Prescript: I still love the COGIC, but its at the crossroads and unless the helm is wrested from the closet inclusionists and hirelings, it will crash into the same brick wall all the other pro-inclusion denominations have. Dr. Carter’s unedited response published in full below.
To the Beloved Saints of the Church of God in Christ:
This communiqué comes as an informative document. Included is my response to the apology video released by presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. Further, addressing the state of the church and finally, my duty as a gospel preacher. As you all know, I was the key note speaker for Saturday night during the 107th Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ. 147 souls were saved and set free! The glory cloud came into the sanctuary. Thousands remained after the sermon for hours as Bishop Brandon Porter stayed and prayed on the altar with them until they were delivered. On Monday while waiting to board my plane I called Bishop Blake to tell him that I enjoyed his message on Sunday and to thank him personally for the opportunity to preach on Saturday night. His response was, “I heard that the Lord really moved on Saturday night and the saints are going home blessed!” I thanked him again and said goodbye.
After arriving back home my phone began to ring off the hook; expressing that the Saturday night service had gone viral. By Tuesday evening I realized exactly what had transpired with the testimony of Andrew Coldwell. I had a missed call from Bishop Blake and I returned his call. Finally, we talked as he was getting off the plane in L.A. he stated that he would call me back in about 40 minutes. He indeed called me back in about 30 minutes. He stated that we had a ‘situation’ and I interjected with, “what can I do to help the situation and make it more palatable or acceptable? I’m willing to write a statement because I don’t want you to lose any sleep and placate your emotions because I love you and I love the church; whatever I can do to help”. Then Bishop said, “Thank you man for your spirit! Listen, don’t write anything yet-I’ll have my “PR” people to call you and help you with your statement to be sure we are all on the same page and so we don’t open anything up any further”. He thanked me for my kind spirit again and hung up. I never heard from Bishop Blake or his “PR” people. The next thing I hear is his YouTube webcast throwing me under the bus!
When Bishop Blake apologized on a national stage for the strong words of the “Prophet” he literally rejected the word of God!
Further, perpetuating and advocating the in- your- face actions of weakness and fleshly dominance! Now that he has done this un-godly thing, the invitation for those who practice such, has been re-instated; they are coming back with a vengeance and reprobate spirit to further invade the church even more. The first chapter of Romans says, “I will give you over to your vile affection;” which means morally despicable, physically repulsive and foul. Homosexuality is an abomination!
And you mean to tell me that our Presiding Bishop finds the message and language offensive, repulsive, disrespectful, violent, unloving and un-civilized? Well, I found bringing my son to a so called Holy Convocation and being inundated by sissies, homosexuals, gays, down-lows or whatever you choose to call them – offensive! These folk are standing in the way of sinners and sitting in the seat of the scornful. Also, a mother from North Carolina wrote me and said that her 7 year old saw so much from the homosexuals during some of those after hour services: crazy colored hair and hair styles, long stiletto nails, eyelashes and makeup and ridiculously tight pants with purses (so called pouches) till the mother had to explain to her that it was not Gods way and that their behavior was sinful and that God is against them. Can you imagine coming to the Holy Convocation and having to explain how the effeminate men or homosexuals get to serve, sing, shout and dance without any correction? Listen, Ungodly men have crept in unaware and have turned the grace of God into lasciviousness – which is nothing less than a license to sin.
Jesus said, “I didn’t come for peace but I came with a sword – I came for war”. The reason the real saints of God are so outdone and upset with the apology is because they understood the message that I preached. It sounds like Bishop Nimrod whose pasturing a Babylonian church with a Wal-Mart marketing system, which cuts the price to keep the folk coming. Because of the state of the church, the Babylonian church (compromise) pastured by Bishop Nimrod, the church today in modern America tends to be easy, upbeat, convenient and compatible with the world. It does not require self sacrifice, discipline, humility; a zeal for souls and a fear as well as love of God. There is little guilt and no punishment and the payoff in heaven is virtually certain. What we now have might best be labeled “consumer” Christianity. The cost is low and customer satisfaction seems guaranteed (remember the candy man makes the world tastes good). If we were only customers of Almighty God we could be selective in our faith and reject anything we didn’t like. But that is not the idea we get from Jesus. He (Jesus) pointed us to a cross and not to a spiritual checkout counter. He said if anyone desire to come after me let him first deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it (Luke 9:23-24). Christ died on the cross for our sins and not for our satisfaction. He calls us to trust in him and then follow him with a life of self denial. In a world where the customer is always right it takes radical obedience to God to keep from buying into “consumer” Christianity.
