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Incompetent investigator to oversee COGIC’s phantom “sexual abuse committee”

February 27, 2013 Leave a comment

gharrisIn what appears to be another fox guarding the pentecostal hen-house arrangement, a man who was the lead investigator of the bungled Sherman Allen sex abuse case is now the Chairman of the “Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Committee”. What an arrogant and pompous sounding title considering the littered trail of  sexually abused women and children COGIC sex criminals have left behind. Nonetheless,  Pastor Gerald Harris was appointed to the post in January by Bishop Charles Blake during the denomination’s Atlanta Leadership Conference.

According to his bio, Harris was “Chief of Security, Church of God in Christ, Inc. undertaking the responsibility of the supervision and management of the National Security Task Force. Elder Harris is the advisor to the COGIC Presiding Bishop with regards to our National Church security.”

But Harris was also is cahoots with dethroned former legal advisor Enoch Perry in the notorious mishandling of the Sherman Allen case. That case arguably became the lightening rod which first drew significant attention to COGIC’s infatuation with harboring, promoting and celebrating sexual abusers in its clergy ranks.

In a sworn deposition given in a Texas courtroom, Perry identified Elder Gerald Harris and Elder Melvin Williams as the sole members of COGIC’s so-called “National Sexual Misconduct Committee”. Later, in the same deposition, he said the men were members of the “National Review Board”. (pg 22 of deposition filed under letters and documents).

The two investigators violated COGIC’s own policy which requires a minimum 5 individuals on an investigating committee of this sort. It also requires that a “detailed report” be filed with the Office of the General Secretary within 6 months of a case being closed. When questioned about this glaring violation, Perry declined to answer if this had been done in the Sherman Allen case. He called the two “investigators” highly skilled in what they do, but Allen under oath said he was never interviewed by either of the two men. It still remains a mystery as to how men with such skill could disregard church policy in such a high level legal matter.

Despite Harris’ colossal failure, Blake promoted him to the position of “special investigator” . Blake did the same with Perry even after a scathing letter revealing his massive incompetence was released by another church official.  This was another immaterial peacock position with special window dressing sauce, dreamed up in the mind of the presiding bishop. There was no evidence COGIC needed a “special investigator”. What was there to investigate?

Although there was no external formal or public announcement we could find, Bishop Blake then created a new Investigative Service Department for COGIC. Something like a church CIA department. The man placed in charge of the job: Elder Gerald Harris of Gilroy, CA. Harris’ dubious promotions followed the pattern of rewarding error, misconduct and incompetence by creating fictitious committees to give the impression the person has done something noteworthy. It also helps to keep the administration’s secrets in its inner circle.

We searched but there was no announcement nor information released publicly about what the newly created “Investigative Service Department” does or does not do, so COGIC members can only speculate as to whether the new department includes elements of secrecy. Shouldn’t members know if they could possibly be under investigation?

What Sexual Abuallen-150x150se and Misconduct Committee?

When it comes to investigating the sexual abuses of COGIC’s clergy (who commit 98% of the known crimes) its almost unbelievable that the presiding bishop would appoint a man with proven incompetence to head a secret committee to deal secretly with the secret sexual sins, crimes and misconduct of its good ole preacha boys club. Who are the members of the committee? When do they meet? When have they met previously? Women and children comprise 98% of known victims. Are women involved in the decision making process? If so who are they? Where are the rules, procedures and policies governing the sex abuse committee?  How does the average member contact them and get access to their qualifications. Why are the members kept secret? Inquire if you desire, search if you may and seek but you wont find this phantom committee.

Bishop Blake has ensured that nothing substantial will ever occur to rectify problems with sexual abuse in his denomination. He does that through manipulative window dressing, creating phantom committees and appointing insider heads to oversee the fake committees.  If there was a legitimate committee, they would be investigating Charles Brown, the pedophile bishop who still jumps, shouts, speaks in tongues, pastors a church and sits on the convocation platform. They would be investigating claims made against FE Perry, Jerry Wayne Macklin, Harrison Hale and a crop of other CURRENT church officials. Just like they feigned ignorance and claimed no responsibility with Bishop John Husbands , Sherman “Rev Spanky” Allen and scores of others on the record, they will continue to do the same no matter what evidence exists against one of their own. Its all for the glory of COGIC’s name, image and assets. People are just expendable, collateral damage to keep up the “glory” of the church’s image.

