We don’t want another James Cleveland


James Cleveland’s very name conjures up images of all that is wrong with the black gospel music industry. He is revered by unrepentant homosexuals in the business for his fame, talent and larger than life persona which held the gospel music industry in its dark grip for 40 years until Cleveland’s death from AIDS in 1991.

In the wake of his death, the awful stories began to surface. Stories about Cleveland’s penchant for young boys and men who ventured into his Gospel Music of America Workshops. Some of them came looking for sexual hookups. That’s what they had been told could be expected. Sadly, the foul spirit in James Cleveland, which was not the spirit of the Lord, maintains an active presence in the GMWA. Its dark influence is even more pronounced on the black gospel music industry.

The worst of it was openly confirmed when Christopher Harris (Cleveland’s foster son) told a reporter that he and Cleveland carried on a sexual relationship for five years.

When he was 13, Harris was the only boy alto in the choir at Cleveland’s Los Angeles church. He was strapping 6 feet tall and looked 20.

Cleveland was a giant in the industry. He wrote more than 400 songs, recorded more than 100 albums, 16 of them gold, and won four Grammys. He founded the Gospel Music Workshop of America and mentored a young Aretha Franklin.

When he died in 1991 at age 59, 6,000 attended his funeral. Harris is now 25 and has HIV. “It has its moments, but mostly it doesn’t affect me unless there is stress,” said Harris, who is Cleveland’s former foster son.

Harris once went by the name Christopher Cleveland. That was before he filed suit against Cleveland’s estate alleging five years of sexual contact that ended with Harris testing positive for HIV.

“Legally, I became his,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Los Angeles.

The case was settled out of court. The terms prohibit him from discussing the settlement. But he is free to discuss his life with Cleveland.

“I went to his church. He looked into my face and saw my dreams and he used it,” he said. “I wanted to sing, I didn’t want to be like him. He promised that he would help me. He just played it to his advantage, he used my naiveness to his gain,” Harris said.

Harris said his sexual encounters with the older singer were not molestation. Nor, he said, were they his first such encounters with a man. He says that they were typical of the secretive lifestyle of many of the people to whom he was exposed.

“People in [Cleveland’s] inner circle knew, people at church knew,” he said. “But they pretended it didn’t exist. I guess what you don’t see you can’t say. But I can.”

“No. He didn’t die of heart failure–heart failure is just a delusion,” Harris said, nearly laughing. The he hesitated. “Let’s just leave it at that.”

This is the danger of the church’s continued silence and failure to take action against people weilding influence in the church while spreading spiritual and sexual destruction everywhere the soles of their feet land.

Whether Dr. Bobby Jones is the new James Cleveland remains to be seen. What we do know is that we do not want another “James Cleveland” terrorizing the church until he is dead, only for someone else to pick up that wicked mantle and continue the legacy. Bobby Jones has yet to clear up his theological stance on homosexuality. We thought he would be courageous enough to respond before the cancelled CNN show. A source within CNN told us on yesterday that Jones’ camp had been contacted to give a statement, but were given conflicting answers.

We also attempted contact with Dr. Jones through his secretary Danyelle Haley, but she hung up the phone in the face of the pastor who called to get their response. Haley also denied receiving emails from GCM Watch.

Message to the black church?

At the heart of this issue is why was Dr. Jones chosen to participate in this movie by the gay activists behind it?

When Barack Obama selected a white, gay cleric to pacify the protest against him for allowing Donnie McClurkin to sing on his “Change” tour in South Carolina, black gays were outraged. Why didn’t Obama choose a black, openly gay cleric to participate, they demaned to know. They argued it would raise the awareness of such individuals in the black community. Keith Boykin and the producers behind Dirty Laundry could have easily picked any number of black homosexual clergy who were “out”. But they didn’t. Instead, they choose a man who like James Cleveland was wrapped in controversy about his sexuality. And like Cleveland, Jones is a “kingmaker” in the gospel music industry. Scores of wannabe-the next-big-thing gospel music singers flock to his highly influential International Gospel Industry Retreat which some say rival Cleveland’s GMWA.

