New Orleans – The Times-Picayune reported last night that Bishop Charles E. Brown, I, bishop of the Church of God in Christ Greater New Orleans Jurisdiction was booked on charges of sexual battery in June. Brown was released after posting a $25,000 bail. But the story quickly raised more troubling issues about Brown, his past, COGIC’s so-called zero tolerance sexual abuse policy and his association with the church’s presiding bishop.
According to the paper, Brown seemed to have made a very foolish decision to contact the woman he is alleged to have molested. [source]
The spiritual head of a local Pentecostal denomination has been arrested and booked with sexual battery on a teenage girl more than 23 years ago. New Orleans court records show that Bishop Charles E. Brown, 58, was released on $25,000 bond.
Brown, who since Hurricane Katrina has divided his time between New Orleans and Houston, is the jurisdictional bishop for Greater New Orleans in the Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal denomination with headquarters in Memphis. He is also pastor of a local congregation, Full Gospel Church of God in Christ.
Brown was arrested June 28, according to police records.
Several attempts to contact Brown at his home in Houston were unsuccessful. Court records did not list a lawyer. And denominational officials in Los Angeles and Lafayette who would know about the arrest either were unavailable or did not respond to an inquiry.
A police affidavit supporting the arrest warrant said an unidentified 39-year-old woman called the department’s child abuse unit in March to report that Brown molested her between the ages of 14 and 16.
The woman said at the time Brown was her aunt’s boyfriend, and the acts occurred at his home.
She told police Brown recently reached out and asked to “friend” her on Facebook. She told him she knew him to be an abuser and decided then to go to the police, the affidavit said.
Brown originally was arrested and booked with aggravated rape. But Magistrate Commissioner Harry Cantrell said the specific facts alleged by the woman supported only the lesser accusation of sexual battery.”
Brown, pastor of Williams Temple COGIC in Houston and two other churches, was a prominent figure in pre-Katrina New Orleans. His bio connects him with several powerful civic and religious leaders around the country including serving as a board member with Dr. Fredrick Price of LA, Bishop IV Hilliard in Houston, as the “spiritual advisor” to former Katrina-era NO mayor Ray Nagin and ironically as a board member of Bishop Blake’s “Save Africa’s Children” charity. Within his denomination, Brown was the former Chief Operating Officer of the church until he resigned after a fallout with Blake over a Houston church he now pastors.
What’s troubling is that the the police report alleges the crime occured about 23 years ago. That would put the timeline of the crime about 1990-91. During that time, according to Brown’s bio, he was:
- Director; Youth Church, [COGIC] UNAC/AIM 1980-1997.
- Executive Board Member; General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ, 1984 to present.
- Board Member; Fellowship of Inner City Word of Faith Ministries (FICWFM), Dr. F. K. C. Price, Founder. (1990-Present).
The woman alleges that Brown committed the crime while he was her aunt’s boyfriend. Just a few weeks ago, we told you about the case of adulterer and deadbeat father Joseph Hogan. The biblical requirements for the office of a bishop mean nothing to COGIC leadership. If blatant adultery and sexual immorality doesn’t disqualify a man from the office, what will? Sources told Report COGIC Abuse that despite the hard evidence on Hogan, COGIC will consecrate him to bishop.
Although Brown was arrested in June, he still holds his office of pastor and bishop in the Church of God in Christ. Report COGIC Abuse has learned that the denomination passed a resolution giving bishops the power to immediately remove a local church pastor upon allegations of sexual misconduct or criminal sexual activity until an investigation is concluded. But there was no clause for the bishops to remove those in their own ranks.
As the Times-Picayune story noted, church officials aren’t responding even though there is evidence that all members of the church’s “general board” —including Charles E. Blake— were made aware of Brown’s situation prior to the story going public.