If things do not change, there will be no merry Christmas for members of the Davis Memorial COGIC in Grand Rapids, MI. The church is currently shut down and embroiled in a power struggle with its commuter pastor, installed just three years ago by Bishop PA Brooks.
Church officials contend that Brooks failed to inform them of Elder Eric Slack’s previous criminal background including the fact that Slack was permanently disbarred as an attorney in Ohio for multiple felonies.
Slack of Toledo, OH, according to court records, is a convicted felon who spent 4 years in prison for “thefts from two estates and two guardianship accounts he controlled.”
Slack’s bio says that “Since 1992, Elder Slack has served as Parliamentarian of The General Assembly of The Church Of God in Christ, Inc. and General Counsel of the General Assembly. He served under the late Bishop L.H. Ford, Bishop Chandler D. Owens and Bishop, G. E. Patterson and the current Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake. In 2003, Elder Slack was appointed by the General Board to work as a Special Assistant in the coordination of the Constitutional Convention of the Church of God in Christ in St. Louis, MO.”
As the conflict widened, the police were called in and local media began reporting the story [with video] due to Slack’s profile as a disbarred lawyer. The church alleges that Slack is back to his criminal ways and they want him out before they are left with no money.
The church alleges that since Bishop Brooks installed him as pastor of Davis Memorial, Slack has discontinued paper bank statements, registered an online banking account, spent $13,000 without authorization and racked up $6,000 in bank overdraft charges. Typical of local COGIC churches seeking crisis intervention from the bishop, none came. Letters and calls to Brooks and Michigan SW 2nd jurisdictional officials went unanswered. The silence of their leaders forced the church board to file a police report and launch a criminal investigation. Subsequently, Slack was removed from office pending outcome of the ongoing investigation.
RCA discovered that SW Michigan Bishop Earl Wright and an entourage went to the church in an attempt to reinstall Slack. But that meeting ended with open threats and violence prompting police to forcibly disband the meeting. A handwritten sign on the church door reads “Church is cancelled until further notice per board of trustees.”
Toledo Blade EOPA probe shows misuse of federal funds
A woman who sent a letter to COGIC Bishop Rufus Kyles, prelate of Texas Southeast First Jurisdiction based in Houston tells Report COGIC Abuse she is contemplating legal action against Superintendent John Banks over his promise to give her $25,000 to move from Ohio to Texas to live near him so they could continue a year long sexual affair. He met the woman in August 2012. Kyles did not respond to the letter. See other Texas Southeast 1st jurisdiction stories here and here.
The 72 year old Banks, a member of the Jurisdictional Executive Staff is married to COGIC’s national elections chair Myra Banks, oversees the Baytown District and pastors Greater Emanuel COGIC in northeast Houston.
In the August 13th letter provided to RCA, the woman wrote to Bishop Kyles asking for assistance resolving the matter. The woman said she also sent letters to Bishop Blake and Banks’ wife because she wants him to resign and get himself right.
“I am hoping that you have received my letter regarding the affair (s) of your prelate, Superintendent John L. Banks, Jr. My patience has worn thin waiting on what was promised and due to me. John Banks lured [...] and me to Dallas, Texas so we would be close to him in Houston. He promised to help me establish a home for us. I am aware that he had surgery but he apparently lied about having money and property to keep me interested and to have sex with him. After I exposed our affair in the letter that was sent out to certain people, I would have thought he would have made good on his promise of $25,000 or at least enough to take care of my rent a few months. However, on August 20, 2013, he called me to inform me that he sent $1000.00 via Western Union. I was in the Hospital overnight due to low Potassium and when I was released the next day I went to Western Union to find out that he had his SISTER in Cleveland, Ohio to send me $100.00. I called him and he wouldn’t answer and I texted him and he wouldn’t answer. “
While RCA will not reveal the details at this time, the woman provided numerous significant details of sexual liaisons with Banks. She told RCA that Banks urged her to meet him at COGIC’s November Convocation, but she declined because he required that she “pay half like the other women he had sexual hookups with”. Banks attended the 2012 Bishop’s Conference in Detroit for the sole reason of meeting her for sex.
“Room 138 was our private joke”, she said, referring to the room the two of them met to have sex.
