Houston lawsuit accuses Bishops Blake, Kyles, Perry and Brown of over one million dollars property theft
HOUSTON, TX – A lawsuit being adjudicated in Harris County Texas’ 133rd District Court alleges that COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, Sr., Texas Southeast First Jurisdiction Bishop Rufus Kyles, Bishop Charles Brown II and newly minted bishop Enoch Perry, III acting on behalf of the denomination’s General Board, were responsible for the theft of over 1 million dollars of intellectual properties and items from a church location [source]. The Church of God in Christ, Inc. is also a named defendant.
The plaintiffs Dr. Patricia Brown-Johnson and Interfaith Interdenominational Ministries, Inc say that in 2005 Bishop Kyles accepted Brown-Johnson as a member of his jurisdiction under a special program due to COGIC’s prohibition of female pastors. Brown-Johnson was to be given the designation of “Special Alliance Supervisor”. Kyles later offered to buy a Baytown, Texas church owned by Brown-Johnson and while in possession of the property, sold or allowed to be sold equipment and other items not contained in the agreement. The agreement went sour when Kyles refused to close on the property.
When Brown-Johnson sought to get the items returned through church leadership channels, she was asked by Presiding Bishop GE Patterson (deceased) and then General Secretary AZ Hall (deceased) Kyles not to pursue criminal charges and that the church would recompense the losses. Church leaders wanted to keep the issue private and handle it “internally”.
Brown-Johnson stated in the lawsuit that she contacted the General Board and was instructed to provide extensive documentation because [she was told by Enoch Perry] Bishop Kyles was going to be “defrocked” over the incident and a trial was to be held. She was repeatedly assured by GB bishops that her property would be returned and she would be compensated for any unreturnable losses. Based on these assurances, she did not file criminal or civil suits.
But after providing the evidence to the satisfaction of Enoch Perry, Charles Blake, COO Charles Brown and other defendants, the evidence disappeared. Brown said the items would be returned after Blake reviewed them. Documents and program she had written and copyrighted later resurfaced as COGIC related documents.
In March 2010, she received a letter from Enoch Perry stating that nothing would be compensated or returned. The good ole boy bishop’s club circled the wagons and begin denying that Brown-Johnson was ever given any assurances of compensation or justice. Brown-Johnson subsequently filed suit.
Bishop Rufus Kyles never responded to the lawsuit and never showed up in court. In a July 2012 judgment the court found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $900,000 in damages plus court costs and interest until the amount was paid. COGIC’s current legal strategy is to get the case dismissed. The next hearing on that is April 21st at 11 am. You can read the actual lawsuit and judgment under Letters and Documents.
“My Spiritual Heritage has been stolen from me”
An Education specialist with a degree from Sam Houston State University, Brown-Johnson told Report COGIC Abuse, “My Spiritual Heritage has been stolen from me!”
I trusted the men of God, Bishop Charles Blake, Bishop Charles Brown, Judge Enoch Perry and now deceased Bishop Chandler Owens. [They said] No matter how long it would take, Interfaith church and I would be compensated for all losses.
My true proofs copyright venues placed in their hands are worth $1,000,000.00 apiece. They have four. Even in a witness protection program with my life under threat, special alliances were made for compliance with request made by the General Board through Judge Enoch Perry.
I need to recover my losses so my children and my life can move forward. Interfaith church can move forward.
Judge Enoch Perry and the IRS have Kyles’ original police reports. We only want what is due us rightfully. I did not have Bishop Kyles and pastors arrested per the General Board’s request because they wanted to settle within the church. The witness protection and life protection program had to be handled in a way that my true location was not disclosed from 2004-2011. Bishop Chandler Owens did everything he could to resolve this until he became ill and passed.”
Nonbiblical COGIC Bishops
These are inglorious acts on the part of COGIC’s leadership. However, as we have reported for many years the facts of this case come as no surprise. The defendants in this case are no strangers to Report COGIC Abuse. Under Enoch Perry’s disastrous reign as chief legal advisor, COGIC leadership has employed unscrupulous tactics against unwitting its own members. As they did with Brown-Johnson, false promises are made to avert court cases only to later capitulate. All four have been involved in numerous cases of sexual, judicial and administrative abuses in the last five years.
