Home > COGIC, sexual abuse > Other voices on COGIC clergy sexual abuse

Other voices on COGIC clergy sexual abuse

Whether the powers that rule the Church of God in Christ are listening or not, its people are speaking. Decades of hidden, willful sin is festering right under the surface of COGIC’s grandiose facade.  

Does COGIC have a moral problem or a criminally moral problem?  Both are outside the pale for a so-called Christian church unless of course apostasy is being revealed in a different form.

The Sherman Allen case which broke in 2007 has not yet come to trial, but the church’s sorry, passive response to it will serve as a noose once the legal challenges against it begin to move. The story was covered  fairly well by The Dallas Observer and provided probably one of the only outlets for people to seek out the truth. Certainly they had come to expect their own church was not going to inform them. The Sherman Allen case has come to represent all that has been unknown and perhaps all that will be revealed in time.

I read with much interest the comments of those who voiced their exasperation, frustration and anger at COGIC’s stone faced approach to sexual abuse in its midst. Reading the comments (with quite a few from COGIC members) answered  many questions raised here.

Here are examples of those who noted the issues. Keep in mind these comments were posted two years ago and here we are today asking the same questions but facing the same cold-hearted non-response.  Same situation, different faces.

How could any organization refuse to address such a rotten cancer in its midst? COGIC arrogantly calls itself “the greatest church in the world” but dont be fooled, this is a church in name only.

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.  ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.  ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.  ‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. Rev 3:1-4 NASB

  1. March 15, 2011 at 2:47 am

    elder jimmy
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 10:58 PM
    Bishop J.N. Hayes; who was the overseer in the Sherman Allen paddling case needs to be paddled right on out the door! He is more disgusting to me than the false prophet who did the initial abuse. What Haynes did was heap insult upon injury and disrespect a woman who was abused by one of his colleagues in “ministry” (yeah right). He forfeited his reight to be called a bishop or pastor. His lack of action and compassion disqualifies him to serve as such.

    elder jimmy
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 11:04 PM
    GCMW All the links are to the same article. Is it just me?

    Posted February 3, 2009 at 12:13 AM
    I’m sooooooo glad I left the COGIC church at the age of 17 never to return. I cannot say I knew of any child abuse cases but it was apparent to me that men could do whatever they wanted to do with no consequence (other than if they stole any money). Women were the cow dung of the church. It did not take me long to know that I would NEVER be a part of that denomination when I got grown. I think I have been in a handful of services (other than taking an older relative to their church). I just refuse to. I am not surprised at the indifference shown against these men at all.

    Posted February 3, 2009 at 7:08 AM
    GCM: See this story that happened in Oregon and they also filed a suite against the COGIC. You may be able to follow up on this….His wife as also a sheriff and he was also accused of molesting his stepdaughter…

    Lawsuits say Church of God in Christ ignored abuse claims [1989 and 1999, Tate]

    The Oregonian, “Lawsuits say church ignored abuse claims,” http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1082635655318782.xml , By MAXINE BERNSTEIN,

    Thursday, April 22, 2004
    PORTLAND (OR): Two women on Wednesday filed lawsuits against the jurisdiction that oversees Portland’s Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ, accusing the denomination of failing to respond to allegations that the Rev. Roy Tate sexually abused them as minors.
    The lawsuits, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, come as the North Portland church continues to try to remove Tate from preaching after a council of church elders found Tate guilty of conduct unbecoming a minister on Dec. 2.
    The elders held a trial that drew testimony from Tate’s church members and others who alleged that Tate had sex with troubled women he counseled and mismanaged church money. Despite the council’s order that he be suspended indefinitely, effective Jan. 4, Tate has continued to preach each weekend.
    “I have a right to do that while an appeal is pending,” Tate said, reached by phone Wednesday. “Allegations are allegations. These people are just trying to jump on the bandwagon and want to get some easy money. Fifteen years ago, I had some indiscretions, but it was never anything with minors.”
    In the lawsuits, a 21-year-old woman only identified as “S.S.” contends Tate abused his position of trust and confidence as church leader and began sexually abusing her in 1999 when she was 16. She alleges he molested her at least twice at the church and in other Portland locations. A second woman identified as “C.Y.” contends she was sexually abused by Tate as early as 1989 when she was 16 and continued to be molested by him for one to two years at the church and elsewhere.

