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Son of SC Bishop adds his voice of warning to COGIC leadership

March 17, 2015 6 comments

Competing with the din of punching hammond organ music, shouts of praise and punctured preaching in Church of God in Christ congregations around the country, are voices that don’t get praise or prominence. Its the few who have spoken out about the strong spiritual and moral current in the denomination which is carrying the church downstream away from its holiness roots and previous adherence to biblical mandates. Generally such individuals are quickly branded as “troublemakers” and characterized as “fighting leadership”. That diminishes the impact of their words and allows for the pentecostal praise fest to continue among the rank and file members. After all, acknowledging the words of a prophet who speaks truth to leadership would give them legitimacy and its appears COGIC leadership has mastered the art of denying such voices a place to be heard. The show must go on.

But still they speak because the Spirit of the Lord commands it.

EJohnsonIn South Carolina, the son of the jurisdiction’s bishop is speaking out and in the process risking his all important place and “legacy” in COGIC.

Dr. Edward Lee Johnson, son of Bishop Johnnie Johnson and brother of COGIC scholar Dr. Alonzo Johnson, took his message public after a letter decrying the treatment of Supt Earl Carter to COGIC leadership went unanswered.

On March 3, Johnson launched his “Prophetic Argumentative Essay” and contended that COGIC’s Presiding Bishop had supported, openly endorsed and had given authority to speak corruption from the pulpit of West Angeles. On the list were the Rev. Peter Gomes, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, Congressman Bobby Rush, and self proclaimed gay performer Tonex aka “B. Slade”.  The common bond with all the men? Homosexuality.

In just the past 108 years God raised up the Church Of God In Christ with the purest Biblical practices since the birth of the New Testament Church. Even racism was brought to its knees for a brief period in Bishop Mason’s ministry. Magic Johnson, a “poster child” for the LGBT community has officially infiltrated our ranks as a (COGIC member). (Listen to his admitted statement with Anderson Cooper during the Donald Sterling debacle.) All it takes for the Church Of God In Christ to change its position against same sex marriage is for enough of the Johnson and Rush types to “creep” into our church. And trust me, there are many that are not highly visible but believe just like them among us. If people will not obey the Bible—what makes you think they will obey your constitution?
We all should be taking a lesson from the US Supreme Court on this grave issue; you only need one deciding vote. I am literally ashamed of the current leadership of our church in this area. Black people are blaming White conservatives for not being compassionate, and having a racist slant—but the Black churches have bought into the liberal agenda of the country, and have almost completely “sold out” on “good morals” and biblical principles. That may not have been the intentions when the church took sides with the political parties—but it’s the reality of where we are presently. And guess who is taking the brunt of the suffering in their communities as a result of poor leadership on the national level among people of color?

Read the entire commentary JUDGMENT-COGIC General Assembly.

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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.

Serious sexual immorality charges emerge on Memphis COGIC pastor; no response from Linwood Dilliard or Bishop Brandon Porter

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

fsmithSerious 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 arrest reportSmith’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.

 

Houston lawsuit accuses Bishops Blake, Kyles, Perry and Brown of over one million dollars property theft

April 18, 2014 5 comments

rkylesHOUSTON, TX – A lawsuit being adjudicated in Harris County Texas’ 133rd District Court alleges that COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, Sr.,  Texas Southeast First Jurisdiction Bishop Rufus Kyles, Bishop Charles Brown II and newly minted bishop Enoch Perry, III acting on behalf of the denomination’s General Board, were responsible for the theft of over 1 million dollars of intellectual properties and items from a church location [source]. The Church of God in Christ, Inc. is also a named defendant.

The plaintiffs Dr. Patricia Brown-Johnson and Interfaith Interdenominational Ministries, Inc say that in 2005 Bishop Kyles accepted Brown-Johnson as a member of his jurisdiction under a special program due to COGIC’s prohibition of female pastors. Brown-Johnson was to be given the designation of  “Special Alliance Supervisor”.  Kyles later offered to buy a Baytown, Texas church owned by Brown-Johnson and while in possession of the property, sold or allowed to be sold equipment and other items not contained in the agreement. The agreement went sour when Kyles refused to close on the property.

