Home > Arizona Jurisdiction, Bishop Charles Blake, COGIC, General Board, Pastor Erik M. Cooper, sexual immorality > Aftermath: Eric Cooper press release disappears from COGIC site

Aftermath: Eric Cooper press release disappears from COGIC site

On May 4th, the Church of God in Christ official website posted a tersely worded press release stating that it had confronted Arizona pastor and evangelist Eric Cooper after “calls” to its national office about lewd conduct and sexual immorality. Sometime last night or this morning, it was taken down with no further comment.

Since Report COGIC Abuse published the story, it quickly widened to questions about COGIC’s still MIA “zero tolerance policy,  the lack of a comprehensive victim’s advocacy plan and the truthfulness of its press release on the issue. For unknown reasons, the Cooper saga has struck a nerve in the church’s constituency.

Clearly, there is still widespread interest in uncovering the truth about Eric Cooper. Not just the narrow situation that occurred per COGIC’s  press release, but much broader questions about how the denomination allows men who have extended  histories of sexual immorality to continue enjoying the benefits of association, prominent platforms and approval of senior church leaders. That is, until they are exposed.

Since we reported the story on the afternoon of May 4, the story has garnered over 7,000 hits.

Supt. Harvey Burnett of Peoria, IL first raised strong objections to the way the church handled the issue with Cooper and its linking the story to victim’s advocacy.

“To try to link a supposed “victims advocacy” to that policy is simply incredulous, not to mention false. If I am wrong, PLEASE correct me openly and place the policy front and center that addresses victims in any manner…I would like to be embarrassed regarding this issue and be proven wrong. I would like to think that in a church such as COGIC that we would have a VICTIMS ADVOCACY program clearly outlined whose ONLY focus is to minister to victims and their needs, NOT an advocacy co-mingling their duties with pastoral discipline, but I guess that may be asking too much.

2- COGIC goes from one extreme to the next. It’s either go into complete silence on issues or throw everyone out and call them anathema…this is not BIBLICAL NOR IS IT GODLY. Certainly this man should have been removed from office, but to dis-fellowship him??? What is that??? Does he NOT have a soul? Does he NOT need to be saved and restored as well???”

But later, after receiving several calls from anonymous COGIC (unfortunately church culture breeds such secrecy) leaders , Burnett amended his comments to say that the press release was somewhat disingenuous.  Burnett wrote that post release reports conflicted the official version of the story. Some details, like the fact that Cooper was “in revival” at a General Board member’s church when he was confronted in person by a female victim wasnt mentioned. The female victim allegedly threatened to sue the church over the incident.

Supt.  Burnett writes that the Cooper case raises serious questions about how the Blake administration selectively applies its constitutional rules:
“It could be because this man had a history of sexual impropriety and was yet promoted through the ranks. It could be because he was a regular guest at some of the more influential churches and could raise an offering. In fact the word is that one of the persons he was having an affair with showed up at a revival which he was conducting at a General Board member’s church with certain evidence of his sexual sins, to which he denied when questioned.  The doors certainly closed, but it doesn’t appear to be because of the righteous zeal of COGIC policy, it seems that there was no other option, except legal options, which if undertaken would seem to have led COGIC into the path that it was trying to avoid. In other words it was cheaper to leave him rather than try to preserve and or restore him in the name of COGIC, or argue that he hadn’t left the church properly.
Was this release an attempt to simply say…”We don’t own him so don’t sue us?” Pastor Sherman Allen followed the same path. Remember, Allen was a card carrying member of COGIC preaching at many venues regularly until his alleged sins hit the wall also. When he was accused, Allen departed and some COGIC spin doctors claimed that Allen had never a part of the organization, even though everyone knew he was. Then there is Donald K. Barrett, whom I know personally that is said to have dis-fellowshipped himself as well rather than repented and gone through a period of voluntary discipline.”
If  Cooper was indeed a serial adulterer and unrepentant sexual predator, why and how was he continually given access, influence and approval by some of the church’s senior leadership?
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  1. R.E. Stidham
    May 10, 2012 at 3:52 am

    It would be interesting to find out if his church remained with COGIC or if he, as Sherman Edwards did, also withdrew Dominion Harvest. Did the General Counsel and the General Board allow him to withdraw without legal action?