Was Jones’ appearance in the movie a message to the black church? Is the message that since your celebrated Bobby Jones accepts and endorses homosexuality, then why are you still being “homophobic”?

Whatever the nefarious message is, we are saying loud and clear: We don’t want another James Cleveland. Can the true church say amen?


65 thoughts on “We don’t want another James Cleveland

  1. I read Sylvia Rhue’s commentary and while she extolls the talent of and debt owed to James Cleveland for his pioneer work in gospel, the plight of his foster son is glaringly omitted. So is his own death due to AIDS.
    The ‘homophobic black church’ (as she puts it) was not there with a pointed gun forcing James Cleveland to engage in unprotected gay sex. Nor was it forcing him to exploit and infect his admittedly naive foster son.
    All the acceptance in the world would not have changed these 2 outcomes. They are the result of a grown man wilfully directing his own behavior.

  2. “All the acceptance in the world would not have changed these 2 outcomes”

    JJ, I’ll say amen to that. And Jones is trying to push the same message. And it still wont change the fundamental problem of sin and its consequences.

  3. Here again…what we are dealing with in these last days are the results of ignoring the obvious. That type of neglect never solved or healed anything. As a matter of fact, things get worse.

    Unfortunately, most of the gospel being preached, well at least what I hear or see on tv or radio, is weak and dull. Very rarely do I hear a sharp word that cuts straight to the soul to turn a man from sin to Jesus. So, until we preach “the whole coucil of God,” these matters will continue to be ignored and the situation will get worse. Hang on to your hats and your Bibles!

  4. This is so very tragic to read. If it wasn’t for this blog, I wouldn’t have known anything about Cleveland et.al.

    I just cannot fathom how people get away with such awful evil.

    Most AIDS victims are created through “sickness and death by gay sex.” To read about supposedly “Christian” pastors and people in gospel music taking advantage of young men sexually through promising them “a future” is so evilly oxymoronic there are just no words.

    Reading this saddens me no end.

    James said it right when he wrote that we need:

    “a sharp word that cuts straight to the soul to turn a man from sin to Jesus.”

    Thank you gcmwatch. I am praying for your ministry every day. May your efforts be the light through Christ that shines the everlasting truth on these issues. May the Light of the world make the cockroaches of evil scurry away from our beloved churches and young people, back into the dark corners where they can no longer harm those who seek Jesus!

  5. Christine, we’re sorry to have to report this wickedness, but that is one of their main tactics is to remain secretive. To this day, almost 2 decades after Cleveland’s death, there are people who still dont know the truth about him and ignorantly continue to “celebrate” his evil legacy.

    As both you and James noted, the darkness hates the light. It can only be destroyed with the sword of the Word and the light of the gospel.

    I know you know this but this wickedness has been noted by God and it will not escape his judgment. As the scripture says they will bring on themselves swift destruction. That of course is tendered by God’s infinite mercy and goodness, allowing them opportunity to repent.

  6. I have thought about this post and the accompanying photo for a few days becuase I wasn’t sure how I felt about what it/they implied. Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of Bobby Jones. I have long since gotten sick of the celebrity worship and fleshly singing that is a mainstay of his show. I also have my opinion about him as aperson…
    I am not sure that the blatant comparison between Bobby Jones and James Cleveland is fair and appropriate. Here are my reasons:
    1. James Cleveland is a known abuser of a minor child whom he called his son. If theyoung man was an official foster son or whether Mr. Cleveland positioned himself publicly as such for the sake of appearance; what he did was entirely immoral, illegal and a grave sin. He abused his trust as a guardian, an adult, a gospel music icon and an alleged man of God. He has damged this young man’s life and in all likeliehood shortened this man’s life. He has shamed the church andbrought a repraocah againstthe name of Christ as a sexual predator and a lying hypocrite.
    It is also apparent that his questionable legacy has led to a convention which doubles as a gay/lesbian hookup as well as a forum to promote black gospel music. This is not a new revelation.
    2. Bobby Jones has not been accused of such atrocious behavior except by anecdote or innuendo by some posters on other posts of a similar nature. I think the comparison does damage to the percieved reuptutation of Bobby Jones and borders on gosssipy slander. I know the heading says you don’t WANT another Jmes Cleveland but even that implies that Mr. Jones may have the potential to sexually abuse little boys or that you see his appearing in the movie, “Dirty Laundry” as somehow being comparable.