The benefits of sin
Let’s not be naive, sin packs a bundle of benefits. One is pleasure. If there was no pleasure in sin, it would have little attraction to humans. Hebrews 11:25 said Moses rejected the pleasures of sin for a season, choosing instead to suffer affliction with the people of God. The flesh receives a tremendous amount of gratuitous illicit pleasure from sin whether it be sexual or otherwise. That rush of pleasure becomes addictive to the degree that a person will subject themselves to risky behavior not to mention behavior that dishonors their families, churches, wives and God to experience it. But in the blindness of pleasure, death lurks like a crouching lion. As the scripture notes, the pleasure can only last for a time before it turns rotten. Sooner or later, if a person sows to the flesh they will reap the corruption therein. Exposure, broken relationships, damaged families, shame upon the church are all part of the consequential reaping. It will surely come because no one mocks God and escapes the consequences of such behavior (Gal 6:7). Biblically, consensual adulterous sex is just as sinful as nonconsensual adulterous sex.
What these men must be retrained to think is that the eternal benefits of holiness far outweigh the temporary benefits of sin.
Despite the bible, its constitution and policies that spell out what must happen to sexual offenders, its clear the Church of God in Christ is both impotent and incompetent in disciplining members of its clergy for sexual immorality. See the recent case of Supt Jessie L. Hutton. [youtube]That’s one of the main reasons its so widespread. For years the rumors of men in leadership using the Memphis Holy Convocation as a time to fulfill all of their sexual fetishes and fantasies were never substantiated because nothing existed to document the occurrences. But things have changed. Now, we know its true. Its obvious COGIC men have severe sexual immorality problems (both heterosexual and homosexual) and because moral authority is lacking, it continues to attract like spirits. Add to that corruption, greed, deception and injustice and its fairly easy to say that spiritual termites are destroying the denomination from the inside out.
Where are COGIC’s spiritual reformers hiding?
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:11
Sexual immorality is an unfruitful work of darkness. It should be the leaders exposing it and ensuring that it doesn’t grow and infect the body. They should be protecting the integrity of the house of God. Instead, its the leaders who are participating and indulging themselves. Its the leaders who are gouging themselves with the pleasures of sin while hypocritically proclaiming “holiness is still right”. Its the leaders of COGIC who cause the people to err; and they that are led by them are destroyed. Is 9:16
Supt John L. Banks, Jr should be ashamed that as a leader he cannot discipline himself or his sexual organs. It may be an indicator that he is unregenerate, not having been filled with the Holy Ghost (Gal 5:22-23) . As such, he should be removed from leadership until he is right with God. You may wonder where is the outrage of all those who are living right and are offended at the actions of their peer? Why are they silent? COGIC culture has them bound and gagged.
And when the house collapses, should anyone be surprised?
Our thanks to Sis Barbara McHenry for reporting this to us. What a sad and shameful thing for pastors and elders to take advantage of the elderly saints.
Sis McHenry writes:
“I am writing to inform you of a case in Seattle/Tacoma Washington. Pastor Peter DodsonDance or Peter Dance and his brother Elder Michael Dance have finally had their day in court and Peter Dance was sentenced to 2years jail for taking advantage of God’s people through his Mortgage company. He talked my mother into re-financing her home at age 65 creating a second mortgage resulting in her home being foreclosed. While moving her personal belonging it was discovered that he borrowed money from her with a promissory note attached from the proceed. He has not paid the money back as with many of his other victims of predatory lending practices.
Pastor Peter Dodsondance is a preacher in the COGIC church. He along with his brother Elder Michael Dance took advantage of the kindness of church members in Washington State through his Mortgage business. He caused many people to lose their homes, including my mother, Ella McHenry. He talked her in to taking a second mortgage on her property at 65-year-old. His predatory practices have now landed him in jail.”
Video of the COGIC Presiding Bishop and the event “inaugurating” him for a “second term”. COGIC has more and more adopted a political persona with its leadership installment events and governance. Despite the celebration, the Presiding Bishop still has not responded to a letter from an Atlanta law firm stating an intent to sue him and Chairman of the denomination’s Board of Bishop’s for, among other things, federal level racketeering violations.
Breaking: Atlanta law firm to file federal racketeering lawsuit against COGIC Presiding Bishop; Board of Bishops Chairman
Atlanta – Charges of leadership abuses by the administration of Bishop Charles Blake, Sr may have crested with a new volley of potential legal charges. Today Report COGIC Abuse confirmed an Atlanta law firm has sent a letter to the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Presiding Bishop and its Chairman of the Board of Bishops informing them of the intent to file a federal lawsuit alleging racketeering, theft by extortion and several other charges.