- Bishop Blake – Read here, here and here
- Bishop Charles Brown – Read here, here, here and here
- Bishop Rufus Kyles – Read here and here
- Bishop Enoch Perry – Read here, here and here.
The bible is clear and there’s no shadow of turning in its qualifying instructions for the man who would be bishop. Titus 1: 7-8 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. (our bold).
When it comes to the flesh and sex, a bishop must exercise self control and discipline. Otherwise, with the magnitude of his influence and the attraction of his persona, his charisma will bring him numerous opportunities to indulge himself sexually and financially. If he does not exercise due diligence in his sexual life (apart from his wife or 100% celibate if single) he will endanger the flock and invite the same spirits to have free reign among those under his jurisdiction.
Secondly, 1 Timothy 3:7 adds this qualifier: Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
A bishop cannot have a bad character/reputation report. This doesn’t include false accusations, it means that there must not be a consistent cloud of suspicious/ungodly/unseemly behavior following him due to his own actions. This extends even to the unsaved. They must not be able to “spot” the bishop’s life inasmuch as his ethics is concerned.
If this is not valued, the bishop will “fall into reproach by giving way to the excesses of his former life [of sin]. Apparently, and with a preponderance of evidence, these COGIC bishops have no resemblance to what is shown in scripture.
A December 2013 ruling found that Bishop Enoch Perry III, the ex-Chief Counsel of the Church of God in Christ, Inc was ineligible to be seated on the church’s highest judicial council. The investigation found that the Board of Bishops violated Article VIII of the church’s constitution when it illegally advanced Perry’s name for election. According to church law, Perry was ineligible to sit on the Judiciary Board before and during the election. The investigation found that Perry didn’t even meet minimum requirements.
“This matter before the Court was referred by Chairman James W. Hunt. He asked the Court to “formally render a ruling concerning the legality of the election and whether or not the names that were received from the Board of Bishops should only have been Jurisdictional Bishops”. Following the November 11, 2013 election, other petitioners filed and raised concerns about various aspects of the electoral process. Among the issues raised were allegations of irregularities in the voting process, and postured that the election was invalid and should be set aside.”
The saga of Enoch Perry and COGIC justice is filled with shady dealings. For years, Perry had been at the center of a string of COGIC legal controversies specifically associated with high profile sexual abuses cases.
Perry had been COGIC’s chief behind-the-scenes architect of its sexual abuse “policy”. He piloted church leadership though numerous legal waters with ubiquitous ease, donning different masks depending on which court room he happened to find himself in. In November 2009, when Bishop Charles Blake dropped a bombshell announcement that his denomination spent on a yearly average $800,000 to settle sexual abuse claims against the church, he actually thanked Perry for his cacophony of supporting distortions.
Report COGIC Abuse obtained a copy of Perry’s 2008 Texas court deposition where he testified under oath that COGIC has virtually no control over its ministers or churches. But that admission quickly caught the former judge in a series of exchanges where he was less than truthful. The deposition occurred in early September 2008, almost a year prior to the approaching sexual abuse trial of Rev. Sherman Allen, a former top COGIC church official.
In a searing letter widely believed to be authored by the denomination’s COO, James Smith, Perry was cited for multiple legal blunders and massive incompetency.
“Regrettably, I must bring to your attention the ongoing dilemma which the National Church has dealt with for many years and will continue to face as a result of the grossly ineffective, entirely inadequate and extremely costly representation being afforded to date by our General Counsel, Judge Enoch Perry, III. As I will address more fully below, in less than a one (1) year time span, the National Church has paid out over $1,000,000 solely due to the lack of sufficient legal acumen and fatal errors in judgment by our General Counsel.”, wrote Smith who called for Perry’s resignation.
Perry was replaced with current counsel Ulysses Henderson and subsequently promoted to auxillary bishop.
The issue of incompetency was raised yet again in the report noting that “The candidate himself has a responsibility to ensure that he or she is fully qualified to run for the office he or she is seeking. In this case, we have a former General Counsel to the Church of God in Christ, Inc., who ran for the highest court in the Church and either did not know the requirements of Article VIII as it relates to who is eligible or did not bother to verify whether he was eligible or not.”