Its a sad and tragic day for sexual abuse victims in the Church of God in Christ.

COGIC sex abuser Thomas Wiggins headed to prison for 6-9 years

December 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Good news as justice is finally being served against the former North Carolina COGIC Supt Thomas Wiggins, Jr. who sexually abused a 14 year old boy all while he was “preaching”, pastoring two churches and climbing his denomination’s ecclesiastical ladder. The Star News Online reported on Monday that Wiggins is headed to prison to serve between 6 and 9 years for his crimes. See our previous coverage on Thomas Wiggins here and here.

wigginsA Wilmington pastor pleaded guilty to six counts of felony sexual abuse of a minor by a substitute parent during a hearing in New Hanover County Superior Court on Monday.

Thomas Archie Wiggins, 55, a pastor at Wilmington’s Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, was sentenced to between six years and three months and nine years and nine months in prison. He was taken into custody Monday.

After serving the sentence, the Wilmington resident also must register as a sex offender for 30 years.

Wiggins was arrested in November 2011 and charged with five counts of first-degree sexual offense and five counts of indecent liberties with a minor after he admitted to abusing a then 14-year-old boy who had been in his care during 1998 and 1999, New Hanover County Assistant District Attorney Lance Oehrlein said during the hearing.

This is a textbook case of how church sexual predators work.  If Bishop Charles Blake were serious about rooting out these individuals in his denomination, he would study this and take proactive measures to block their access to children.

The teen often stayed at the pastor’s Governours Square apartment on the weekends and during summer months.

That’s when the predatory behavior began, Oehrlein said.
“The victim was given spending money, taken to stores to buy things and was given a lot of freedom that he didn’t have at home,” he said. “It started very slowly with wrestling matches and then accelerated when the victim was given access to cable and TV pornography.”

The two also shared a bed in the one-bedroom apartment, Oehrlein said.

One night, the teen awoke to Wiggins fondling him. The incidents then escalated, with Wiggins performing oral sex on the boy and vice versa, the prosecutor said.

“Meanwhile, the victim’s mother is 50 miles away and the defendant is acting as a parent and making decisions about him,” Oehrlein said.

Single pastors shouldn’t be given a pass about their private lives. Too many church members are enamored with their pastor’s church persona (pedophiles develop very benevolent  public personas), they fail to notice things that just don’t add up.  Pastors who are overly benevolent to young children and teens should he scrutinized. If a child’s life as well as their sexual and spiritual well being is in question, no amount of scrutiny is undeserving.

Another missing element in reforming COGIC and its ongoing problem with sex crimes involving leaders is the silent aftermath. Even after a leader has been convicted and found guilty, the denomination’s leader keep up the code of silence and denial. This gives the false impression that all is well. It also signals other pedophiles that they can expect the church will keep quiet about what they are doing. After all, that’s what they have done for all the other pedophiles. Conversely, making a public statement sends a strong signal that the church is serious about the issue.  Unfortunately, there’s little evidence this is true.

Updates on COGIC molestation case in Virginia

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Year after year, pedophiles continue to pop up all over COGIC despite the warning of Presiding Bishop Charles Blake to “get right or get out”.  And although a new election swept in some new church leaders, the issue of pedophilia, child sex crimes and its resultant issues were all but ignored.

After posting the story of Don Billups, the deacon at Gospel Tabernacle COGIC in Covington, VA who was convicted of molesting at least 8 children,  some clarifications are in order to properly identify individuals connected to the case. The case has devastated the population of this small town of about 3000 along the West Virginia-Virginia border. Billups was a well known figure in the town.

1. The current pastor of Gospel Tabernacle is Gregory P. Moore. Billups was under Moore’s supervision for two years prior to the conviction. After the story broke in the media, Moore took a book called “Mercy for the molester” to one family, telling them that they had to “forgive the molester”. During the trial,  Moore also testified on behalf of Billups.

2. Local news media did not report that Moore is also in legal trouble for a separate incident involving a gun threat.

3. Gospel Tabernacle is currently in the Greater West Virginia Jurisdiction where Henderson Wheeler is bishop. The church was previously pastored by Supt. Warner L. Hunter, until his death in 2009 until Moore, his  son-in-law became pastor.

