COGIC prepares to ‘consecrate’ sexually immoral GA pastor

ATLANTA – Ignoring an impassioned letter for reform in the nation’s largest black pentecostal denomination, Bishop Charles Blake, Sr and his cadre of fellow Church of God in Christ (COGIC) bishops are preparing to consecrate [Superintendent] Joseph E. Hogan, Sr. as a bishop. In November, Hogan will be promoted and has been selected to allegedly head the “North Central Jurisdiction” comprised of about 30 odd churches siphoned off the Central Georgia jurisdiction after the death of Bishop Chandler Owens.

Sources (whom we cannot identify for fear of retribution) very close to this story told COGIC Abuse Watch the selection of Hogan was a “travesty”.

The right choice?
Billing himself as the “right choice”, Hogan used this video to promote his candidacy for bishop of the church’s Central Georgia Jurisdiction,  But after much politicking, legendary COGIC infighting and a vote, he did not win. To pacify him, Hogan was given approximately 30 churches out of the 100 to start a new jurisdiction. In the end, politics and bad judgment won.

If the bible says that among  believers there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people, what of the widespread sexual immorality among leaders?

Who is this man?

Hogan, pastor of New Life Tabernacle COGIC located in SE Atlanta, is a superintendent in COGIC, a midlevel administrative position generally supervising five or more churches. In the video, Hogan says he has been serving in the Central Georgia Jurisdiction for some 52 years and pastoring 32 years. He has been married 39 years.

A deadbeat gone wild
In 2005, Hogan (then serving as a ranking official under Bishop Chandler Owens (d. 2011), impregnated Sherry Adams, the wife of his assistant pastor, a man who had served with him for some twenty years.

Public records from Clayton County (GA)  Superior Court shows that Hogan initially denied the child was his, but after a paternity test, he was ordered to pay child support. In 2011, Hogan stopped child support payments and was subsequently sued and arrested. The case was dismissed “without prejudice” which in legal terms means that he could be sued and/or arrested again in the future for the same offense.

An elder who has served for a number of years in the Central Georgia jurisdiction told Report COGIC Abuse that the child Sherry Adams sued Hogan for child support is only one of several illegitimate children. He suggested that Hogan’s sexual wild cards are a result of the lack of discipline by the his two former supervising bishops. In his campaign video, posted just five months ago, Hogan only acknowledges 4 children by his current wife. But according to the court documents, the statement is  intentional deception.

What does the bible say about men who desire the office of a bishop?

If a man desires the office of a bishop in the Lord’s church, the scriptures are clear and direct in its qualifying stipulations for that man.

The Apostle Paul wrote that if a man desires the office of bishop, he desires a good work. Its important to understand that the office of a bishop while spiritual, is also equally administrative. Thus, “desiring” to administrate (oversee others in organization, supervision) is a good thing. However, because it has serious spiritual ramifications for those under such a person’s supervision and for the body of Christ at large, the prerequisites are intended to prevent unqualified individuals from accessing the office.

Those 16 qualifications are found in 1 Timothy 3rd chapter:

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt at teaching; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for filthy lucre, but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one who ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all dignity. (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) He must not be a novice in the faith, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good reputation with those who are outsiders, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Just by the adultery, lying, covetousness and deception alone, Hogan fails to meet a minimum 4 of the 16 qualifications. Sources also charge that Hogan does not reside with his current wife due to his repeated cases of sexual immorality. Sound familiar?

Does Bishop Charles Blake know this? If he does, why would he go against the scripture to elevate a man who clearly is unqualified for the office of bishop? If Hogan’s life is out of control now, what excesses will he be able to indulge in once he is given the power of a bishop’s office? For context, Hogan was a faithful disciple of one of COGIC’s most notorious homosexual sex offenders, Bishop John Husband (d. 1991). Incidentally, the church’s current presiding bishop also served as a “youth pastor” under Husband. Have the errors of the past about to resurrect themselves for another Georgia “jurisdiction”?

Warning before a great fall?

COGIC’s stunning disregard of biblical directives in its leadership selection processes has produced numerous high profile embarrassments for the denomination. Additionally, COGIC’s former Chief Justice, Bishop Samuel Nesbitt of Jacksonville, FL wrote Bishop Charles Blake a sweeping and detailed letter warning him that the denomination’s habit of allowing sexually immoral men (among other things) into leadership would be its undoing. Strongly suggesting that COGIC was being intentionally deceitful —and hypocritical— against its public proclamations of holiness, Nesbitt wrote:

“Based on my study of (the etymology of the word lying, and relating it to die meaning of the words hypocrite, deceiver and pretender, I conclude that whether the deceit is uttered (orally) or by an overt act, it is a lie. A hypocrite, a deceiver or a pretender may be classified as “a liar in action.” For this reason, we should be careful what we do and what we say. We are also obligated to place persons in nasttions of leadership who meet the moral standards, as prescribed in the WORD, and the standards which the title represents. A person should not be made to think that he is what he is not In Galatians 5:3, St Paul says: “If a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” It is not difficult to see how a deceived person may cause harm to others who may rely upon him to produce that which he is not qualified to perform. As leaders of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., we are obligated to take every reasonable precaution to see that we don’t place persons in positions who lack the qualifications to produce what the title is known to represent When we knowingly place persons in positions, for which they are not qualified, we may be guilty of making a person think that he is what he is not: That is deceit”

And reminded him (which is quite obvious Blake is aware because he was involved with many of the proceedings) that COGIC has tolerated homosexuals in its leadership ranks

“As you will recall, in the past we allowed certain persons, who were reported to be homosexuals, to remain in office. The late Bishop Husband was on the General Board, the highest executive office in the Church, for 20 years. They put him up to preach in every convocation, and he would always sing: “I’m bound for Mt.
Zion away out on the Hill, and if anybody makes it, surely I will.” Well, he might have made it to Mount Zion, away out on the hill, but many persons were misled by his conduct. There are other cases that I could cite, and how we worked together to save them and to protect their names and the name of the Church, but I find that unnecessary at this time.”

Others, you ask? There are others? Yes there most certainly are others. But Blake never responded to nor acknowledged the April 13, 2011 letter. Read and download the entire letter.

Hogan specifically thanks Blake and the COGIC “board” for a “unanimous” decision.

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  1. R.E. Stidham
    August 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm | #1

    Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; KJV
    I also remember reading ” If my people, which are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:14.
    Wow!!

  2. warrenma
    August 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm | #2

    Thanks for the article. I also read the letter by Bishop Samuel Nesbitt. The man is a GEM, and rare resource in the Church. If COGIC doesn’t want him, I would be glad to have him in our church body any day! I really hope that they take him seriously. I get the impression, that he is probably viewed as a ‘thorn’ in their side. His ideas of about leadership, accountability, and clear understanding of how to apply the Biblical truths to our present day situation is very insightful!

    God Bless you Bishop Nesbitt!

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