The investigating committee ordered the General Assembly to replace Auxillary Bishop Perry with a qualified candidate.
Read the entire report in our Letters and Documents section.
In what appears to be another fox guarding the pentecostal hen-house arrangement, a man who was the lead investigator of the bungled Sherman Allen sex abuse case is now the Chairman of the “Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Committee”. What an arrogant and pompous sounding title considering the littered trail of sexually abused women and children COGIC sex criminals have left behind. Nonetheless, Pastor Gerald Harris was appointed to the post in January by Bishop Charles Blake during the denomination’s Atlanta Leadership Conference.
According to his bio, Harris was “Chief of Security, Church of God in Christ, Inc. undertaking the responsibility of the supervision and management of the National Security Task Force. Elder Harris is the advisor to the COGIC Presiding Bishop with regards to our National Church security.”
But Harris was also is cahoots with dethroned former legal advisor Enoch Perry in the notorious mishandling of the Sherman Allen case. That case arguably became the lightening rod which first drew significant attention to COGIC’s infatuation with harboring, promoting and celebrating sexual abusers in its clergy ranks.
In a sworn deposition given in a Texas courtroom, Perry identified Elder Gerald Harris and Elder Melvin Williams as the sole members of COGIC’s so-called “National Sexual Misconduct Committee”. Later, in the same deposition, he said the men were members of the “National Review Board”. (pg 22 of deposition filed under letters and documents).
The two investigators violated COGIC’s own policy which requires a minimum 5 individuals on an investigating committee of this sort. It also requires that a “detailed report” be filed with the Office of the General Secretary within 6 months of a case being closed. When questioned about this glaring violation, Perry declined to answer if this had been done in the Sherman Allen case. He called the two “investigators” highly skilled in what they do, but Allen under oath said he was never interviewed by either of the two men. It still remains a mystery as to how men with such skill could disregard church policy in such a high level legal matter.
Despite Harris’ colossal failure, Blake promoted him to the position of “special investigator” . Blake did the same with Perry even after a scathing letter revealing his massive incompetence was released by another church official. This was another immaterial peacock position with special window dressing sauce, dreamed up in the mind of the presiding bishop. There was no evidence COGIC needed a “special investigator”. What was there to investigate?
Although there was no external formal or public announcement we could find, Bishop Blake then created a new Investigative Service Department for COGIC. Something like a church CIA department. The man placed in charge of the job: Elder Gerald Harris of Gilroy, CA. Harris’ dubious promotions followed the pattern of rewarding error, misconduct and incompetence by creating fictitious committees to give the impression the person has done something noteworthy. It also helps to keep the administration’s secrets in its inner circle.
We searched but there was no announcement nor information released publicly about what the newly created “Investigative Service Department” does or does not do, so COGIC members can only speculate as to whether the new department includes elements of secrecy. Shouldn’t members know if they could possibly be under investigation?
When it comes to investigating the sexual abuses of COGIC’s clergy (who commit 98% of the known crimes) its almost unbelievable that the presiding bishop would appoint a man with proven incompetence to head a secret committee to deal secretly with the secret sexual sins, crimes and misconduct of its good ole preacha boys club. Who are the members of the committee? When do they meet? When have they met previously? Women and children comprise 98% of known victims. Are women involved in the decision making process? If so who are they? Where are the rules, procedures and policies governing the sex abuse committee? How does the average member contact them and get access to their qualifications. Why are the members kept secret? Inquire if you desire, search if you may and seek but you wont find this phantom committee.
Bishop Blake has ensured that nothing substantial will ever occur to rectify problems with sexual abuse in his denomination. He does that through manipulative window dressing, creating phantom committees and appointing insider heads to oversee the fake committees. If there was a legitimate committee, they would be investigating Charles Brown, the pedophile bishop who still jumps, shouts, speaks in tongues, pastors a church and sits on the convocation platform. They would be investigating claims made against FE Perry, Jerry Wayne Macklin, Harrison Hale and a crop of other CURRENT church officials. Just like they feigned ignorance and claimed no responsibility with Bishop John Husbands , Sherman “Rev Spanky” Allen and scores of others on the record, they will continue to do the same no matter what evidence exists against one of their own. Its all for the glory of COGIC’s name, image and assets. People are just expendable, collateral damage to keep up the “glory” of the church’s image.