    3. I think Bobby Jones can be challenged around his participation in the movie without connecting his action to the behavior of James Cleveland.. I think it will cause readers to believe that James Cleveland and Bobby Jones engage in similar activities without proof. I see it as unneccessarily and volatile. You say in your own post that whetheror not Bobby and James will leave the same legacy “remains” to be seen. It seems akin to name calling and “talking behind the church fan” signifying. My opinion, that’s all. Thanks for the space and time.

  7. Elder Jimmy, your concerns are noted.

    The revelations about James Cleveland were not confirmed until after his death. Are you saying that we have to wait until Bobby Jones is dead several years for us to talk about this? Bobby Jones own public comments and behavior signal something very loudly. And it isnt holiness. Should we ignore that like they did Cleveland and find out later that he had destoyed the lives of many young men beside Christopher “Cleveland”?

    You are somewhat mistaken and perhaps have misunderstood. GCM Watch didnt state nor imply that Cleveland or Jones “may have the potential to sexually abuse little boys.” “Little boys” are much different that “young men” and congenial sexual activity with young men is not “abuse”. We did not draw that parallel. You may be using the terms interchangeably when that isnt the case. The issue here isn’t child sexual abuse, but the participation in and endorsement of homosexuality and homosexual activities by self-proclaimed Christian man with major influence in a highly visible segment of the church.

    Cleveland and Jones are comparable in many ways, thus the photo used is an appropriate expression of the article. You may see it as church fan gossip, but the spiritual damage being spread by Bobby Jones (the movie is only a symptom) is anything but trivial gossip. His open support and endorsement of homosexuality is not only treasonous to the Body of Christ, it is a seductive threat to many young men who struggle with homosexuality and could get up in his web of deceit.

  8. Thanks for your response.

    I should not have used the term little boys in my comment as it complicated and confused the point I was trying to make.
    Of course I am not saying you have to wait “until Bobby Jones is dead….” What I am saying is that Bobby Jones’ issue on it’s face, is not the same issue as James Cleveland’s as you presented it in your story. You brought in the story of his foster son, AIDS and his abuse of this youing man (boy at the time, of 13, years). That issue is apart from the issue you initially raised with Mr. Jones’ appaearance in Dirty Laundry; to wit; Bobby Jones sanctions homosexuality and does not hold a scriptural view of that behavior. He has nothing to do with what James Cleveland did with the young man nor the devastation of that man’s life, though you used it as the hook to your story and then confessed that it remains to be seen
    The comarison of the two personalities is, presently, unfair , as I view it. This is clearly implied by the pairing of each man’s photograph with ther respective titles to lead the observer and reader to believe that there may be a similar behavior pattern based on the simlar positoning in the gospel music industry.
    Plesse don’t misunderstand me. I am not at all against what you are trying to do. I have a similar history to some of he young men who “get caught up”. I was also taken advantage of by a alleged Christan musician and teacher when I was a boy. Thank GOD I got away from him when I was about 14 years old. I am very much aligned with your fight and I support you and it.
    I merely contend that you did indeed draw the parallel between Bobby and James’ potential sexual proclivites for young men or 13 year old boys by attaching Christopher’s story. It all flows together. If the issue isn’t sexual abuse why then did you attach a story about it? Again, I appalaud the purpose for the site. Iahve been very honest wuith people in my part of the vineyard about my history and challenge false beleifs about homosexuality constantly in my church and personal life. Iam not against you. I don’t ee what you did as fair.

  9. Thanks Elder Jimmy for clarifying your perspective.

    I will say again that the comparison is more than justified.

    The article cited stated that Christopher Cleveland was 13 when he joined the choir. It does not say nor imply that the sexual relationship began when he was 13. Neither do we.

    However, his joining the choir certainly facilitated the sexual relationship at whatever time/age it began. At the time of the writing CC was I believe 25.

