippers would be sold to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer, pending a vote from the Board of Governors.

Sterling was also fined $2.5 billion and banned for life from the league after an audio recording was publicly released with Sterling prohibiting his ex-girlfriend, V. Stiviano, from bringing black people to Clippers games.

Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works