Report COGIC Abuse obtained an original copy of the letter sent to Bishop Charles Blake, Sr of Los Angeles and Bishop John Sheard of Detroit dated August 27 by attorneys from the law firm of Changus Campbell LLP on behalf of its clients Bishop Larry Shaw of Savannah, GA and Bishop Thomas Holsey of Dover, DE.
Also named as a potential defendant in the lawsuit is the Church of God in Christ, Inc.
Blake and Sheard are accused of violating O.C.G.A. [Official Code of Georgia Annotated] § 16-14-9 (RICO) . § 16-18-16 (theft by extortion) and and § 16-14-3 (9)(B) (theft chargeable under the laws of the United States). The two are alleged to have engaged in a “pattern of racketeering activity…conspiring together or with others to violate O.C.G.A. § 16-14-4.”
Perhaps the most serious charge is that the Presiding Bishop violated IRS laws by failing to “properly report, identify and pay taxes on revenues generated from offerings within the church”, thus jeopardizing the denomination’s tax exempt status.
The letter cites evidence yet to be revealed accusing Bishop Sheard of offering controversial Atlanta media personality William McCray III (ordained COGIC elder; red glasses) “thousands of dollars” to post defamatory information on his website called Obnoxious Blog. See those reports here and here. McCray has claimed that the Sheards are personal friends. Warning: profanity and graphic descriptions of sexual activity on this site.
The letter also contends that Sheard instructed McCray to post the false and defamatory information prior to 2012 COGIC elections in an attempt to destroy Shaw’s re-election efforts. Bishop Shaw is currently secretary of the denomination’s Board of Bishops. Sheard and Shaw have been in a long standing dispute over Sheard’s unjust persecution of fellow Bishop Thomas Holsey. See our previous coverage here.
It appears this entire situation was supposed to have remained private between the accused parties and the law firm until a September 13 deadline had expired. But sources tell Report COGIC Abuse, Sheard immediately forwarded the letter via email two days later without comment to about 20 select bishops. Its unclear if he consulted with the Presiding Bishop before doing so or had his approval.
We’ve posted a copy of the letter in our letters and documents section. RCA will continue to update this story as pertinent information becomes available.
Dear Bishop Meadows,
One week ago we received a shocking collection of videos and pictures depicting a superintendent under your charge engaged in explicit sexual activity with a young woman in his congregation. According to an accompanying letter, you and several executive staff have received the same information. You received the first letter in March and a follow up letter in July but there has been no action.
According to the letters, this married superintendent carried on a six year sexual relationship with this younger woman while he was in office in your jurisdiction. After becoming remorseful about having sex with a man who was supposed to be pastoring her, she informed him that she would leave the church so that she could recover and get back into the will of God. He advised her that she would be “out of the will of God” if she left his church. Nevertheless she finally summoned up the will to leave and stayed away for 8 months. Then his phone calls started again and he seduced her back into his evil desires.
The woman in her letter said that she became pregnant and the first response from your superintendent was an order for her to kill the child before he/she was born (abortion). There’s also evidence of this conversation. Upon this information being reported to you by phone, you made promises that you would take action and “sit him down for three months”. While this is woefully inadequate discipline given the extent and nature of these charges, it is what you said you would do. However to date, despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt, you have taken no actions and this sexually immoral man remains in office with no disciplinary actions against him.
Sir, as a bishop of over 20 years now, you do not need Report COGIC Abuse to instruct you on how to administrate the office of a bishop to which you were consecrated. Those stipulations are clearly outlined in the Constitution of the church which you are bound to uphold. Moreover, if there were no constitution, the bible is clear in its scope of disciplinary responses to sexually immoral in our midst.
Bishop Meadows, we ask you sir to take no further delay in dealing righteously with the matter. The longer you delay, the more your own credibility comes into question. The Presiding Bishop has said that he is adamant about repairing the serious breach of sexual ethics and morality in the Church of God in Christ clergy ranks. Here is a clear opportunity for you to demonstrate that as well.
We are in contact with the plaintiff who is also considering MORE legal action against the church. Perhaps you ignoring her has unnecessarily pushed her to have to take these measures. Do you want to be responsible for the church having yet another sex-based lawsuit to defend itself against?
