Archive for August, 2011

Prophecy ignored?: Dickerson Wells’ sharp message to COGIC

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Supt. Dickerson Wells preaches a powerful exposition of Sodom and Gomorrah but has his words fallen on deaf ears to COGIC leadership?

Categories: COGIC, convocation, video Tags: ,

Bishop’s “victory speech” video removed from Youtube

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

ATLANTA – Just days after GCM Watch reported and exposed COGIC”s upcoming “consecration” of adulterer and deadbeat father Joseph E. Hogan, Sr. a featured video showing a victory celebration at the church he pastors,  has been removed.   The Youtube host channel “faithprovideo”  took down the video showing Hogan’s church having a bizarre victory party upon hearing the announcement that Hogan would become a bishop in the Church of God in Christ.

In May, Hogan was arrested in Clayton County, Georgia  and charged with reneging on child support payments to an out of wedlock child he fathered in 2005.  Incredibly, he impregnated the wife of his former assistant pastor, a man who had served under him for some 20 years.

In the video, church members are seen  dancing, running through the church and wildly waving purple streamers while thronging around Hogan at his Cleveland Avenue church during a recent Sunday morning service.

In one scene, a minister introduces the subdued looking Hogan, telling him “this is your time, this is your season!”. When Hogan approaches the podium, the minister falls down at his feet, appearing to kiss his hands.

Hogan conveys to members that he has done what some thought was impossible. He tells them that “it costs to be the boss” and says that they will have to step up because of the expectations people have when the visit the church of a bishop.  He thanks Bishop Charles Blake and the “Board” for a “unanimous thumbs up” to his promotion. Noticeably absent is his wife of 39 years.

Another online source claimed that Bishop Charles Blake made candidates promise that if they did not win the vote they would submit to the winner and not split the jurisdiction (a common practice among disgruntled COGIC bishops) . Blake reportedly said that he would not proceed with the election until he had that promise. However, upon losing the vote by 2-1 margins to his competitor, Norman Harper,  Hogan allegedly called on some prominent COGIC friends to push for his nomination to bishop.

An email sent to COGIC’s public relations director Robert Coleman, Jr.  inquiring about Hogan’s status had not been answered as of publication.

A letter to Report COGIC Abuse

August 24, 2011 9 comments

“In my 49 years of service to the COGIC, I’ve never felt so used after giving my talent to the Emanuel COGIC in Seaside California, during my youth while yet serving in the U.S Army. For years, I spent more than 12 hours on the organ with no compensation.

Afterwards the church decided to build a new facility and pay it off within half of the time. Then once I got fed up, I decided enough was enough and left. The church immediately hired a musician for an outrageous fee. Not all abuse is sexual. There are COGIC churches that spend funds on what they feel is right, with no input of the general church. Members give their tithes and offerings to the church, but when a person who gives his whole life to the church, especially in labor of ministry, but then at the same time the church allows homosexuals to assist pastors to lead the general body.  It was time for me and my family to leave. My father is a pastor and suggested that I actually sue the church.”

Seaside, CA

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LA state accuses COGIC Pastor of misusing $250k Katrina assistance money

August 24, 2011 2 comments

New Orleans – An audit conducted by the state of Louisana says Supt  John Pierre of Living Witness Church of God in Christ misused nearly a quarter of a million dollars given to him to help citizens in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina.   The state  contends that Pierre converted to personal use nearly $74,000 in rebuilding grants, without reporting the income to the Internal Revenue Service or state tax officials. In addition, he “misspent” another $160,000.

According to the report published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune , Pierre recieved the money in 2008 but grossly mismanaged, misspent and could not account for thousands of dollars.

A state audit released today claims the pastor of a Central City church known for its drug addiction programs misspent or wasted at least $160,000 in relief grants after Hurricane Katrina.

In addition, the State Inspector General’s audit also said that Elder John Pierre of Living Witness Church of God in Christ converted to personal use nearly $74,000 in rebuilding grants, without reporting the income to the Internal Revenue Service or state tax officials.

