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Texas federal judge finds NM COGIC Bishop Jones guilty in 2016 sexual abuse lawsuit

March 5, 2019 Leave a comment

According to the Daily Mail, a prominent news organization in the UK, in 2016 the Church of God in Christ organization and its Bishop of New Mexico was hit was a 12.2 million dollar lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of a minor. Now, that bishop has been found guilty in a Texas civil court and ordered to pay his victim $750,000.

LaKeith JamesA bishop at one of the largest African-American Christian churches in the United States has been accused of grooming and sexually assaulting a female member of the denomination for more than 20 years.
Kimberly Pollard, who is now 37, filed a $12.2-million lawsuit against the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) and Bishop James L’Keith Jones, accusing the church of allowing her to be sexually assaulted by the high-ranking bishop for 20 years, according to court papers obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com.
Pollard claims that Jones not only groomed her into what became a 20-year sexual relationship and extra-marital affair, but also tried to groom her six-year-old daughter, telling her she looked ‘sexy’ and that he would wait until she was 18 to date her.
The mother-of-one from Lubbock, Texas, says that the relationship between her and Jones turned sexual in or around 1995, when she was still a minor.

In 2019 Pollard won her lawsuit against Jones but the COGIC organization its board of bishops was dismissed from the suit. Jones was ordered by a federal judge to pay $750,000 but is still denying that he owes or committed any crime. He told a Albuquerque news station KRQE via email that he served a “one year suspension” imposed by the church. In typical fashion, COGIC, its presiding bishop and its PR representatives have all refused to respond to requests for clarification on Jones current position in the denomination. Watch the video of Jones telling a 6 year old girl she looked “mighty sexy” in a nightgown and a video clip he sent to Pollard using his fingers to simulate performing oral sex on her.

 

Kim PollardAn Albuquerque Bishop was ordered by a federal civil court judge to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to the woman who accused him of being a predator.
However, the Bishop, who’s still on the job, claims he doesn’t owe a dime.
Bishop James L’Keith Jones of the Church of God in Christ, or COGIC, in Albuquerque, says he’s done nothing criminal. But that doesn’t change the fact that a federal court has now ordered him to pay $750,000 after a civil lawsuit was filed.
Jones has been preaching in Albuquerque for years, leading the Albuquerque chapter of one of the largest nationwide churches. But on Special Assignment in 2016, KRQE News 13 reported on Texas woman Kimberly Pollard’s lawsuit against the Bishop that revealed another side of him.
Pollard claims Bishop Jones made the comment, “You lookin’ mighty sexy in your nightgown,” to her 6-year-old daughter in a video message.
That comment was just part of a series of video and text message exchanges between Pollard and Jones that the lawsuit centered around. Some images in the messages are too explicit to show on television.
Pollard claims Jones preyed on her when she was a teen 20 years ago, and says he sexually assaulted her in a hotel room when she was 16 years old.
Then as he worked his way up the church ranks, she claims he used his authority to keep preying on her, “using coercion, threats, and his position as a spiritual advisor.”
The Bishop denies any sexual assault occurred. Still, court documents show Pollard won a $750,000 judgment in the case.
Her attorneys say Jones hasn’t paid a dime and instead claims the case was thrown out.
Recently, legal assistants on the case made the trip from Texas to hold up a large sign for Sunday parishioners.
The sign read, “COGIC Bishop James L’Keith Jones has been found liable by a federal district court of having a sexual relationship with a child. And he is still in good standing with the Church of God in Christ.”
One of Pollard’s attorneys told KRQE News 13 via email, “It’s concerning that COGIC allows Jones to continue in such a high profile position.”
Jones declined an on-camera interview and called this a case of a “woman scorned.” Jones told News 13 via email that he served a year suspension with the church, and doesn’t owe Pollard anything because the judge didn’t sign the document ordering him to pay.
He also argued the judgment was by default since he missed a deadline to report to the court.
“So I {sic} am in err for failing to respond to the court and not any damages or harm done to Ms. Pollard,” Jones wrote in an email.
But KRQE News 13 called the Northern District of Texas courthouse where the judgment was filed and were told a judge doesn’t have to sign the document. The writ of execution is valid with a clerk’s signature, meaning Jones still owes $750,000 plus $20 per day in interest.
Both the Church of God in Christ and the Board of Bishops were dismissed from the lawsuit. News 13 called the church’s headquarters in Memphis to ask if Jones is still in good standing with the church. The church did not respond.

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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.

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.

 

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

September 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Charles Harrison Mason, undouRCA Five Years of Servicebtedly 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.

WATCH! Bishop Charles Blake KO sexual sins in WIC message

June 2, 2014 3 comments

The undercover sex wolves in COGIC are NOT going to like this.But COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake deserves some much needed praise for putting the sword to sexual sins during his address at COGIC’s 64th International Women’s Convention in Louisville this past week. The teaching is masterful and befitting instruction from the office of the Presiding Bishop especially in times like these when adultery, fornication, homosexuality and sexual manipulation sins are cresting IN the church.

Not only did Bishop Blake methodically hit the biblical, moral and physical consequences of said sexual sins, he laid out factual statistics as well.
Now, if he would just do a repeat at the Men’s Conference. Watch all three excerpts below.

LISTEN: Victims Advocacy Open Forum Audio

April 7, 2014 Leave a comment

RCAforumReport COGIC Abuse, in partnership with I Am My Brothers Keeper Christian Advocacy Council, held Open Forum Discussion on Victims Advocacy Saturday, April 5th. The Forum was well attended and lasted for 2.5 hours. You can listen to the audio of the event by clicking here (Part 1, introductions and presentation by Pastor DL Foster) and here (Part 2, concluding remarks by Pastor DL Foster). Segments 3-5 of the event are available at Dunamis Word Blog.