We hope that this letter will spur you to do what is right.
1. Remove this wicked and immoral man from office pending an investigation by a duly appointed, unbiased committee.
2. Demand that the perpetrator submit to a paternity test to determine whether he is the father of the child.
3. Enjoin him from contacting the plaintiff for any reason.
4. Communicate with the plaintiff specifically what actions you have taken in this matter.
If you and your staff continue to ignore this situation as many bishops have done in past situations, RCA may begin publishing the details of this situation including names, letters, audio, pictures and video of your naked superintendent with his head in between the legs of this woman. Please do not misconstrue this as a threat. It is not. Your concern for the welfare of the church, this man’s wife and an innocent child should outweigh your desire to protect this wolf.
He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8 NKJV
An exclusive two part report
The financial damage left by former COGIC minister Donald Barrett, is massive. If there’s one lesson COGIC should have learned by now its that sexually immoral clergy come with a steep price. The Donald Barrett case, unquestionably, is proof of that.
Last week we published an email by Barrett, now living in the Atlanta area, proclaiming ” The case has been dismissed against me. I am yet a member of the Church of God in Christ, Inc.” But If Barrett is still a member of the Church of God in Christ, the first thing Bishop Charles Blake should do is require him to reimburse the church for hundreds of thousands of dollars lost due to his own admitted sexual immorality with two women in his congregation. Then, his credentials should be permanently revoked.
Barrett’s letter claiming the case against him being dismissed is intentionally misleading. Court documents show the case was dismissed only because of financial settlements with the two plaintiffs. But that may be the least of the damage suffered by the denomination he called home for the last 40 years.
Sex cases cost the church big time. In the aftermath of the legal proceedings, the financial loss was so steep Southern California 2nd Jurisdiction was left reeling and narrowly missed being forced to declare bankruptcy. Besides the $350,000 paid to the women from insurance claims, legal fees totalling $134,ooo pushed the jurisdiction’s finances to the brink. Bishop George McKinney paid $4000 of personal money. Whats more jurisdictional pastors were left with a $34,000 tab from Barrett’s out of control behavior. The jurisdiction still owes over $100,000 in legal fees. Just one man’s ungodly action’s cost the church almost half a million dollars.
You can believe that a portion of that money was from the tithes, offerings, reports given by the saints of Southern California 2nd who had nothing to do with Barrett’s illicit actions. We’ve reported on scores of cases where the COGIC has been left holding the legal bill in the wake of sexual abuse cases.
- In 2010, The Church of God in Christ’s Washington state jurisdictional headquarters at 9201 Pacific Ave was put up for sale after having to pay a woman a million dollars in a lawsuit the church lost in King County Superior Court.
- In another case we reported on in 2011, Illnois 5th Jurisdiction was ordered to pay a 12 year old victim $1.5 million after she was sexually assaulted by Elder Ellis Barlow on a church trip.
How is God pleased with such an incredible waste of financial resources?
Report COGIC Abuse obtained court records detailing the deep financial losses suffered. These documents will be posted in our Letters and Documents section.
The Superior Court of California listed the case settled. To “settle” a case mean to legally end a dispute before the end of a trial. Since no case can be dismissed without a specific reason, omitting the reason for the dismissal is intentionally misleading. The question is why does Barrett want people to think the case was dismissed with no consequences? The settlement was reached Jan 29, 2013 with the two women by defendants Donald and Ruth Barrett, Greater Gospel Center COGIC of San Diego and the New Direction COGIC of Yuma, AZ. The settlement amount was $175,000 per plaintiff. One affidavit revealed that the Barretts filed for bankruptcy in a California court prior to the lawsuit, thus the entire burden for the legal assesments were placed on the two churches named in the suit.
To their credit and perhaps due in some measure to the work of Report COGIC Abuse, COGIC is moving towards seriously closing some of the logistical loopholes which have in past times allowed ungodly men freedom to abuse others under their charge. In another post, we will detail some of the new policy changes as recorded in the General Assembly minutes. Prayerfully, the Donald Barrett case will be the last of these types of wicked and damaging incidents which have cast a pall over a great organization.
Listen to the audio of a COGIC “Review Board” questioning Barrett about his involvement with the two women.