THE STATE OF THE CHURCH
Read Isaiah 30 “Speak lies to us…” The Homosexual Agenda is Iconoclastic
Destroying the image of an icon and the veneration (reverence) of a religious movement or organization is the definition of iconoclasm. Don’t misunderstand me: the church is a hospital; anyone sick ought to be able to come. But please stay in your bed with your thermometer in your mouth and don’t take an unauthorized white jacket and go around taking other peoples temperature. That is to say: stay out of the choir, stay away from praise and worship, stay out of the youth departments and for heaven sake stay out of the pulpit, and please don’t even think about serving communion to the Lords people. There has been too many victims of sexual abuse in our church. The Church of God in Christ has been inundated with all types of sexual misconduct; from molesting boys and turning out young girls. The wicked struts when the vilest of men are promoted! The homosexual agenda is exactly what is happening – it is now working just fine in our church. They have slowly but surely changed our tolerance and now forcing our acceptance of their lifestyle; Thus, attempting to shut down the un-cut gospel. God forbid. The whole priesthood of the Church of God in Christ can be fired! For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and the people shall seek the law from his mouth for he is the messenger of the Lord of host. But you have departed from the way. You have caused many to stumble from the way. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi says the Lord of host. Therefore, I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people for you have not kept my ways, but have shown partiality in the law (see Malachi 2:7-9). What you tolerate you perpetuate. Babylon means compromise; when you have hot and cold coming together it causes lukewarm-ness which creates an environment for germs to fester. God hates lukewarm! Listen, when the church creates an environment for wickedness such as whoremongers, pedophiles and homosexuals (including lesbians) that is a Babylonian church.
These homosexuals have invaded our convocation to the point where people do not even reverence or respect us anymore. They not only crept in but someone boldly invited them to come in and rule, reign, serve and participate in our holy services. Our church is now a “Lesbian Friendly” “Gay Friendly” “Bi-Sexual Friendly” “Trans-Gender Friendly” (LGBT) in other words “Homosexual Friendly” church! What do I look like going into a Gay Bar and forcing them to change their environment and behaviors to suit my heterosexual beliefs and lifestyle? My message was not to the world really; BUT an indigenous message to the homosexuals that are a part of or member of our church. They are claiming salvation and hold leadership roles, serve in our choirs and praise and worship – my message was inclusive of these. I loved them enough to tell them the truth. If I were headed over a cliff (hell) I would rather someone tackle me and even bruise me to keep me from falling to my death (hell). In Hosea 4:6-9 my people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge because you have rejected knowledge I will also reject you from being priest of my people. God fires not only by death-but you can be fired and still on the job. “The elder and honorable, he is the head; the prophet who teaches lies, he is the tale. For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed (Isaiah 9:15-16)”.
Finally, God was so bad in the Old Testament until Jesus has to come in the New Testament to give him a better reputation. God is sick of this lukewarm recidivistic church! Men with Identity theft issues are stealing the characteristics of women and destroying the Identity of our once great church. But trust and believe me, God being my help and strength I will not stop preaching the un-cut gospel. Just as the writing of a martyr from Rwanda was forced to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ and he was killed on the spot. However, the night before he had written the following commitment which was found in his room:
“I’m part of a fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made-I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly talking, cheap living & dwarfed goals.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me & when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.”
For the Un-Cut Gospel – NO APOLOGY NECESSARY!
In HIS Service,
Rev. Dr. Earl W. Carter Sr.,
107th Holy Convocation Saturday Night Keynote Speaker
The negative fallout from the COGICs 107th Convocation has been massive to say the least. The message preached by Supt Earl Carter of Florida has been rebuked publicly now by Bishop Blake. Which do you support? Was Earl Carter right to call out this sin and strongly rebuke COGIC leadership for enabling it or was Bishop Blake right to rebuke Earl Carter and apologize to the homosexual community? Watch the two videos and then vote.