Its a sad and tragic day for sexual abuse victims in the Church of God in Christ.
The man at the center of many of COGIC’s incredibly bad legal decisions since 1996 is no longer chief counsel of the nation’s largest black pentecostal denomination. Bishop Enoch Perry of Washington, DC didn’t make the cut of retained appointments announced recently at the denomination’s annual leadership conference in Atlanta, GA.
Perry had been COGIC’s chief behind-the-scenes architect of sexual abuse “policy” in the last few years. He’s navigated church leadership though numerous legal waters with ubiquitous ease, donning different faces depending on which court room he happened to find himself in. In November 2009, when Bishop Charles Blake dropped a bombshell announcement that his denomination spent on a yearly average $800,000 to settle sexual abuse claims against the church, he actually thanked Perry for his cacophony of supporting distortions.
Report COGIC Abuse obtained a copy of the 2008 court deposition of Church of God in Christ top “legal counsel” Enoch Perry who testified under oath that COGIC has virtually no control over its ministers or churches. But that admission quickly caught the former judge in a series of exchanges where he was less than truthful. The deposition occured in early September 2008, almost a year prior to the approaching sexual abuse trial of Rev. Sherman Allen, a former top COGIC church official.
In March 2011, Perry was the target of a widely circulated letter by the church’s COO James Smith. The seven page letter with almost 4000 words[pdf], accused the church’s top legal man of a plethora of legal, ethical and financial improprieties. The letter, in effect predicted a looming financial doomsday for the Church of God in Christ and laid the blame at the feet of its “incompetent” counsel Enoch Perry III.
Regrettably, I must bring to your attention the ongoing dilemma which the National Church has dealt with for many years and will continue to face as a result of the grossly ineffective, entirely inadequate and extremely costly representation being afforded to date by our General Counsel, Judge Enoch Perry, III. As I will address more fully below, in less than a one (1) year time span, the National Church has paid out over $1,000,000 solely due to the lack of sufficient legal acumen and fatal errors in judgment by our General Counsel.
Smith was retained as COO during the leadership conference and Perry was replaced by Ulysses Henderson a somewhat unknown church attorney who is mentioned in the April 2010 General Assembly minutes as participating in a phone call regarding contracts for the national convocation. Henderson’s photo was conspicuously missing from an official poster featuring the new and retained appointees.
One would think with severity of the crimes, the implications and depth of the vast coverup of pedophiles in COGIC’s pulpits, the church’s presiding bishop Charles Blake or its general counsel Enoch Perry III would have by now convened a forum to deal with the massive fallout. Or conducted a public hearing or investigation. But they havent.
Instead, an open forum is being convened by someone who could have shrugged his shoulders and walked away upon hearing revelations of widespread sexual abuse allegations in the Albany NY COGIC community. But he chose not to.
Christopher Davis, whose shocking and detailed letter documenting sexual abuse by COGIC pedophiles, announced the open forum for October 16th at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio 339 Central Ave, Albany, NY. More information below.
HOUSTON – Bishop Gary Emerson Scott was bad business from the beginning but Bishop Prince E. Bryant failed to vet him and refused to discipline him even when reports of sexual misconduct and marital infidelity arrived at his office. In the end, it was the Olive Branch COGIC that was left broken, shattered and reeling from the destruction a ravenous wolf unleashed on them by their own bishop.
A licensed evangelist and 50 year member of the COGIC told Report COGIC Abuse she was devastated about the condition of the church she loves so much.
Scott (on his third marriage) was appointed pastor of the church after the death of its former pastor, but members say Bishop Bryant intentionally overlooked the man’s terrible reputation in an effort to beef up the Texas SouthCentral jurisdiction in his run for the General Board. Scott allegedly pastored another nonCOGIC church called Trinity Fellowship but that church was dying a slow death.