The report recommended that the state begin efforts to recapture the money and consider whether to open a criminal prosecution.

The state’s full report quotes Pierre as acknowledging that some funds were misspent. But in a formal reply attached to the report over the signature of Robert Jenkins, his lawyer, Pierre flatly denies “all wrongdoing and allegations.”

“While I’m anxious to tell my side of the story, I’ve been advised by my counselor not to make any statements,” Pierre said Wednesday.

The inspector general’s report charged that in 2008 the church received $250,000 from the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, a private non-profit established to distribute Katrina relief donations.

The money was intended to convert a Central City building at 1518 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. into low-income housing for recovering addicts.

But the audit found the building still uninhabitable and said $135,000 was diverted to the church’s “daily operating expenses.”

Another $25,000 grant from the Department of Health and Hospitals was supposed to add 10 beds to a building at 1835 Terpsichore St. the church uses to house recovering addicts.

The report says Pierre used all the money on architectural services, and the building remains unusable.

The inspector general said much of the money was comingled. Its examination of church bank accounts found that in 2008 and 2009 Pierre issued himself 11 checks totalling $32,810, “including a $20,000 check … classified as an anniversary gift.”

He also paid himself $41,000 in regular housing allowances, the report said.

The church allegedly also paid two church members a total of nearly $10,000 “as honorariums for services performed.”

The church reported none of those payments on W-2 forms sent to federal or state tax authorities, the report said.

It appears Pierre had big dreams when he learned he was getting the money. His website says they “fully believe that this year marks a new beginning for all God’s people. Following the devastating effects of hurricane katrina with the blessings of our Lord, Living Witness Ministries is embarking upon a major capital rebuilding and expansions project. We have expanded our ministry’s mission to include housing development to provide decent and affordable housing for those families of the Diaspora who have a desire to return home to New Orleans.”

Unfortunately, the investigation found that Pierre, once he got his hands on the money, forgot all about the grand plans to revitalize the neighborhood and helping victims of the storm. Not only did he prove to be a extremely poor administrator but he has wasted hard earned tax payer money intended to do good. As a “man of God”  Pierre’s actions are completely shameful.

COGIC Pastor admits to sexually touching young girl

August 21, 2011 1 comment

Authorities in Hebron, Maryland said that Cleon R. Deal, Sr, pastor of Timothy Farmer Memorial Church of God in Christ in Preston, MD [facebook] [church website] admitted to checking a 12 year old girl’s “puberty”.

According to an article posted in the Daily Times, the 44 year old married father of five was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sex offense, assault and sex abuse of a minor. Sex abuse of a minor, one of the most serious of the felony charges, carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison under Maryland law.

Deal was also employed by the Wicomico County Board of Education but is now on administrative leave.

A District Court hearing has been scheduled for early September.

Deal is on administrative leave, according to BOE officials.

The alleged victim was known to Deal; however, she is not one of his students, according to court documents.

The victim alleged the incidents occurred during a one-year period from 2007 to 2008, according to court documents.

Authorities were alerted to the alleged abuse after the Department of Social Services received a complaint from the victim’s mother, according to court records.

During an interview with police, the victim reported Deal had sexually touched her.

Deal was charged after an Aug. 8 interview with police, according to charging documents. He admitted to investigators after waiving his rights that he had inappropriately touched the victim when she was 12 years old.

“Cleon Sr. stated that … he was checking her for puberty,” wrote Cpl. Sigmund, of the Maryland State Police. “Cleon Sr. stated that he was curious and it was bad judgment on his part.”

Deal was appointed to the church by Bishop Paul Harmon in the Maryland Eastern Shore Jurisdiction.

Deal is the second Maryland COGIC clergy to be arrested and charged for child sexual crimes. In January 2009, former Elder Tony Ray Malbrough, also 44, was arrested and charged with sexually abusing two teenage boys. He was later convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. [source]

COGIC prepares to ‘consecrate’ sexually immoral GA pastor

August 20, 2011 2 comments

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.