Dr. Donald Barrett is a man on a mission to clear his name. Report COGIC Abuse was the first to tell you about the lawsuits levied against the National church, Southern California 2nd Jurisdiction as well as several local churches in California and Arizona by two women who alleged the former Southern California 2nd Administrative Assistant had engaged in sexual acts with them among other charges. Read here, here and here for previous reports. RCA was informed that Barrett is scheduled to appear this weekend at New First COGIC in Chicago Heights, IL pastored by Bishop Robert Sanders.
Now, according to a letter sent to RCA, Barrett makes several counter allegations including accusing our site of doing “irreparable damage to me, my family and my ministry”. He requested that his email telling his side of the story be printed for all to read. In the spirit of fairness, RCA is reprinting the email verbatim for public review.
April 5, 2013
I write you with the assumption that you are a person who desires to expose the genuine truth. And if in fact, you are a person of righteousness, I pray you will post this letter and information therein, on your blog. First, let me start by saying, the case against me (Donald K. Barrett), my wife (Ruth) and any churches I have pastored, has been dismissed. Yes, Dismissed…there are no court actions pending against me. God has given us victory in this situation. “No weapon formed against thee, shall prosper…Isa. 54-17”. I would like to share with you the fact that the way the information was presented concerning the allegations against me on your blog known as COGIC ABUSE WATCH has done irreparable damage to me, my family and my ministry, simply because you took unsubstantiated allegations and presented them as truth; To present allegations in this fashion is paramount to passing judgment and entering a conviction without the benefit of a hearing or a trial. Certainly, this is neither done in a United States Court of Law, nor the Kingdom of God.
Therefore, I am writing to you to shed light on just a few things that did not show up in the plaintiff’s allegations filed in this civil matter. The two women who filed this civil lawsuit were allegedly lesbian lovers. Both women are in their middle to upper forties (40s).
The woman whom I had known for more than ten years (Ms. Harris)… is a woman, who had just in the past five or six years, had a case in the California courts against her for child endangerment; my wife and I worked with the California Department of Children and Family Services to keep her two children from being taken from her. This woman was a member of my church and that’s how we both knew her.
This was a case of jealous rage, hatred and a promise by Ms. Jones, who made the threatening statement, “I will do all I can to destroy you”.
Your blog reported that my wife attempted to offer Ms. Jones “hush money”. This is totally untrue! Ms. Jones asked for money in a written letter she gave to Bishop McKinney, who in turn gave the letter to me, where she asked me for $5,000.00 for her medical bills. Then instead of taking the money as SHE had requested, she decided to file a lawsuit – hoping for a bigger payday.
The blog you have written with its commentary is one-sided and bias against me and my ministry. I would be ever so pleased if you would report the outcome of this civil case, in this same arena where the allegations were reported.
I feel compelled to make you aware, that in December 2011, the plaintiff, Ms. Harris called my home and spoke to my wife and then to me and stated that, “the lawsuit is not my doing”. Ms. Harris stated that this lawsuit was Ms. Jones’ idea and she didn’t want to go forward with the suit. Are you aware that Ms. Harris, during her interrogatories give 10-12 dates and times when she was supposedly with me romantically? ALL these dates were impossible, because I was either out of state in Arizona teaching a bible class or at a national COGIC convention with my wife. Ms. Harris’ credibility could not, and did not hold up.
Ms. Harris and Ms. Jones’ lawyers and investigators, investigated my pastorate and ministries, going back at least twenty-five (25) years. These lawyers questioned and deposed former members, and leaders I had served and found nothing that would even hint to any improprieties or wrongdoings of any kinds and/or nature of sexual misconduct. They discovered nothing but praise from those I have served and served with. These same lawyers subpoenaed my financial and bank records for over the past twelve (12) years and no improprieties were found. My record is good and clean and still is.
I have been in ministry for almost forty (40) years and pastoring since 1989. I have NEVER been accused of sexual misconduct or misconduct of any kind until now. I have never been arrested for anything! Am I a perfect individual? No. But, my record speaks for itself.
It must be stated that there has been no cover-up or attempt to cover up by me, my wife or anyone associated with me.