    The broader issue is that the correlation between the two is more than just mere coincidence. And in our view the connection needed to be made as a warning that we will not huddle quietly and pray hoping that by some sort of spiritual osmosis things will change.

    PS: thanks for sharing your personal perspective on the story. I was molested at 13 in the church and propositioned at age 17 in the church (physical building) so I have little sympathy for the wolves hiding behind their talents, popularity and sometimes scripture.

  10. I have worked with many of the top ‘Gospel’ Artists over the years, and can state emphatically, that homosexuality runs rampant in the industry. There are few if any attempts to admonish or correct, to counsel or convict. Merely to hide it while on stage and glorify it everywhere else. I will not mention names (though there are many, Rondy Long is dead on in his list on Youtube) because they are well known. What I saw made me understand that the ‘Gospel’ music BUSINESS is not ministry at all…. Dr. Cleveland was neither the first nor will he be the last, and to be honest, we are like Legion, because we have many…

  11. EBT, thanks for that sober assesement.

    Let’s talk reform. Do you think that reform is possible?

    First of all in a corporate sense within the gospel music industry and secondly among individuals?

    And though homosexuality is reported commonly to be rampant, Im sure there are those who have “not bowed the knee to Baal.” what of them and why wont they speak out and lead the charge for change?

    Perhaps no one really knows what to do.

  12. GCMW,
    Reform… Is it possible? Of course, because nothing is impossible with God.
    Is it probable in my opinion? In a Corporate sense, Not in the least, because in order for there to be reform, there must be conviction and repentance in place of the congratulation and acceptance. I am skeptical, but (thank God) I am not God.
    Among individuals, I believe things are more likely to change. There are those of us whom God has commanded to ‘Come out from among them’, and those whom God has called to stand as a beacon in the dark. They will draw others. Of this I am sure.
    Blessings to You,

  13. One thing I am noticing is that the world and the church is getting more and more wicked as the days go by. People are sittin up in the church arguing about the fact that Obama picked a white gay cleric instead of a black one. Either way if they don’t get their souls together they going to hell. We can’t see that the devil is only deceiving us by making small issues like this big, so we don’t see the bigger picture which is their are souls dying everyday and going to hell. I believe being homosexual is a legitimate struggle just like smoking, being a sex addict, or being a drug attic. The struggle isn’t the sin, but the action is. So you shouldn’t even be putting yourself on a pedistal if you are practicing homsexuality . You shouldn’t be putting yourself on the pedistal if your practicing gossip. God is trying to tell us to get our lives together and stop worrying about this stuff that doesn’t mean anything.

  14. Blessings to you Angel!
    Your points are well taken with the exception of one. You said:
    “God is trying to tell us to get our lives together and stop worrying about this stuff that doesn’t mean anything.”

    By ‘This stuff’ I assume that you are referring to this thread, and its topic. This thread is about the Holiness of God. , and the holiness of God is not a small issue, it is THE issue… “As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16).
    In other words, It is written : We are to be holy, as our God is holy!

    That’s the point of this thread, and this blog. Gospel music, by title and definition is the Gospel set to Music. A vehicle for spreading the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ, sung (ideally), by vessels called and set apart (anointed and consecrated) for His glory and service.
    Does that accurately describe what ‘gospel’ music is today? I daresay not.
    When the temple priests, the ones who claim to go before God on behalf of the people (look at the titles like: “The Prince of Praise”, “The ambassador of Gospel music”, “The King of Gospel Music” to name a few) are corrupt, unrepentant and continually giving in to… lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves (Romans 1:24) Who will speak out??
    Someone must.
    Someone must be like the prophets of old, and shout …‘REPENT’

    Remember beloved, that Romans 1:18 says: ‘For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness’… If our musicians/singers/producers/preachers condone, cover and indulge, for the sake of the next dollar, who will be the voice crying out in the wilderness?
    Someone must.
    Someone must.

  15. Thanks EBT for your comments. I wholeheartedly agree.

    Has the church forgotten that Jesus FIRST message was REPENT for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

    Notice he didnt say “love” for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Sin is a deterrent to real love. And if we fail to repent and encourage others that repentance is not needed, then we can NEVER expect God to agree with what we do. No matter how good and spiritual it looks.

