TD Jakes, Andrew Merritt linked to gay church movement

The Fellowship, Bishop Yvette Flunder’s black version of the Metropolitan Community Churches, has finally gotten brave enough to list the men and women behind her apostate movement of pro-homosexual churches. This is actually good news because it affords GCM Watch the long awaited opportunity to examine and publish the wider associations of those in cahoots with pushing this  fake designer Christianity. On its website, Bishop Flunder makes a gallant attempt at de facto linguistical finesse:

“The doctrines and tenets of Christianity presently practiced by African Americans in this country were learned in the context of chattel slavery where classism, racism and sexism were the rule. Over time, the institution of the African American Church itself creates the margins of society by this mode of oppressive exclusion. Many African American churches have achieved substantial power and influence within their respective communities by virtue of marginalizing certain segments of society. Furthermore, this external marginalizing often is mirrored within the very structure of authority of churches, which typically are patriarchal and rigidly hierarchical.”

Translated: we demand homosexuality be fully incorporated and celebrated in the church without any restrictions whatsoever.

As soon as we began to investigate these individuals, we (surprisingly) found several strong links to so-called traditional churches and ministers, who may or may not know the extent or context of The Fellowship’s false doctrine and aversion to biblical sexual morality.

We want to first take note of Bishop Robert M. Taylor, a member of The Fellowship’s Ecclesiastical Board and partially responsible for the organization’s “spiritual direction and formation.”  Taylor had founded and pastored Fellowship Tabernacle in Philadelphia, a “gay-friendly” church  since 1979.  But in 2004, Taylor exited Fellowship Tabernacle abruptly and  preceded to set up the International Covenant Ministries Fellowship (ICMF), a small conglomerate of churches sprinkled across the country with headquarters in Statesville, NC. He attributed the sudden change to divine instruction from God to turn over the church to his “spiritual sons and daughters” because God said to establish churches abroad. But three years after leaving Philadelphia, Taylor presides only over a few churches mainly on the US east coast.  We were told that Taylor allegedly left due to some type of criminal sexual activity which occured under his watch. 

Taylor triples as a bishop in the Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies, headquartered in Columbus, OH. That’s the same denomination where Dallas  luminary Bishop T.D. Jakes and Detroit pastor Andrew Merritt of Straight Gate Church preside as two of the top three church bishops.  Taylor is a member of the “National Executive Board of Senior Bishops.” Watch Taylor and Jakes in this video of the HGAAA 2006 convention.

Is HGAAA aware that Bishop Taylor is a principal advisor of alleged spiritual direction of a denomination of homosexual churches? Interestingly enough, in October 2003, Merritt joined fellow Detroit megabishops Keith Butler, Charles Ellis III and Marvin Winans to issue this joint statement  in support of amending Michigan’s constitution against homosexual marriage.  The statement included this remark:

“Homosexuality is a lifestyle that is neither normal nor natural. It is a decision, a choice. We oppose the depiction of it to children as being normal; children are easily influenced what they see and hear. Our children must be protected from this type of lifestyle.”

That certainly conflicts with The Fellowship’s blunt declaration that homosexuality is not sinful. On January 25, 2006 we sent an email to HGAAA administrative offices  stating that we were “writing to inquire as to whether Bishop Robert Taylor, formerly of Philadelphia is in “good standing” with your organization.  Thank you for your reply in advance.”

An individual indentified only as Topsy83 [at] issued a sparse reply: “Yes, he is.”

If Bishop Taylor is in good standing, does this mean his approval and promotion of gay christian heresy is accepted in his denomination? And what about the pastors in his ICMF? Do they accept this false teaching? Is Bishop TD Jakes not aware of one of his organization’s senior executive bishops is a leader in a homosexual denomination? Taylor claims that he has been under the tutelage of Bishop Jakes whom he describes as his “spiritual mentor.” Is this why Bishop Jakes makes contradictory public statements on homosexuality and AIDS?

Read more about Yvette Flunder and The Fellowship in these articles.

24 thoughts on “TD Jakes, Andrew Merritt linked to gay church movement

  1. What Bishop Flunder is saying is this: African Americans learned Christianity at the hands of white slave owners, who were classist, racist, and sexist. The African American church internalized those values and uses them to oppress others. In fact, African American churches have become powerful because they have oppressed others.

    While there may be a small bit of truth in the first statement, my understanding is that the African American church by and large developed independently and away from the eyes of slave owners as a means of rebelling against, dealing with, and surviving oppression. I’m curious as to who the modern African American church is oppressing, and how the church has become powerful as a result.

  2. This is very interesting. It is also confusing. I’ve heard and read that Bishop Jakes publicly denounce homosexual relations in sermons and in a Gospel Today Magazine interview in 2005. I think it was the MegaFest issue. In one newspaper, when asked if he would hire a openly lesbian woman to work at his ministry , he replied, “I would not hire a lesbian, but I would feed a lesbian.” So these connections are a bit strange. Will you email Bishop Merritt and Bishop Jakes about this, Pastor Foster?