Alleging abuse of power and refusal to abide by the Church of God in Christ constitutional mandates among other grievances, a 17 page federal lawsuit was filed November 8th in the US District Court of Northern Illinois against General Assembly Chairman, Bishop James Hunt, Sr. The COGIC, Inc was also named as a defendant.
Hunt became Chairman of the General Assembly when Bishop J.O. Patterson Jr. of Memphis died in 2011.
The suit was filed by Pastor Andre Johnson, who is listed as the “court overseer”. [source]
Since the suit is not filed on behalf of the church’s Judicial Court, its unclear where the battle lines will fall in this case.
Johnson is no stranger to legal battles. In 2008, he sued Kimberly Ann Lewis in the same court for libel, slander and assault. [source] The suit identified Lewis as a member of St Paul COGIC in Detroit. According to court documents, the married pastor carried on a “brief but intense” sexual relationship with Ms Lewis while on a ministry engagement in Detroit and that due to his deception, should be removed from office. Johnson contended that the woman showed up at the 2008 Bishops Conference in Chicago to accused him openly but was later legally forced into silence about the case. Johnson said he had already been disciplined by his jurisdictional bishop Robert Sanders for the adultery but what that discipline entailed is unknown. In 2009, both parties agreed to an existing permanent injunction order. Read the full court case Johnson vs Lewis
This latest lawsuit reflects yet another example of how the church hierarchy seems to be imploding. Unable to quell the lust for power, authority and the money it brings, legal battles continue unabated.
We’ve posted the official court document under Letters and Documents.
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.
Its 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?
How 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.
Serious sexual immorality charges emerge on Memphis COGIC pastor; no response from Linwood Dilliard or Bishop Brandon Porter
Serious charges of sexual immorality and possible financial malfeasance by a Memphis pastor have emerged but so far there’s been no response from the pastor’s immediate denominational supervisor nor his bishop.
Last week, popular Memphis “shock jock” Thaddeus Matthews made public information given to him about Pastor Frederick Smith of New Life Holiness Church alleging the pastor paid for numerous sexual encounters with another man.
Matthews published a profanity laden letter sent to him by church members who say someone placed it on their car windshields in the church’s parking lot. The anonymous writer alleges Pastor Smith initially picked him up and paid him $100 for sex. After that, the two met frequently for the same. Due to the graphic language of the letter, Report COGIC Abuse has chosen not to repost it.
The website of Tennessee Central Jurisdiction lists Smith and the church as members of the Memphis Southeast District under Supt Linwood Dillard.
In addition to the charges of gross sexual immorality, Matthews alleges that Smith lied or misrepresented New Life Holiness’s affiliation with the Church of God in Christ. An official bankruptcy document filed in 2012 with the Western District of Tennessee and signed by Smith identifies the church as a member of the Church of the Nazarene. But Report COGIC Abuse found a 2007 JO Patterson Memorial District Calendar which lists Smith and church as members.
Smith’s activities became public after he filed a report with Memphis police alleging he had been robbed, beaten and his wallet stolen. The incident happened around 930p on May 17th. Smith claimed he was at the Harbor Island Apartments because he thinking of moving there when a young black male came up behind him and struck him in the face, took his keys and wallet but not the car and ran.
Police arrested 22 year old Hezekiah Webb who admitted to the incident. Smith refused to press any charges against Webb. Webb now alleges the scuffle took place because Smith attempted to get sex from him.
Its not clear whether Smith is still operating as pastor of the church.
Report COGIC Abuse launched on the birthday of COGIC founder Bishop CH Mason to highlight the need for holiness emphasis on sexual integrity among leaders
Charles Harrison Mason, undoubtedly one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the 20th century, was born September 8, 1866 just outside Memphis, Tennessee and later founded what has become the nation’s largest black pentecostal denomination.
The church he left upon his death in November 1961 has changed. Greed, avarice, pride, infighting, division and sexual immorality have darkened the spiritual legacy while “the show” of church continued unabated.
Because of growing incidents of sexual abuse of women and children by church leaders, and the coverup of those crimes, Report COGIC Abuse was launched 5 years ago. The site’s main goal is to empower the people of COGIC with reliable information, resources and a grass roots friendly instrument to fight the culture of silence and inaction which emboldens sexual predators to continue their devastation upon innocent men, women and children. We believe Bishop Mason would not have stood by silently in the face of such grave abuses of someone’s sexual sanctity. The site also raises up the profile and plight of victims and the families who are often quickly pushed to the side and forgotten.