    Part II

    July 2005
    newslink http://www.jlaforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=924503

    Church of God In Christ Settles Sex Abuse Lawsuit
    This week also saw the court proceedings of a $10 million lawsuit against the Tennessee-based Christ Inc., in Portland, Oregon. A woman claimed that her former pastor, Roy Tate, had repeatedly raped her when she was a teenager in 1989 and 1990. First, Tate failed to show up to court to testify, then lied about his whereabouts. When he finally testified, Tate used the “well, sure, I had sex with her, and I was her pastor and had the authority of God behind me and all, but, hey, I didn’t know how old she was” excuse:

    At his turn, defense lawyer Sean Hartfield asked Tate, “How can you be so sure that she was a senior [in high school]?”

    “I thought she and my daughter were about the same age,” Tate said.

    The woman had previously sued the church’s Oregon division, but it declared bankruptcy and was removed from the suit, so she filed
    against the national organization. Before the jury came back, the woman and the church settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

    GCMW: Thank you, I was really sickened to read this, but we need to uncover this so that people can make better decisions about who they associate with.

    Posted February 3, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    Sorry Pamela, but I will be a COGIC girl for life! Despite the obvious flaws of this denomination; I wouldn’t be who I am without this church. It was a privilege to be trained by God through this church.

    I’m not saying what has happened in this church is right or whether I even agree with some of the leadership choices. But I don’t think COGIC is an isolated case. Sexual immorality has infiltrated all denominations and churches. We may not be hearing about AME, other baptist denominations…but it is happening everywhere. Ted Haggard stands as one of the many sobering examples. I always say: Wherever man is in the mix, all sin is possible.

    There is some kind of sexual insanity that has taken root in every base of this society; including the church, not just catholics like we think, even COGIC, are not exempt. These cases coming to fore are not so much a sign of a deficient church structure as it is the sign of it being the last hour.

    Posted February 3, 2009 at 5:22 PM
    Rogers, of course I get your point but I dont agree at least not with the last two paragraphs. I mean I get the obvious flaws, no church is perfect, this is the end times thing. But Im wondering if your response is appropriate.

    Sidebar: This is about COGIC because that’s who we are focusing on. If you ask me why, I’ll tell you.

    However, knowing what you know:
    Have you talked to your pastor, written your bishop to express your outrage, asked your state supervisor why or if anything is being done about YOUR church? Have you done anything to bring awareness and help victims?

    I dont agree with the “everybody is doing it” “its happening everywhere” statement. Thats true, but why use it as a defense of the organization you are a part of?

    If every restaurant in your town was serving rotten food, would the “its happening everywhere” be applicable?Would you just keep going and eating the rotten food? Would you say its the servers fault and not hold the restaurant accountable? Would you even bring your complaint to the manager’s attention?

    Im not understanding that logic so please tell me you are not just being “resigned” because its happening everywhere.

    elder jimmy
    Posted February 3, 2009 at 9:55 PM
    COGIC for LIFE or JESUS Follower for LIFE? The restaurant analaogy is perfect. Some people love their denoms (along with their flaws) more than they love righteousness and justice. Some folk are not really in love with Jesus but rather the culture of their denomination, the cult of personality there and the many distinctives associated with their particular reformation. Isn’t this the same sin of the Pharisees?
    Paul said; “Follow me as I follow Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11th chapter.
    There is a tendacy for people to see the thing the LORD used to being one to salvation as equal to the salvation itself. When that happens it becomes an idol, Nehushtan, a mere piece of brass like the Israelites worshipped the bronze serpent that GOD used to bring deliverance. They began to light insense to it and worship the thing (denomination, book, person, method, etc.,) that was used to save. I looks as if COGIC as well as many others need to clean house, break down idol groves, smash the faces of idols and retsore the true worship of the Most High GOD.