4. Although Billups was only convicted of 8 molestations, there were more children who’s parents did not want them to testify thus were excluded from the case against him. Some of the children had grown up in the church and knew Billups and his family.

5. Sources informed Report COGIC Abuse that the bishop, Henderson Wheeler since news of the molestation broke had visited once but  told the victim’s families he was “praying for them”. He has not visited nor spoken with victims since the case became public. In a perverted fashion, COGIC leadership treats victims as if they are the criminals. Family members were told by the jurisdictional supervisor that she was forbidden by the bishop to have contact with them. Past cases in Asheville NC, Newark, Winter Haven FL,  Albany NY and Kalamazoo MI reveal the same pattern of post crime behavior  by COGIC leaders.

New information  also reveals that Billups, a retired Marine, was the head deacon at Gospel Tabernacle for many years and his wife a leading “missionary.

Report COGIC Abuse will continue to update this story as information becomes available. A listing of Billups’ charges from Alleghany County Circuit Court.

Open Forum to be held on COGIC sex crimes in Albany NY

October 13, 2012 4 comments

One would think with severity of the crimes, the implications and depth of the vast coverup of pedophiles in COGIC’s pulpits, the church’s presiding bishop Charles Blake or its general counsel Enoch Perry III would have by now convened a forum to deal with the massive fallout. Or conducted a public hearing or investigation. But they havent.

Instead, an open forum is being convened by someone who could  have shrugged his shoulders and walked away upon hearing revelations of widespread sexual abuse allegations in the Albany NY COGIC community. But he chose not to.

Christopher Davis, whose shocking and detailed letter documenting sexual abuse by COGIC pedophiles, announced the open forum for October 16th at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio 339 Central Ave, Albany, NY. More information below.

Breaking news: Bishop Charles Brown sexual abuse survivors speak out publicly

September 19, 2012 5 comments

New ground has been broken in favor of COGIC clergy sexual abuse survivors. The three victims of Bishop Charles Brown are telling their story publicly for the first time. Brown, who currently sits as pastor of the Williams Temple COGIC in Houston escaped prison earlier this year on a legal technicality.

Four days after that ruling,  the denomination’s General Board immediately reinstated Blake’s longtime friend to office. The previous suspension was lifted “without further comment”.  This left the impression that Brown was not guilty.  But Brown was never exonerated of his sexual crimes against the three young girls, thus he should have never been reinstated.   Report COGIC Abuse also published an exclusive report exposing the General Board who secretly paid off the victims.

But now, those women are speaking out in an exclusive interview with Dunamis Word blog which has helped to document the coverup and complicity by the Blake administration.

The time has come to hold Bishop Charles Blake, Sr. accountable for his role in these matters. According to one of the victims only one other person knew them as well as Brown knew them.

[…]one of the survivors states that until the interviews, which can be heard above, only ONE other person in the church has ever made contact with any of them. That was the Bishop Charles E. Blake, who spoke to one of the victims, as he knew them very well for a number of years. Unfortunately, that conversation was over some 15 years ago before Bishop Blake became Presiding Bishop.”

Report COGIC Abuse calls on faithful bishops in the church to immediately remove Bishop Charles Brown from office and launch a full and independent investigation as to Bishop Blake’s personal knowledge of these crimes. There is nothing more important than the truth.

Read the story and listen to the audio interviews here.

COGIC officials in Albany NY kept pedophile elders secret

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

A SPECIAL RCA REPORT

Beginning in the late 70s, Church of God in Christ officials in New York’s capital city knew about multiple child sex abuses committed by five different  pedophiles. Instead of protecting children, church officials shielded the pedophiles and concealed their crimes. In one case, three generations of family members had been sexually molested. Two of the pedophile elders were in position at Wilborn Temple COGIC, the other three at St Johns COGIC.  That’s what a lengthy and detailed letter made public last month, alleges. The two stately looking, intown churches have for decades harbored pedophiles who preyed on a still undetermined number of children.

Written by Christopher Davis, a project management consultant and son of a local COGIC pastor in Albany, New York, the letter characterized what he had uncovered as a “coming storm” due to the layers of deceit and ignorance of the Albany COGIC community.