  3. Jason, thanks for this question. Yes, in light of these connections Bishop Jakes’ public statements on homosexuality at best are contradictory. We had definitely planned on emailing for clarification (and other questions) but while looking for proper correspondence we ran across the following from Apologetics Index:

    Bottom line: the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is that the Father Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct, co-existent, co-equal Persons within the one God. If that is what TD Jakes Ministries beliefs, it should make an unequivocal statement to that effect. However, repeated emailed requests for clarification on this issue have gone unanswered.

    We will update when emails are sent to these ministries and hopefully a statement.

  4. TD Jakes public commentary (or the lack of)

    1. CNN Transcripts with Larry King live:
    Bishop Jakes remains silent throughout the whole conversation about homosexuality.

    2. “To date, I have not seen scriptural authority that allows me to stand on behalf of God and say I now pronounce you husband and husband, and wife and wife,” Jakes said in response to a question at a plenary session of the August meeting of National Association of Black Journalists in Atlanta, as reported in USA Today. “This is an issue the government is undecided about. The Bible is not.”

    3. “The Apostle Paul didn’t write about HIV or AIDS. So we don’t know how to navigate those waters.”

    4. Bishop Jakes, however, said many people miss a key point in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
    “God always brought the righteous out before he destroyed the city,” he said.'(Dallas News)

    5. T.D. Jakes, who presides over a Dallas-based empire of books, tapes, and TV shows, wants to “heal” not just homosexuals, but all “men who are feminine in their mannerisms. (Slate Magazine)

    6. Religion News Service reported in 2001-MAY that Potter’s House, a 26,000 member Protestant church in Dallas TX is advertising ten jobs on their web site. Bishop T.D. Jakes said that they reserve the right to hire like-minded believers. He said: “We hire people who reflect our views and concerns. What makes us a faith-based entity is our morals and values.” That means that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and non-Christians probably need not apply. Catholics and liberal Christians, Mormons, etc. probably would not be hired either.

  5. Pastor,

    Jakes wrote a response to his critics about his affiliation with Oneness Pentecostals in Christianity Today a few years back. I guess Apologetics Index haven’t updated their website.

    Jason: The “oneness” issue is not my point nor even a direct concern. Though I like you believe in established doctrinal Triinty, I don’t use it as a litmus test. The point of the AI blurb was communication oriented. That direct requests to Bishop Jakes went unanswered.
    I pointed that out to say I didnt expect any better results from direct requests. As a matter of fact there is no way through the TD Jakes conglomerate of ministries and business enterprises to make any direct informational requests. I’m fairly sure that’s intentional.

    Its about the same with Merritt.
    I’m removing your last comment on oneness just so comments on this article don’t get off track.

  6. Phil, I find it quite ironic that an African American woman who grew up in the African American church and has a predominately African American church structured very simular to the African American denomination she left and sings black gospel music, would call the African American church oppressive.

    With such across the board emulation by Bishop Flunder one even wonders why she would make such an ignorant statement.

  7. Funny, Both Bishop Jakes and Bishop Merritt looked really, really uncomfortable in that video. I wonder whats up with that?

  8. Sir, I am on your website for the first time. In regards to Bishop Merritt, you should note that he has received scrutiny in Detroit from homosexuals for taking such a strong stance against homosexuality. While I am a member of another church, I simply want to say that you should take heed to who you put your mouth on so quickly. How could you say what you say when he even has it posted on his church website that you link this page too, of his support for marriage as God designed. Merritt has proven to be straight laced, committed to the bible, and a man of integrity.

  9. Rah, thanks for coming onto GCMW. I’m fairly sure you have never seen a blog quite like this before so I will treat you with hospitality. Some people reading for the first time, like to make ignorant remarks and spout nonsensical religious cliches.

    You ask:“How could you say what you say when he even has it posted on his church website that you link this page too, of his support for marriage as God designed.”

    Let’s assume Rah that you sincerely want an answer to the question you posed. The answer was in the post, but perhaps you only saw what you wanted to see or you came with a predisposed summation. We want to know why a man so steadfast in his public opposition to homosexual marriage would ignore another man (Bishop Taylor) who is leader in an organization of homosexual christians who do support gay marriage? (In the video, Bishop Taylor was the one leading the song while Bishop Merritt stood there on the floor in front of him.) What if the homosexuals in the secular arena found out that he is working with Taylor and hasnt disciplined him or better demand that he either leave the gay organization or resign as a member of Higher Ground? Bishop Merritt is a senior ranking bishop in HGAAA. Shouldn’t he at least make sure people know that he does not support Taylor’s PUBLIC homosexual activities?

    Wouldn’t you consider that at the very least hypocritcal of Bishop Merritt? To fight against something secular but remain silent on the very same issue in the church he is affiliated with?