Although married, Scott sexually harrassed at least 3 women in the congregation. But one member’s letter and call to West Angeles and a threat to sue the national church, hastened an immediate and personal response from both Bishop Charles Blake and his chief church lawyer Enoch Perry III. An investigation found Scott guilty.
In short, Blake and Perry investigated and removed Scott from the church with orders to Bryant not to allow him on COGIC property again for any reason. Read the Official Letter about the investigation and subsequent banning of Gary Scott from COGIC.
The two denominational leaders departed, but the nightmare for the remaining members of the Olive Branch Church was far from over. And to add to their injuries, Bishop Bryant refused to help them recover.
Despite the order banning Scott from the premises, he confiscated church property and formed another nonCOGIC church. The Olive Branch has sued to get church property returned but told Report COGIC Abuse, they have received no assistance from Bishop Prince Bryant. Members tell RCA that they do not believe Perry or Bishop Blake are aware that Bryant is not following the mandates of the letter. They plan to repetition get the national church’s assistance.
According to church trustees who spoke with us, Bishop Bryant forged a “deal” with Gary Scott for the Olive Branch Church to go into the building [he had been banned from] at 10:00 am on Sundays for church. Scott and his new Impact Worship Center church would have church at 12:00 noon because he protested his name was on the leased building and he was not leaving. At that meeting Bryant described Scott as a “good man” despite the proven charges against him.
Members from the Olive Branch Church were ordered by Enoch Perry not to go anywhere near Scott. Using that distance, Scott took the contents and started another nondenominational church (Impact Christian Center) with COGIC contents. The trustees of the church met again with Bishop Bryant in hopes of retrieving the contents of the church but were told according to them that “he [Bryant] had a name to keep and if we wanted the contents we would have to seek legal representation and the Jurisdiction would not help us financially in any form to retrieve anything”.
Church still suffering
Already suffering behind almost 2 years of Gary Scott’s wickedness, the church was forced to file with small claims court charging Gary Scott with theft.
Scott’s bio says he “…grew his membership from ninety to over a thousand members in less than five years and led him, in 2010, to become the Senior Pastor of the Impact Christian Center COGIC in Houston, Texas, thus making him One Pastor with Two Denominations” (his bold). Like many false prophets, deception is part of their ability to continue getting money and sexual favors from unsuspecting people.
The ministry pastor said, “All of our reports for 2011 were paid in full to the Jurisdiction and the National, however Bishop Bryant chose not to help us in any form and The Olive Branch has not heard from Bishop Bryant since February of 2012. We had to find a place to worship, and Greater Emmanuel COGIC has allowed us to worship with them.”
As of today, the Olive Branch church is a church with no peace and no help.
In a newly released video, a prominent El Paso, Texas COGIC bishop highlights serious internal problems with the denomination’s apparently broken judicial system. We previously reported on COGIC’s judicial system here and here.
Bishop Juan Lawson, prelate of Texas Western Jurisdiction and former Chairman of the Church of God in Christ Grievance Committee, announced via video that he had resigned as Chairman of that committee due to repeated incidences of “obstruction, coverup and incompetence” by Board of Bishops president Bishop John Sheard.
Citing the contents of a letter Report COGIC Abuse made public August 10th, Bishop Lawson decried the Blake administration’s disregard of speedy and fair justice for clergy.
Lawson is also a candidate for President of the powerful Board of Bishops which has oversight of cases filed against COGIC bishops.
Addendum 5:55pm est: This story was amended to remove the names of Bishop Charles Blake and Bishop Enoch Perry III. Per Bishop Lawson, his remarks alleging “obstruction, coverup and incompetence” were not specifically directed at these two individuals. Report COGIC Abuse apologizes for this unintended misinterpretation.
Church leaders continue a pattern of denial, inaction and insensitivity to victims. With hundreds of millions of dollars being paid out annually to keep victims of COGIC clergy sexual abuse silent, Bishop Charles Blake, his board and his chief lawyer continue their business as usual policies.