    • May 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

      From the cases that we have seen (keep in mind that we only have about 3 years of pattern observation) it certainly looks like when there is sexual immorality involved (criminal or pubicly scandalous) and the pastor wants to withdraw, the church has always allowed him to take his church with him. For some reason they are more willing to let him go with no attempt to apply to constitutional rules about “all church property belonging to the general assembly”. But if its an authority/leadership conflict, they will follow the letter of COGIC law even to the point of court and severe persecution. Like the Kansas case under Bishop Wilkey. There is definitely a pattern on the church’s part of selectively applying constitutional rule when they stand to benefit or be associated with a criminal element.

      • R.E. Stidham
        May 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

        Is that not hypocrisy? In Wichita, KS when questioned in court;” General Council, Bishop Enoch Perry III ; Q “Does the fact that a deed does not contain the language change the expressed and implied trust relationship, with respect to the church?- Answer- “No,…It is an expected, whether they do it or not, that the implied trust is binding on them, as are all of the other rules and regulations in our church.” The translation of all that is simply once you join COGIC, it doesn’t matter if your deed has COGIC on it or if the trust clause is in it. They feel it is enforceable. There seems to be a pattern of selective enforcement, or am I missing something?

        • May 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm

          Not only hypocrisy sir, but sin via deception and lies. But with Perry, whose lies in the courtroom were rewarded with a promotion to bishop, such things are standard fare.

  2. standandbe
    May 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

    This wasn’t the first time he and other pastors like him pulls out of the COGIC, only to later be put right back to the status that they had before they ever left. And then in no time they are promoted to a higher position and they just keep going up the “church ladder.” Godly love reproves, corrects, and guides us back to Him (God), even if that means that you can’t preach for a while or even if you can’t preach at all. “What would it profit a man to gain the whole wide world and lose his soul?” So what if you can’t preach isn’t getting delivered and set free more important. Just stop and think for a minute wouldn’t it be worth it to not get any other women (and their souls) on your account in heaven and repent allow God to do what needs to be done in (his) life and make it into heaven. There are so many silent individuals wounded in this situation that it isn’t even funny, but I guess that that’s not important (it’s all about preaching, raising money, climbing the church ladder (by any means necessary), and getting a name for yourself. When is the church going to stop turn around look and see how we been living in the world, and how all we are taking down with our self-righteous you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your, you keep my secrets and I’ll keep yours (until my own titile is at risk), or if you didn’t catch me in the act than you can’t judge me attitudes!…God please continue to have mercy on the humble and correct those that you love. Amen

  3. May 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Pastor Erik Maurice Cooper needs to be sat down! He has hurt and harmed so many of Gods people. Not only by his sexual indiscretions but emotional and spiritual abuse as well. He has flaunted his power and position as if he is above God and above discipline. He had issues in Lancaster, Calif and then he ran to Arizona started one church and messed up then started another church shortly after only to terrorize us with his demonic possessions. It is time that the church get right and lets go home. People have their lives on the line and they trust the leaders to lead them to God. There are a whole lot of people affected by this man and his wife (the 2nd one from NY). This should have happened a long time ago. He was just booked recently for not paying child support for his five children by his first wife! He needs an appointment with the altar! I understand that this story has caused the COGIC members to look at the policy in its entirety and I am supportive to your claims because if what Erik Maurice Cooper has done to countless people is occurring in other places then we need to go back to the drawing board. How long will we allow spiritual massacres by the hands of leaders?!?!? These are Gods people!