When Brown-Johnson sought to get the items returned through church leadership channels, she was asked by Presiding Bishop GE Patterson (deceased) and then General Secretary AZ Hall (deceased)  not to pursue criminal charges and that the church would recompense the losses. Church leaders wanted to keep the issue private and handle it “internally”.

Brown-Johnson stated in the lawsuit that she contacted the General Board and was instructed to provide extensive documentation because [she was told by Enoch Perry] Bishop Kyles was going to be “defrocked” over the incident and a trial was to be held. She was repeatedly assured by GB bishops that her property would be returned and she would be compensated for any unreturnable losses. Based on these assurances, she did not file criminal or civil suits.

But after providing the evidence to the satisfaction of Enoch Perry, Charles Blake, COO Charles Brown and other defendants, the evidence disappeared. Brown said the items would be returned after Blake reviewed them. Documents and program she had written and copyrighted later resurfaced as COGIC related documents.

In March 2010, she received a letter from Enoch Perry stating that nothing would be compensated or returned. The good ole boy bishop’s club circled the wagons and begin denying that Brown-Johnson was ever given any assurances of compensation or justice. Brown-Johnson subsequently filed suit.

Bishop Rufus Kyles never responded to the lawsuit and never showed up in court. In a July 2012 judgment the court found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $900,000 in damages plus court costs and interest until the amount was paid.  COGIC’s current legal strategy is to get the case dismissed. The next hearing on that is April 21st at 11 am. You can read the actual lawsuit and judgment under Letters and Documents.

My Spiritual Heritage has been stolen from me”

An Education specialist with a degree from Sam Houston State University, Brown-Johnson told Report COGIC Abuse, “My Spiritual Heritage has been stolen from me!”

brownjohnson“I am being blackballed by chief leadership in the Church of God in Christ Church Organization which I have laid my life down for and sacrificed for so many years.

I trusted the men of God, Bishop Charles Blake, Bishop Charles Brown, Judge Enoch Perry and now deceased Bishop Chandler Owens.  [They said] No matter how long it would take, Interfaith church and I would be compensated for all losses.

My true proofs copyright venues placed in their hands are worth $1,000,000.00 apiece.  They have four. Even in a witness protection program with my life under threat, special alliances were made for compliance with request made by the General Board through Judge Enoch Perry.

I need to recover my losses so my children and my life can move forward. Interfaith church can move forward.

Judge Enoch Perry and the IRS have Kyles’ original police reports.  We only want what is due us rightfully.  I did not have Bishop Kyles and pastors arrested per the General Board’s request because they wanted to settle within the church.  The witness protection and life protection program had to be handled in a way that my true location was not disclosed from 2004-2011.  Bishop Chandler Owens did everything he could to resolve this until he became ill and passed.”

Nonbiblical COGIC Bishops

These are inglorious acts on the part of COGIC’s leadership. However, as we have reported for many years the facts of this case come as no surprise.  The defendants in this case are no strangers to Report COGIC Abuse. Under Enoch Perry’s disastrous reign as chief legal advisor,  COGIC leadership has employed unscrupulous tactics against its own unwitting members.  As they did with Brown-Johnson, false promises are made to avert court cases only to later capitulate. All four have been involved in numerous cases of sexual, judicial and administrative abuses in the last five years.

The bible is clear and there’s no shadow of turning in its qualifying instructions for the man who would be bishop. Titus 1: 7-8 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. (our bold).

When it comes to the flesh and sex, a bishop must exercise self control and discipline. Otherwise, with the magnitude of his influence and the attraction of his persona, his charisma will bring him numerous opportunities to indulge himself sexually and financially. If he does not exercise due diligence in his sexual life (apart from his wife or 100% celibate if single) he will endanger the flock and invite the same spirits to have free reign among those under his jurisdiction.

Secondly, 1 Timothy 3:7 adds this qualifier: Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

A bishop cannot have a bad character/reputation report. This doesn’t include false accusations, it means that there must not be a consistent cloud of suspicious/ungodly/unseemly behavior following him due to his own actions. This extends even to the unsaved. They must not be able to “spot” the bishop’s life inasmuch as his ethics is concerned.

If this is not valued, the bishop will “fall into reproach by giving way to the excesses of his former life [of sin]. Apparently, and with a preponderance of evidence, these COGIC bishops have no resemblance to what is shown in scripture.

Your voice, your vote, your turn

March 14, 2014 Leave a comment