    Posted February 4, 2009 at 6:11 AM
    I think Elder Jimmy’s comments are on target. COGIC showmanship can be seen throughout many denominations and in the secular world. No one can deny the charisma displayed in a COGIC service, but I see it as little more than bodily exercise which profits little and Samson shaking himself as in times before after his hair was shaved by Delilah and nothing happened. I would just tell Rogers to remember the old saying that one rotten apple spoils the bunch and since COGIC has a history of holding onto and harboring abusers of the flock, the rest of the organization is going to be affected. I think the only thing that will wake COGIC up is a class-action lawsuit by all its victims that will deplete millions of dollars and bring to light the widespread corruption.

    oregonsistahPosted February 4, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    Elder Jimmy: My thoughts exactly…I have been a member of COGIC a different periods in my life in Germany and Alaska, and have decided to never join one again, because of the culture of “worshipping the creature (Bishops/Denomiation) more than the Creator is against God’s word…The song “this is the COGIC you cannot join in, you have to be born in and the worship of this denomination and Bishop Mason like they are Jesus has always really disturbed me. I believe this stuff has always happened in the past…It is just now being revealed…There are “too many” of these stories and not isolated events with these leaders. In the stories the women, children and young men violated tell, they allow a lot to happen because of the teaching and belief that these men of God are above reproach; you don’t question them and this “touch not my anointed” nonsense. These men abuse their power and status and the COGIC condones. I remember being in church when we were worshipping and praising God, but when the “Bishop” comes in, everything has to stop and everyone must stand, and put God on hold. I also have never liked how women are treated in general. My thoughts…As the bible says, in the flesh is no good thing; we need to crucify our flesh with the affections and lust and he that will be rich falls into many hurtful snares and lust. I believe a lot of this is driven by the love of money and power over others…These men are supposed to be servants of God and his people to lead us to Jesus. I am so glad that God is no respector of people and all oft this is coming out and to let the injured know that God cares and has not forgotten them and they matter…This mess is wicked….

    elder jimmy
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 7:10 PM

    YES, YES, YES!!! Don’t you hate that the “service of the LORD” is interrupted to stand and recieve the Bishop?!? What are they thinking? This prideful reverence for a servant of the LORD is a symptom of the mess that is in the hearts of many leaders in the church today. I n my own denomination the processional on the last fay of the “Holy Convocation” is used to announce the leadership. “And next is the second vice president of the district….” My heart really cries out to GOD for change and correction. We have gone to worshipping men and traditions.
    The old addage one apple can spoil the whole bunch is akin to the Galations 5:9 “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

  2. March 16, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    What some of our leaders did was wrong, as well as those who did not truly satisfy COGIC’s Articles of Incorporation by not conducting a thorough investigation in each matter. That being said, the COGIC is not God. It is an organization whose mission is to help facilitate a godly lifestyle. Anytime humanity becomes involved in matters of high moral character and divine interpretation, there will be failures.

    The one true separation between man and all other creations is that God gave mankind the ability to make choices. If you are unhappy with the status quo in COGIC or any organization for the matter, you can always leave.

    By dwelling on the shortcomings of others, are you apply the principle of forgiveness in your hears? Sherman was not a member of the Church of God in Christ. The Jurisdiction did not do their due diligence and ensure his church’s paperwork was in line with COGIC. That’s was the beginning of many failures. By the way, the only reason Jurisdictions and our National Church are even involved is because they did not enforce their own rules. There was a similar incident in Texas, but the Bishop and the Elder’s Council acted quickly and fairly. Of course, it doesn’t make up for the difficulties the victim faced, but it shows others how COGIC is supposed to be.

    Please, take this powerful initiative you all are exhibiting, and show everyone else how it is supposed to be done. We pray for the victims and the predators as well. God Bless

  3. March 17, 2011 at 3:10 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your comments here.

    It is written in the pages of this tragedy that COGIC is not God. It is an understood clause of the contract. However, that cannot be used as an excuse for anyone to become comfortable with the horrific things that have been done to people who have given their lives and service to the church. Not only (as you noted) is it a violation of COGIC’s own policies, but the scriptures as well. With such claims to “greatest church”, etc how does something like this happen with no penalties to the people responsible?

    The gross errors that allowed Allen to do what he did with no penalty from COGIC is inexcusable. His past and his present was no secret yet he was promoted to a high office in COGIC.

    The other thing is that the Allen case is not a single, aberrant activity. Its part of a stunning series of many. Please dont overlook them as if they mean nothing and are unrelated.

