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COGIC debuts new National Deliverance Ministry

October 29, 2014 1 comment

Deliverance-Ministry-Top-Brochure-as-of-10-21-14Has the Church of God in Christ finally realized it has a serious national problem on its hands? Has it glimpsed the littered trail of broken people spanning decades of church history? Has it recognized the need to acknowledge that much of the hurt, brokenness and devastation did not come from without but from within? Perhaps they have but it remains to be seen.

Earlier this month, the denomination, known for its pentecostal exuberance and flashy church attire, has launched a new ministry venture, one we hope will be what it is advertised to be. Called COGIC Ministries of Deliverance with the tag “Hope, Healing and Restoration”. EX-drug addict Bishop Roger L. Jones of Flint, MI was named National Director. Jones’ own story of descending into drug addiction while in office as a COGIC bishop may add a needed layer of authenticity to the ministry only if COGIC’s obsessive desire to institutionalize all of its departments doesn’t cause an early demise.

The ministry seems yet undefined. Is it a ministry geared towards leaders or a ministry for all COGIC members who have experienced various forms of brokenness?

On Jones’ facebook page, a graphic cites a quote from him inviting leaders to talk to him. “Leadership needs someone to talk to before we have another pastoral suicide. Therefore I’ll listen”, it says. Call 810-610-1713

But the official flier released by COGIC makes no references to the ministry being geared to leaders.  A statement on the flier is attributed to Jones as well.

“This ministry is for those who are struggling and hurt, but need healing and deliverance. As a church we must be prepared to minister and witness to this deeply distressed and troubled world. As we continue to grow and expand in various ministries, we must be prepared to develop a process for recovery, total honesty and transparency in healing the hurts and restoring our congregations, our families and our communities.”

This could be very good news for the numerous victims of clergy sexual abuse. It could be good news to the untold numbers of young men who are struggling with homosexuality, some of them have had their sexual innocence stolen by church leaders. If you have been wounded by the church and still in state of brokenness, call Bishop Jones and see what’s really being offered. Other than the number on the flier, there’s no website, no plans, no nothing to give an indication that this ministry is ready for the work its advertised.  For a denomination this size and with the damage so obvious and widespread, that’s not a good sign. We’re willing to give COGIC the benefit of the doubt, but healing broken people and returning them to wholeness requires more than just a flier. We will continue to watch…and report till victory is won.

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Is disbarred lawyer Javier Bailey speaking for Bishop Brandon Porter?

October 14, 2014 7 comments
The strange case involving Bishop Brandon Porter, Supt Linwood Dilliard and Pastor Frederick Smith took another strange twist with a statement by disbarred Memphis attorney Javier Bailey regarding the matter.javier-bailey After just a week of Report COGIC Abuse posting the story, Porter had Smith and his church’s name scrubbed from the Tennessee Central website. See here.
No stranger to controversy himself, Bailey posted on an October 1st Facebook discussion about Smith and Porter that he needed to correct a misconception by Memphis radio host Thaddeus Matthews.
I want to briefly correct this post. I am officially stating that Frederick Smith , nor his Church, are operating under the supervision and authority of Church Of God In Christ . Sup. Linwood Dillard is not the person that told me that. Pastor Smith admits that he is not under the authority and supervision of COGIC. It is my opinion that Pastor Smith is very distraught . I spoke with him as a fellow clergic [sic] and in hopes of some healing in this matter.”
If Linwood Dillard didn’t tell Bailey that, then who did? Bishop Brandon Porter? How can a disbarred lawyer “officially” speak for Tennessee Central Jurisdiction without the approval of its official leader? Perhaps what Bailey isn’t saying is more important than what he is saying.
A tale of two policies
COGIC seems to have a flexible release policy when it comes to certain situations its ministers are caught in. Policy A deals with those who legitimately want to transfer jurisdictions or leave the denomination because of the abuse of a bishop. Policy B deals with clergy sex predators.  Using Policy A, such cases are stridently opposed and prosecuted sometimes in civil courts. If the case involves property and money the denomination wants, they enforce COGIC “constitutional laws” with few exceptions.  Just ask Elder Ronald Stidham whose father Joshua Stidham, founded and built Emmanuel COGIC in Wichita, Kansas.
Policy B seems to cover men who are caught in sexual scandals. These individuals are given a quick release to leave the denomination with nothing more than a meaningless statement like the one above. Officials, like Porter and Dillard, remain tight lipped, adhering to Bishop Charles Blake’s mandatory silence edict unless a lawsuit forces their lips open. Sexual wolves are set free to roam as long as they drop the COGIC name. They can keep property, money and whatever else they have acquired while members of the COGIC.
With Policy B, COGIC can easily distance itself from any sexually immoral pastor. For example, when  Orlando Wallace an elder at Lakeview Community Temple was arrested and charged with aggravated statutory rape and sexual exploitation of a 15 year old girl, the church’s pastor quickly invoked Policy B. “He`s a minister, but he don`t work here.  He`s just a preacher here.” Wallace had been an elder at the church for seven years.
Although disbarred and discredited, Bailey said he still advises COGIC entities. “Finally , I do advise several jurisdictions across the nation on ecclesiastical matters. However I am not a part of the Southeast District of Central Jurisdiction. It is my hope that there be clarity and that all of your viewers and FB Friends know that COGIC has nothing to do with this matter.”, he said.
We asked how much did Porter and Dilliard know about Smith’s sexual proclivities and when did they know it. That may never be answered by the involved parties, but God allows deception to eventually ensnare the deceivers.
Bailey is the former attorney for Tennessee Headquarters Jurisdiction, where Frederick Smith was also a member in 2007.

TN Central removes New Life Holiness from jurisdictional website

October 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Just a week after Report COGIC Abuse published the story of  COGIC Pastor Frederick Smith and allegations of financial malfeasance, misrepresentation on a legal document and gross sexual immorality , it appears that Bishop Brandon Porter has taken some action against the pastor and church.

The screenshot of the website taken before and after the report shows Smith and New Life Holiness church now removed from the official jurisdictional website which lists its member pastors and churches.

TNCENTRALIts unclear at this point whether this action is to be viewed as punitive or evasive. Neither Porter nor Smith’s immediate supervisor Supt Linwood Dilliard (also president of COGIC International Youth Department) have made any public statements although the situation has received widespread attention. Has Smith been booted from the denomination? If so, it would seem to verify all the allegations against him.

Has Smith been put on lay low status until the controversy dies? If so, it could indicate his leaders are avoiding dealing with the obvious breaches to COGIC’s policy and doctrine.

Covering or Coverup?

smith-dilliardHow much about Smith’s sexual proclivities did Porter and Dillard know and when did they know it? Is this situation like many others in COGIC where even though leadership is aware of the serious moral and ethical failings of its pastors, they ignore it in their quest to build district and jurisdictional clout within the denomination? Or ignore it because a person has a position and can deliver emotional orations like deceased Bishop JD Husbands?

Records we found show that Smith initially began his COGIC career as a member of a district under the late Bishop JO Patterson, Jr as early as 2007. At some point, he transferred to the Tennessee Central Jurisdiction.