    I still dont see why the word repentance is such a rejected command in the church. But everybody preaching about love and acceptance.

    We’re on the wrong track and we need to get back into the right position with God which is humility, truth and righteousness.

    FINAL: Sin is a reproach to any man!

  16. Job, thanks for this link. I did read this a while back. The problem with it is that the writer sees the issue in favor of the homosexual church crowd and its talent based popularity. He suggests a truce with gays on the premise that they have contributed so much to the gospel music industry. He conveniently left out that Yvette Flunder is an open lesbian instead painting her as some sort of angelic humanitarian. This is problematic because it attempts to stage a fight between homosexuals and the black church. The real battle is between unrepentant homosexuals in the church and God’s word. Despite the hypocrisy, God’s Word remains the same.

    I did a much fuller story on both Cleveland and Sylvester in 2002 in my book Touching A Dead Man. Thats where you will see the horror of their lives and the devastating impact they have had on gospel music.

  17. Kinda late, but I have to say this…

    I knew about Cleveland, for many, many years.

    I wish people would stop blaming “homophobia” for “down-low”, or actually just…low down behavior. Choosing to live a deceptive life (that includes deceiving those who’ve put their trust in you) because the heat that comes with being honest about who you are is a bit too hot, is irresponsible, callous and dead wrong.

    If it became a crime to be homosexual in this country, that STILL wouldn’t provide a legit excuse for men and women to deceive others, regarding their sexual orientation.

    The “black church” is a hot mess. God help us. Until we get back to being “the church”, as in the Body of Christ, and less into trying to be a center for social justice and networking opportunities, we’ll continue to be a mess.

    The message of The Gospel — man’s profound spiritual dilemma, with Christ (crucified and resurrected) as our only solution to that dilemma, is the message of the church. Anything the church “does”
    is centered around Christ, and mankind’s need for a relationship with The Savior of The World.

    Homosexuality is not God’s design, for humankind. Never has been. Never will be.

  18. ANG,
    not too late. Thanks for lending your voice in support of holiness.

    That’s God’s way and we must agree with God to the exclusion of all others who would do otherwise.

    I will say it again we must have a radical return to teaching and preaching sound doctrine.

  19. Homosexuality would not be so prevelant in the black church if it was not overlooked, condoned, winked-at, and participated in from the pulpit. Who do you think hires the music staff in most churches? If not the pastor its the lay leadership.

    This thing has been in place and accepted for years. As far as GMWA, it was a grand idea that was completely and utterly corrputed by its tactical acceptanceand promotion the gay/homosexual lifestyle.

    Read the memorial list of GMWA officials and notables who left this life from the bug. Its extensive. Cleveland was a gifted musical genius who was the Queen Mother of the takeover of gospel music by the gay movement.

  20. Contact the GMWA office. Bishop Albert Jamison is Chairman and request the official memorial list read during Sunday night convacation since the mid 80s,

    Start Here:
    Albert Hadley: New Orleans Gospel Soul Children

    Donald Vails GMWA National Mass Choir Director (Washington DC & Atlanta)

    John Hason (Music Director/Songwriter/Pianist) Cleveland Singers

    Rev. Charles Nix (Detroit) Pastor St James Baptist Church Exec VP GMWA

    Olanda Draper (Memphis, Tn) Major Gospel Artist

    William (WC) Bryant GMWA National board Member (Dallas)

    GCMW: Adub, thanks for this information. But you need to stop changing your name when you post. 🙂
    I do think that these men and their lives are chilling reminders from God that unless you repent and turn now from your sins, this is what could possibly befall you, your talents and your “legacy”. I will ask aloud again is there ANY gospel artist/singer/musician ALIVE TODAY that has the spiritual nerve to rise up, confront this evil spirit and bring back the glory of God into gospel music? WHERE ARE YOU???

  21. I am just out done to say the least. I just dont understand how so called saved folks let this go on and knew what he was but still continued to support him.

    Why is it that we can turn our noises up to the Catholic Preist when we have these type of pedophiles in our churches, over our children ruining them before they even have a chance to start their lives.