The case has been dismissed against me. I am yet a member of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. If, in fact you are a crusader for righteousness, I pray, that rather than continuing to allow these flames of destruction to blaze, present, at least more than one side of this story. For that would be the truest example of righteousness and would also, pay homage to the scripture which implores us in I Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore, judge nothing before the time…” Should you desire to discuss this matter with me further, I invite you reply to this email in order to contact me for that express cause. Dr. Donald K. Barrett
Postscript: RCA did reply to this email informing Dr. Barrett that we would review all our published articles to see if there was any merit to his claim. We also informed him that we were aware of information that would prove these latest claims of his false. He did not respond. We will present that information in a followup to this story.
Trials create strange bedfellows when it comes to unearthing the layers of lies created by COGIC leadership to conceal the ungodly activities of its sexually abusive clergy. Report COGIC Abuse has learned that the denomination’s COO James Smith was ordered to be deposed in the trial of accused sex abuser and former Administrative Assistant Donald K. Barrett. See our previous reports on Barrett here and here. You can go here to see a picture of Barrett as he has complained about the use of his picture.
Pending the outcome of the trial, Barrett has recast himself as a “21st century church leadership consultant” concerned about issues such as “resolving conflict” in the church. Noticeably missing are concerns about resolving sexual abuse, adultery, lying, deception and criminal activity in the church.
Judge Jeffery Barton, presiding in the Superior Court of California, ruled that the plaintiff’s lawyers could put Smith on the stand under oath. We believe it involves the incendiary letter which bore Smith’s name and fingered Enoch Perry as a colossal failure of COGIC legal strategies on sexual abuse.
“Ruling on the Deposition of James Smith: Plaintiff Ingar Jones’ unopposed motion to compel the deposition of James Smith is granted. Plaintiff and defendants should confer as to when a mutually agreeable date may be set within the next 20 days to take Smith’s deposition. Nothing in this ruling affects whether defendant Church of God in Christ, Inc.’s (“COGIC-TN” or “church”) may assert any privilege. The deposition should be completed in 3 hours.”
The trial minutes reveal that Judge Barton ordered the deposition November 2, 2012, allowing 20 days for completion. That would mean Smith was deposed by November 22, 2012.
Report COGIC Abuse also received unconfirmed information that Smith denied being the author of the letter instead saying he was ordered by a senior church official to write the letter and put his name on it.
We are working hard to obtain a copy of the deposition and will post it for your review.
What Ruth Barrett knew
According to the official minutes of the case, the plaintiff’s evidence indicates Ruth Barrett more than likely knew her husband was an adulterer while he was still preaching and holding office in COGIC:
“Plaintiffs’ evidence show that Ruth Barrett may have known that there was a sexual relationship between Harris and Donald Barrett in 2004, which may have continued thereafter. Their evidence does not show that Ruth Barrett knew of her husband’s sexually abusive conduct and/or physical violence against plaintiffs. Thus, though the evidence shows that Ruth Barrett was the attorney for COGIC and Greater Gospel, and may have known about her husband’s indiscretions, even if she is considered an agent for
the entity, there is insufficient evidence to show that her knowledge of Barrett’s abusive misconduct was conveyed, or should have been conveyed, to the church entities. With regard to plaintiffs’ assertion that Ruth Barrett represented the church and offered a post-dated check, even if it was to “hush up” Jones, this does not fall outside the fabric of duties as an attorney to support punitive damages.”
Ruth Barrett attempted to personally pay off the women to keep her husband’s nefarious lifestyle undercover.
A 10 year reign of sexual terror is over for seven girls in Covington, Virginia. A Covington man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of molesting seven girls. Don Billups was convicted of 16 sex crimes and sentenced to two life sentences plus seventy five years.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Ed Stein said there were seven victims between the ages of 10 and 16. The oldest allegations date back to 2002, the most recent between 2010 and 2012. According to Stein, the girls were friends of Billups’ daughters or were known to him through a church in Covington where he was a deacon.
Stein said Billups denied every allegation to the end. The jury, however, found him guilty on all 16 counts and recommended a sentence of two life terms plus 75 years.
The earliest allegation was reported to law enforcement in 2002. Stein said the case never went anywhere at the time, however. [source]
The church where Billups got his victims was Gospel Tabernacle, a church in the Greater West Virginia Jurisdiction where Henderson Wheeler is bishop. In 2002, when Billups was first reported to police, the church was pastored by Supt. Warner L. Hunter, until his death in 2009. Afterwards his son-in-law, Gregory Moore became pastor. See our reporting on Don Billups and the fallout here and here.