Louie Giglio has issued a video message apologising "from my heart" after he said "white privilege" should be re-dubbed "white blessing".
The Passion Conference founder sparked outrage after making the comments during a conversation about race with black Christian rapper Lecrae and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy that was filmed at his Atlanta megachurch on Sunday.
In his video message, Giglio said he was "deeply sorry" for his "horrible choice of words" and said he wanted to be clear that he did not believe there was any blessing in slavery.
"I just want to come directly to you today and sincerely apologize for the use of the phrase on Sunday 'white blessing.' And I extend that apology today to every single person who is listening to me right now but most importantly I extend that apology to my black brothers and sisters. I, like many, am so burdened by what is happening in our nation right now," he said in the message posted to Twitter.
"I'm heartbroken about where we are as a nation and one of the things I am most heartbroken about is trying to help myself by continuing to learn and to help my white brothers and sisters understand that white privilege is real.
"And in trying to get that sentiment across on Sunday I used the phrase 'white blessing' for which I am deeply sorry. Horrible choice of words. Does not reflect my heart.
"I don't, to be clear, believe there is any blessing in slavery. To the contrary, [what] I'm trying to understand and help people see is that I, my white brothers and sisters, we sit in large part where we are today because of centuries of gross injustice done to our black brothers and sisters.
"So this is my heart. This is what I want to more fully understand because I believe this will help us stay engaged in this conversation so that we can all move forward together."
Lecrae was also criticised after he was seen nodding during the conversation as Giglio spoke about "white blessing".
Addressing the controversy in a video message of his own, Lecrae said: "First of all, I want you to know I wasn't OK with it. Even as I sat there, I was very uncomfortable and was processing [what to say]."
He admitted he struggled to know how to respond in the moment but said he raised his concerns with Giglio privately after the cameras stopped rolling.
He continued: "Obviously I wasn't OK with it and we can't just be virtue-signalling and doing this because it's the 'in' thing to do to talk about race on platforms."