“You can choose to ignore this coming storm and leave yourself to its perils or you can arm yourself with knowledge, understanding and wisdom. You can choose to think for yourself or let someone else think for you, but know in your choice is your fate. Know and understand that in judgment you stand alone and on your works and your deeds. The single thing which separates man from all of God’s creations is the ability of cognitive thought; it is this in which we are made in His image. In relinquishing your right and responsibility to think for yourself you have forsaken your humanity and in turn you have forsaken God who created you in His image.”

Davis, who now lives in New Jersey, said that he came upon the decades long sexual abuse situations while he was in the process of helping a church deal with rebuilding after fire damage.

“In January 2012 Blessed Hope Worship Center, a COGIC affiliate under Pastor Ronald Howard, experienced a fire which damaged their church home on Central Avenue in Albany, New York. The damage to the church was extensive and Pastor Howard recognized his limitations in navigating the church through the many hurdles they would have to face in rebuilding. Through then Superintendent and Pastor James Davis, Pastor Howard contacted me, to ask for my assistance in their endeavors to rebuild.”

Conversations with Howard eventually revealed an incidence of pedophilia committed against a 10 year old boy  of which the perpetrator was still an active COGIC leader.

Davis told Report COGIC Abuse that despite damning evidence he presented (including the personal testimony of a victim), he encountered a shocking corporate attitude among COGIC leaders, including  Western New York First jurisdiction Bishop James R. Wright. Most of the leaders showed more concern for the doctrine and rules of the church, than the victim. The callous and insensitive responses sounded like the words issued by COGIC’s Presiding Bishop in October 2007, when clergy sexual abuse issues begin to gain attention.

“We now live in a litigious society. People file lawsuits for every conceivable grievance, whether real or imagined. To protect the name, image, and assets of the Church of God in Christ, we must take positive steps to seriously investigate very case of alleged sexual abuse by the clergy. We must stand behind and support those who are falsely accused of sexual improprieties and found innocent by the courts. We must also insure that the Church act quickly to take firm and positive action against those who violate the sanctity of their positions and are found guilty of sexual abuse and other sexual improprieties.”

Although, he was no longer connected to the COGIC community he grew up in, Davis said  the plight of the victims and the cloud of darkness compelled him to move forward to uncover the truth.

“In May 2012 I began a series of interviews with this victim. The victim has long been a member of various COGIC and non-COGIC churches as a musician. The victim provided a fairly detailed account of abuse he had endured beginning at the age of 6 and continuing through becoming an adult. According to victim’s testimony, abuse in COGIC began at St. John’s church at the age of 12. For this individual, the cycle of church abuse began with a minister who at first was musically connected to the victim but soon this connection led into sexual activity which continued over several years. In addition to the victim’s adolescent involvement with the aforementioned minister, testimony of involvement with an elder involved with numerous musical groups, an adult church musician, a minister and an adult church lay member were all detailed. Of the five noted pedophiles, three were members of St. John’s and two members of Wilborn’s Temple at the time of the abuse in the mid-1970’s. Abuse by the elder involved with numerous musical groups began at the age of 14 years old and involved not only the abuser and the abused but other adults and minors as well. The abuse victim states that he was introduced to orgies in the loft at Garland Brothers Funeral Home.”

Despite the evidence, after the meeting, Davis discovered Bishop Wright was unsympathetic to the victims.  He wrote, “Based on the previous day’s meeting with Superintendent Clark having disclosed additional issues with the offending pastor I was quite confident that Bishop Wright had to be aware of these issues as well. In the end, Bishop Wright stated that his concern was exposing the church (COGIC) to a lawsuit from the pedophile and that the jurisdiction didn’t have money to deal with the victims anyways. Completely disgusted with the response from Bishop Wright I alerted him of my resolve to contact the national church organization and that I would bring this issue to the forefront in the coming months.”

Depending on the outcome of the case, COGIC, Inc could be facing for the first time a federal level investigation into child sex crimes.  In October last year a  Kansas City Catholic bishop was arrested for failing to report suspected child sexual abuse.

At the table

COGIC officials identified in the letter as attending various meetings where information about the pedophile activities of COGIC elders in Western NY First Jurisdiction was discussed.