We’re thankful, grateful and humbled by the changes that have been enacted since Report COGIC Abuse began its mission five years ago. But sadly, we must continue exposing wolves, fighting predators and crying aloud until victory is won.
Rest in peace Bishop Mason.
HOUSTON – Some members of the Williams Temple Church of God in Christ in Houston say that they are being bullied, threatened and even physically attacked by a woman who serves as a National Trustee of the denomination. And neither the pastor, bishop or national church has responded to any of their cries for support and justice.
Its a sad situation to report but when one looks at those in authority, it becomes very clear why little has been done to reel in Cari V. Barnes’ from attacking fellow church members.
Williams Temple was once a spiritual crown jewel COGIC congregation with a glorious history. Founded in 1919, the church saw several storied pastors, including Bishop CH Nelson and Bishop Robert Woodard, Sr. lead it to prominence in the 3rd Ward of central Houston. A 2 million dollar complex was built in 1989. When Bishop Woodard, Jr. died in 2001, Williams Temple’s membership hovered at over 1,000. Now, the church is a shell of its former self, having lost over 75% of its members, much of it a reaction to the sexual abuse arrest and scandal of its current pastor.
In December 2007, the church fell into the grasp of Bishop Charles Brown who was caught up in a storm of controversy after 3 female members of his family accused him of molesting them as children. After being arrested, Brown was removed from his position in the denomination but then quickly “reinstated” once the sexual abuse case was dismissed on a legal technicality.
Since Brown took control, according to church members, the congregation has suffered greatly. Cari Barnes is a product of the confusion and discord controlling the church now.
Barnes is granddaughter of the late Texas Women’s Supervisor Victoria Barnes and her husband the late Titus, Sr, a successful funeral magnate, trustee and deacon at Williams Temple. She was elected to the national church’s Trustee Board in 2012.
Documents obtained by Report COGIC Abuse show that Barnes’ out of control behavior at the church prompted complaints to be filed with the Houston Police Department, jurisdictional Bishop Rufus Kyles (see here for another Kyles legal controversy), and to Bishop Charles Brown but thus far, no corrective actions have been taken against Barnes.
According to a letter dated Aug 8, 2011 from Deacon Weldon Meeks, a former trustee who’s been a member for 33 years, to Bishop Kyles, Barnes used profanity and physical assault towards him in the church office after he asked another member about a check signature.
“You [the other member] don’t have to explain nothing to him”! I was not talking to you and you go to Hell, you go to Hell, you is [sic] a ignorant as Hell and you go to Hell! *sshole, that [sic] what you do go to Hell! Meeks said Barnes told him to “get the hell out of my way” as she “elbowed” him in passing.
Another undated letter to the church’s trustee board from its finance manager said Barnes accosted her openly in church in front of other saints and youth, loudly accusing her of attempting to sabotage relationships and deny compensation to a family member.
On another occasion, the finance manager wrote that Barnes confronted her because an announcement wasn’t read. Barnes told Bishop Brown to fire the finance manager and Brown did so.
“Cari Barnes consistently and constantly abuses and misrepresents the power entrusted to her by the congregation of Williams Temple COGIC, Inc. and is an embarrassment to the office of Trustee. I am sending my documented proof at this time, because previously nothing would be done about her out of control behavior by Bishop Brown. Now that we have new leadership whether it is temporarily or not, I am sending my statement so that a true picture of occurrences can be conveyed.”
On June 21st, Barnes was involved in yet another altercation in the church office with Deacon Robert Price. According to Price’s complaint sent to Bishop Brown, Price says after he refused to give Barnes a receipt she demanded, she “struck him in the back of the head and jumped on his back.”
Brown acknowledged receipt of the incident the next day writing in an email, “Robert and Cari
I am sorry to hear of this unfortunately [sic] incident between the two of you. I will set a meeting with you and resolve this problem. I will contact both of you for a time to meet! Thanks!”
Its unknown whether this meeting ever occurred.
Admittedly, internal church conflicts never benefit anyone. If Williams Temple is to stop itself from sliding into mausoleum status, it will have to resolve these conflicts once and for all. Perhaps part of the resolution is putting a leader in place that has the moral authority to bring peace and discipline offenders of the peace.