  4. June 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Shalom, I have saw Eric Cooper over 5 times at my old church. (
    PASTOR BOBBY ALLEN DAVIS REFRESHING SPRINGS CHURCH IN SOCAL) THIS PASTORS RIGHT HAND MAN WAS OPENLY GAY. We spoke to him about it and he said that the young man was his project. What??? PROJECT…. I NEVER HEARD OF THAT IN MY LIFE!!!) ” BIRDS OF A FLOCK ALWAYS FLY WITH EACH OTHER.
    Eric Coopers wife also came out 3 times.. she always made some comments last year about him as a weird guy. They would go days without talking. She said it was Gods way of preparing him for his weekly sermons.
    1) She stated that they don’t say much 2 each other at home.
    2) She called him weird while she was preaching. (him not present)
    3) She stated “I like to shop” right before she called a money line and gave over 200 people false words as she collected money. 200 people as Bobby Davis sat back and watched her raise money for a building he was in the process of losing.
    4) she said they went on a 40 Day fast before they even dated and God raised them to travel and preach as a team.
    5) on the last night of a 3 day event, As she was talking she kept rubbing herself bragging about how Churches don’t want Eric Cooper to come back and preach but they book her. then more talking about shopping again.
    ( this was all before the scandal) March of 2011 13,14,15
    6) She would constantly jab at his “Manhood” to make her look good in the pulpit.
    (him not present) while bragging about her being raised up with Nathan Simmons.

    What did she preach uhhhh
    Speaking against her head
    shopping,favor,increase
    told us to fast as a group for 1 day
    but that day she spent at Victoria Gardens Mall shopping
    then how God has blessed them in AZ
    then she told us that this ministry is Gods Special Ministry
    utter foolishness….. then out of the blue she gave the Church Finance
    guys son a word. She told this little 14 year old kid that he was going to be an NBA star but on this kids face book you have kanye west, jay z, etc as his fav artist.
    totally out of order. why would God grant wealth before telling us to close doors & get delivered
    hate to say it but we saw this coming……. reminded me of the old school Bynum-weeks drama.

    Lastly if you heard them preach you could see the disconnection in the marriage.
    Love is unconditional….. Sometimes you get what you deserve…
    I just pray Paul Morton don’t pick him up and promote him to Bishop..
    blake needs to get his act in order 2, how can people steal money and still be in office..
    have sex your banished! Be gay and its alright! preach junk and your in the clear.

    MONEY LINES ARE FOR THE MAGICIANS
    THESE GUYS SERVE MAMMON& BLAKE
    HIS WIFE WANTS TO BE GREATER THAN HIM, SO IM SURE SHE WILL TRY TO RUN THE CHURCH OFF OF HER ANOINTED MAGIC,NUMEROLOGY,SOOTHSAYING.

    The Bishop is a closet freak who has has more gays in his church than any bishop in cogic.
    I remember at a men’s convention they uncovered a painting of Barrack in the pulpit,
    The Beast system has crept into cogic through the leaders. So what do you expect?
    HOLINESS IS NOW A HOT_MESS IN COGIC-NESS.

    THEY SHOULD HAVE NEVER FOLLOWED THE ST PETER GOSPEL.
    BLAKE IS THE BLACK POPE!!!!!

    SHALOM
    TC

  5. ada0750
    June 29, 2012 at 3:20 am

    wow!!! All I can say is ( If my people which are call by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven,and will forgive their sin, And will heal their land.).. 1Chronicles 7;14

  6. May 12, 2013 at 6:32 am

    I really feel bad for this man. Some people struggle with sin, some people have a sickness and some just need to be Delivered. I feel for our Leaders because the enemy know how and where to get them caught up at, he know what areas to tempt us cause he knows our weaknesses. I pray for him and his wife as often as I can. God knows the Heart of the man, so whatever’s in his Heart is accordaning to how he will be judged. Jesus already paid the rest for us on that cross. There are a lot of Leaders committing all kinds of sin, but theirs have not yet been exposed, so we are not the one to Judge noone. May Gods mercy be upon him and lets pray that its in his heart to change and for God to create in him a clean Heart and renew a right Spirit in him. Lets start lifting one another up, people of God and stop tearing eachother down. Bless you all.

  7. August 3, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t know Pastor Cooper personally but he came out of a church I attended as a child?!!! In Los Angeles, so it’s no surprise that he’s up and moving around?!! Wow, we do need to pray..amen?!!

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