If it is true that there are only 5 cases of clergy sexual sins that demand the attention of the church so far as litigation is concerned, we should be in a state of alarm and in a condition of panic. Why? As I have documented in Clergy Sexual Sins Pt. 2, before he became Bishop, the same “Judge” Enoch Perry previously was recorded to have stated, in public and official church records, in 2009, that the church has hardly ever processed any allegations of cases of sexual abuse in the last 100 years, stating the following to the General Assembly:“He (Judge Enoch Perry) reported that in over 100 years, there have been 20-25 processed cases of sexual misconduct. He stated statistically the numbers are significantly small; however, there should not be one case among us. Judge perry reported there has not been one successful lawsuit against the church; cases have either been settled or dismissed. He further stated that Bishop Blake supports the church’s zero tolerance policy against sexual misconduct.” [2009 COGIC General Assembly Minutes Pg. 2 Para. 2 parenthesis added]Aside from the fact that a “settlement” IS a successful lawsuit in many cases, if his numbers are correct, then in 2012 we are currently facing and epidemic that must be addressed right away. The numbers presented by these officials and recited in official church records, indicate that the church is currently experiencing 20% to 25% of it’s 100 year total “processed” sexual misconduct cases, right now. In other words, unlike the average slightly less than 2.25 cases per decade over the last 100 years that the church has experienced, (according to their statements) we now face 5 cases in just one year stemming from year 2011. Although we know that it is far beyond these totals, by their own numbers, officials of our church should be alarmed.
Read the full shocking report, citing facts and the words of Charles Blake, Enoch Perry and official church documents which clearly show a campaign of deception is in progress.
But the people have not returned to him who struck them, nor have they sought the Lord Almighty. So the Lord will cut off from Israel both head and tail, both palm branch and reed in a single day; the elders and dignitaries are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail. Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray. Isaiah 9:13-16
But a year later, in a 2010 report to the General Assembly, Bishop Blake told delegates that financial payouts for “settlements” had dramatically increased.
After “expressing concern” over the denomination’s financial health due in part to improper financial recordkeeping, the minutes reflected that “Bishop Blake noted the need for adjustments to be made and highlighted the fact that approximately $1.7 million is spent on legal fees and settlements.”
Then, as if to connect then segue:
“Bishop Blake expounded on the problem of sexual misconduct by clergy and emphasized that such criminal activity must be properly reported. He also intimated that the general church could not pay legal expenses for local and jurisdiction litigation.”
Even though the church’s chief lawyer Enoch Perry falsely informed the church’s general assembly that in over 100 years of COGIC there had “only been 20-25 processed cases of sexual misconduct”. Perry did not say what constitutes a sexual abuse case nor why with such a low number of cases, the church pays out such large sums of money to compensate victims each year.
His GA testimony was in sharp conflict with Bishop Blake’s $800k statement. The math between the two statements were worlds apart.
Another note of interest: Given the prior numbers and statements from the Perry, no one (at least not on record) ever questioned the presiding bishop as to why settlement payouts had increased and who the money was paid to.
As we pointed out here, COGIC’s own “sexual abuse policy” approved by Blake says that “The local jurisdiction and the National Church can all be held liable for of the acts of one individual.” This was the case in Washington State where after a legal defeat in the case of Supt Charles Smith, the church had to pay a $1 million dollar settlement. The jurisdictional headquarters was later sold. And several years prior in Illinois (5th jurisdiction) the church paid $1.5 million settlement (see this) because of a failure of leadership to discipline a known sexually immoral pastor.
April 2010 GA Minutes (contains cited remarks)
The San Diego based law firm representing one of the victims who filed suit against Dr. Donald K. Barrett believes there are more victims who have not yet come forward.
The firm is seeking to have individuals who have been harmed by Dr. Barrett contact them. Barrett started his religious career in Chicago, Illinois. He left from pastoring a COGIC in Harvey, IL in 2003, then moved to San Diego. He then moved to Arizona and eventually to the Atlanta area. Lawyers believe he may have left a string of victims in the wake of his moves.
Both Barrett and his wife Ruth claim to hold doctorates in theology and law respectively, but do not list the schools which awarded the degrees. Ruth Barrett’s bio says she was a “staff attorney” for the Church of God in Christ national legal department under Enoch Perry.
If you or someone you know has been harmed sexually or financially by Dr. Donald K. Barrett, you can confidentially submit your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be forwarded to the law firm.
RCA will provide more specific details of the lawsuit this week.