    I’m a little concerned that you label documenting these gross crimes committed by church leaders as “dwelling on the shortcomings of others”. Please understand a grown man forcing his penis into the anus of a small boy is not a “shortcoming”. In fact it is deeply offensive to the victims and their parents to dumb down these crime that should NEVER ONCE be mentioned among the saints.

    Nevertheless, we continue to pray, believe, trust and struggle until victory is won.

    Again, thanks for your comments and I pray that you will speak up for justice and for the victims.

  4. March 18, 2011 at 4:22 am

    I never anticipated such a graphic depiction of illegal sex acts on a blog the hides as under the auspices of righteousness. However, I feel led to address this blog.

    Anyone or any organization that self-proclaims that they are the greatest anything is not of Christ. There are several penalties at hand, first of all and foremost, any sin that the Father has not forgiven will receive proper judgement. Any sin enacted in this world, even if our Father has forgiven them, will receive a proper and just punishment in this world as well.

    There is an important element missing in most of the dialogue on this blog and websites similar to it. What remedies are being offered to the victims? I sense this as an opportunity to malign so many great works of men and women that had absolutely nothing to do with the criminal/sinful activity of a few. Bishop Eddie Long, Jimmy Swaggart, Pope Benedict XVI, Ted Haggard, Archbishop Earl Paulk, Jim Bakker, Lonnie Frisbee, Mike Warnke, Bob Moorhead, Roy Clements, John Paulk, Douglas Goodman, Paul Barnes, Lonnie Latham, Coy Privette, Joe Barron, King David, Solomon…all of these men were sexual predators. These were the ones that were caught, how many others have not been reported. I, too, have been victimized by the self-righteousness of misled, hypocritical, so-called Saints.

    On the other end, I have been shown extraordinary compassion and kindness from “real” saints [As far as mankind can tell] and the majority of them are members of COGIC. I ran into your blog without foreknowledge of what it was about. I feel that it doesn’t offer assistance to the victims to move forward and pursue a Holy Lifestyle, while it raises unfounded accusations to those in the ministry that truly pursue enlightenment through Christ. Where’s the counseling? Access to those that are still silent about the atrocities they face? There are young women who were treated like animals? Children that were fathered by unscrupulous men? People that have lost their life-savings with the hope of being loved by God. I have seen it as a child and unfortunately I continue to see as a man. I just believe that this blog, which is a powerful tool, could be used in much more constructive manner. I live for Christ, so I love all.

    • March 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      I can only sumrise that you are elderly and perhaps are not used to medical terms (not profanity) being used to refer to body parts. There is nothing wrong with refering to a penis, vagina or anus.

      You say you have seen all these things, but you still have much to learn. My best suggestion is that you educate yourself before you began defending sexual criminals in the church and thus become partakers of their sins.

      Furthermore, each of us must do what God has called us to do. This blog is accomplishing the purpose God intended. Perhaps God is speaking to you to help with this effort instead of being critical of this blog. You too have power to speak out and help victims. Do what you can to help. If you are not doing anything to help, your criticism of our efforts is little more than hypocrisy.

  5. R.E. Stidham
    March 18, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    edbpope: One of the common things about blogs such as this as well as my own, they were started by victims. The purpose is to expose. Just as the Law exposed sin. God sent Nathan the prophet to expose David. GOD always brings warning and brings deeds done in the dark into the light before He brings judgment. Read Habakkuk 1:1-7. Be Blessed, continue to live for Christ and esteem His Word above everything.

  6. March 22, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Unfortunately I disagree with cawadmin. Nothing in my responses is a defense against the perpetrators of sin, but as a warning sign to those who might take this blog as a definite truth. Your rage has blinded you. This blog doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the atrocities men have committed under the guise of salvation, nor does it speak of the only way the victims and the perpetrators can find real peace. I am a young black male that has experienced being the victim of sexual predators. As far as this space being of God, it is difficult for me too see it here. It may be true that our Father wants to bring these sins to light, but I hear the scripture saying,”Vengeance is mine…”. I found a website that brings specific details on this other cases, http://www.gcmwatch.com It was a solid, fact-based website that brought insight to the Allen case and others. I don’t wish to be redundant, and I believe this is where I move on. God Bless you all.

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