    Think about it Rah. Don’t be so quick to rush to the defense of people before you have carefully looked at all sides of the situation. Your suggestion that it is wrong to examine the doctrine and associations of church leaders (whoever they may be) possibly demonstrates that you do not fully know the scriptures which state a the qualifications of a bishop. If there is evidence which may be in violation of the bishop’s qualifications, we are required to examine that and call it into question for the greater good of the church.

    There is no personal agenda directed at Bishop Merritt or anyone else. If you know him, please ask him yourself why he makes a public statement against homosexual marriage in the secular arena, but says nothing about the men involved in it who are in the same church he is.

    I’m even more disturbed Rah if you are not concerned about the deceitful proliferation of false doctrine into God’s church through homosexual affirmation. Read Jude 1-10. Is this because leaders like Bishop Merritt are not doing their jobs as watchmen on the wall?

    Hopefully you will respond.

  10. A Bible verse that speaks to what you are facing here, DL, and offers encouragement:

    Victory Verse of the Week
    “One day in your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm

  11. What I despise the most is when certain African Americans try to equate civil rights with gay rights. First let me say that this is racism by proxy. For an African American to say that there fight to overcome hangings, beatings, and being considered a “person” is the same as gays having equality is a slap in the face to all the slaves and abolitionist that died for such a righteous struggle. Now think about what I said by people like Flunders equating the two. Homosexuality by its very nature is sinful. Therefore once Flunders “attempts” to equivocate the two she is saying being black is sinful. Although she doesn’t see it as that it IS what she is doing by proxy. I think its disgusting for this woman to denigrate the struggles of 400 years of oppression for her own sinful nature. Think of all the African Americans who have been deceived by this woman and may actually engage in Homosexuality as a badge of solidarity from racism. The two could not be more mutually exclusive.

    Man makes the melanin, melanin never makes the man.


  12. I am not suprised about all this. It is clear to them what Taylor stood for and now they are making some moves to get a way from it. I have know this all personally from being in the group with them all myself. Taylor is in the organization and if he is not let him say so. HGAAA is in trouble due to all this stuff and it is only a matter of time that we shall hear more about Watkins and Jakes and Taylor.

  13. Just happened upon this posting and was glad that someone has decided to deal with the topic of homosexuality in the church.

    Someone as big as TJ Jakes, Creflo and Osteen etc..should be blowing the clarion horn regarding this lifestyle….but they won’t!!!… this would offend the homosexual’s and stop the steady flow of monies that is collected during their services.

    the church leaders(black & white) has used manipulation on God’s people to woo them into submission which often time cause abuse over and over again. Some church are just breeding ground for homosexual to gather.

    No one want’s deliverance….but everyone want a “Fairy tale”

  14. it’s just a matter of time with all this homosexuality. pedophiles will be on a bold march. just watch what i tell you with all this deception. this is getting to be a headache. God will not be mocked.

  15. “God will not be mocked”

    nes, thats the message for these fools who continue to parade and peacock before God celebrating their sin.

    I dont think that it is beyond God to come down and investigate. But by that time, it may be too late.

    Whats more important is that we speak out and do not let these people continue to deceive unsuspecting sheep.

  16. This is disgusting and humiliating. This is a result of people being accepted because of their gift, as long as they look a certain way or sound a certain way, as long as they have all of the tools to Pimp God’s people, and bring finance to the organization. Integrity and character is not a requirement.

    Bishop Jakes knew Bishop Taylor was a homosexual, Bishop Jakes knew of his reputation before Taylor ever left Philadelphia. Fellowhip Tabernacle was known for being perverse Bishop Taylor lead and left people hurt and broken without a Shepherd, just to cover and protect himself so he thought, but like David said, when he cover his feet his head would show, their is no hiding there is no lie that can protect what God is going top uncover. This just let’s us know that no one is exempt from exposure. People of God we must discern the times and the seasons, Jesus is on His Way back.

  17. JJ, I echo your sentiments. This is disgusting and humiliating for the church. TD Jakes may be celebrated by the church world and the world, but his own sins will find him out if he has not truly repented. Sin is no joke and has its own ultimate payback.

    A source told me that after GCMW broke this story, Taylor was thrown under the bus by Jakes and HGAAA company for corporate image purposes.

    That became clear after we got the “you better be quiet” letter from HGAAA headquarters.

  18. It is really wrong to try to argue that T.D. Jakes is not a Christian. Scripture teaches that ultimately only GOD can make a definitive statement. We need to be more careful with our claims and be more diligent to get facts straight before making claims against people.

  19. Arthur, I read your bio and this statement you made here seems to contradict the devotion to biblical truth expressed there.

    Let me ask how you can definitively say that an atheist or a muslim is not a Christian but when it comes to TD Jakes, you say that only God can make that definitive statement. How did you come to that conclusion?

    Secondly, what facts have we not gotten “straight”? Is the “people” TD Jakes or someone else mentioned in the article?
    Please be specific.

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