Supt McKinley Johnson
Bishop Jeffery Melvin
Elder Alexander
Bishop James Wright
Supt Cornelius Clark
Pastor Ronald Howard
Supt JL Griffin
Supt James Davis
Dr. Charles Guthrie
Bishop Leroy Anderson (deceased 2008)

House of Prayer or Den of Thieves?

Churches which have been identified as harboring pedophile COGIC ministers

St John’s COGIC
Wilborn Temple

Read or download the entire letter addressed to Capitol Region COGIC Churches

Visit Christopher Davis’ website  for additional information

Houston Pastor banned from COGIC but leaves with church property

August 16, 2012 11 comments

HOUSTON – Bishop Gary Emerson Scott was bad business from the beginning but Bishop Prince E. Bryant failed to vet him and refused to discipline him even when reports of sexual misconduct and marital infidelity arrived at his office. In the end, it was the Olive Branch COGIC that was left broken, shattered and reeling from the destruction a ravenous wolf unleashed on them by their own bishop.

A licensed evangelist and 50 year member of the COGIC told Report COGIC Abuse she was devastated about the condition of the church she loves so much.

Scott (on his third marriage) was appointed pastor of the church after the death of its former pastor, but members say Bishop Bryant intentionally overlooked the man’s terrible reputation in an effort to beef up the Texas SouthCentral jurisdiction in his run for the General Board. Scott allegedly pastored another nonCOGIC church called Trinity Fellowship but that church was dying a slow death.

Although married, Scott sexually harrassed at least 3 women in the congregation.  But one member’s letter and call to West Angeles and a threat to sue the national church, hastened an immediate and personal response from both Bishop Charles Blake and his chief church lawyer Enoch Perry III.  An investigation found Scott guilty.

Intervention?

In short, Blake and Perry investigated and removed Scott from the church with orders to Bryant not to allow him on COGIC property again for any reason. Read the Official Letter about the investigation and subsequent banning of Gary Scott from COGIC.

The two denominational leaders departed, but the nightmare for the remaining members of the Olive Branch Church was far from over. And to add to their injuries, Bishop Bryant refused to help them recover.

Despite the order banning Scott from the premises, he confiscated church property and formed another nonCOGIC church. The Olive Branch has sued to get church property returned but told Report COGIC Abuse, they have received no assistance from Bishop Prince Bryant. Members tell RCA that they do not believe Perry or Bishop Blake are aware that Bryant is not following the mandates of the letter. They plan to repetition get the national church’s assistance.

According to church trustees who spoke with us, Bishop Bryant forged a “deal” with Gary Scott for the Olive Branch Church to go into the building [he had been banned from] at 10:00 am on Sundays for church.  Scott and his new Impact Worship Center church would have church at 12:00 noon because he protested his name was on the leased building and he was not leaving. At that meeting Bryant described Scott as a “good man” despite the proven charges against him.

Members from the Olive Branch Church were ordered by Enoch Perry not to go anywhere near Scott. Using that distance, Scott took the contents and started another nondenominational church (Impact Christian Center) with COGIC contents. The trustees of the church met again with Bishop Bryant in hopes of  retrieving the contents of the church but were told according to them that “he [Bryant] had a name to keep and if we wanted the contents we would have to seek legal representation and the Jurisdiction would not help us financially in any form to retrieve anything”.

Church still suffering

Already suffering behind almost 2 years of Gary Scott’s wickedness, the church was forced to file with small claims court charging Gary Scott with theft.

Scott’s bio says he “…grew his membership from ninety to over a thousand members in less than five years and led him, in 2010, to become the Senior Pastor of the Impact Christian Center COGIC in Houston, Texas, thus making him One Pastor with Two Denominations” (his bold). Like many false prophets, deception is part of their ability to continue getting money and sexual favors from unsuspecting people.

The ministry pastor said, “All of our reports for 2011 were paid in full to the Jurisdiction and the National, however Bishop Bryant chose not to help us in any form and The Olive Branch has not heard from Bishop Bryant since February of 2012. We had to find a place to worship, and Greater Emmanuel COGIC  has allowed us to worship with them.”

As of today, the Olive Branch church is a church with no peace and no help.