    Again I just really can not believe this man’s music that I grew up listening to and still sing in my church today was GAY and no felt that some type of incession needed to be done to call him into genuine repentence! Just think about how many young lives were ruined because no one exercised the power of the holy ghost to cast out those demons.

  22. I know of someone personally that James cleveland “turned out” as a very young man trying to break into gospel music. It is a shame that this happens and is a grievous sin. I know we have all sinned and come short of the glory, but this is waaaay out of order for this type of activity to go on in the church. I hope there is not a movement to tryo to promote homosexuality in the church. that can never fly.

  23. I cant tell you who Cleveland turned out, but look at who was around him as his piano & Organ Players. John Hason ,Keith Pringle , Kurt Karr.

    There is no new movement to promote homosexuality in the church. its been on the instruments for years. Pastors and lay leaders have promoted the agenda by hiring and promoting these queens.

    If It was not in the pulpit, it would t be on the instruments. I protested for years by not hiring them. Besides, they never gravitated to the churches where i managed the departments.

    If the Tenor & Bass sections of your choir is infested, and the keyboards are aflame, then the pulpit condones or is quietly playing the game.

    GCMW: edited

  24. Straight Up Organ Player,

    I can recall when Kurt Carr had his “Sanctuary” hit and released a live performance video as well.
    There sitting in the seat of honor (front pew at the live recording) was Walter Hawkins and his gay lover.
    I knew right then and there that Kurt must be happy with openly gay leaders. And it leads one to then surmise he’s in that boat himself.

    This stuff is SOO not hidden.


  25. Speaking of….
    JJ, did you see the VERY strange Walter Hawkins interview on TBN last night? Carmen interviewed him. I will see if I can find the video.

    It was VERY STRANGE. Did anyone else see it?

  26. Edited by GCMW. Straight up, there’s no need for those kinds of designators. Lets criticize doctrinal error, and any public actions which disavow glory to God.

  27. As a organist for 43 years in both COGIC and PAW, I have seen more that my share of homesexuals in the church from the pulpit to the door and it’s condoned because of what The Bible said would happen in the last days; (I Timothy 4:1 thru3; 2 Timothy 3:1 thru 9) Contrary to popular opinion, Holiness is still right and without which “no man shall see The Lord”. Hebrews 12:14. Romans 1: 18 thru 32 clearly explains how homesexuality started in the church and those of us “who believe and know the truth” MUST, STAND UP AND SPEAK UP AND OUT against sin and for Holiness!

  28. It is so sad to see homosexuals being promoted in the church. COGIC is one of the largest promoters of homosexuals in the church as they are ordaining elders that are gay everyday! I have a guestion tho. Did Charles Nicks die of aids?

  29. First I would like to say, that everyone is not getting the point. Being gay is not a sin, it never said that in the bible. What is the problem is that the black church is being just like the world. And what the problem is, is that the black church is not talking about every sin, and if everyone is saying be holy be holy, then follow the whole bible. Now if you can do that then you can say something, but remember Jesus said he that has not sin cast the first stone. I see that the church made themselves think that they know who God is, well we still don’t know him fully. Ears have not heard no eyes have not seen. His thoughts are not our thoughts. God is not in a box we are! James Cleveland is human and yes what he did was wrong, but it was forced by the black church always making things worst. Keeping gay in the dark and not trying to understand, so you have people who are not being lead by the church correctly doing what they want.

  30. Shocking! I NEVER even DREAMED, in my wildest imaginations that James Cleveland was a homosexual or that he died of AIDS. Today is in the month of May, Two Thousand EIGHT! He died in the nineties, and I’m now, JUST NOW, learning about this. I’m saddened because he had such a talent. I wish I could sing! I wish the Lord had given me such a wonderful gift and talent of being able to sing and/or play ANY kind of musical instrument! I have a horrible voice, and no talent for playing any kind of instrument in spite of taking lessons on several different kinds of instruments, but if I had a musical talent, it would be used in the name of Jesus.

  31. I found this site today in doing keyword searches on pulpit pimps. I’m glad I did. Blessings to this much-needed ministry.

    I’m deeply saddened by this revelation about James Cleveland. I had absolutely NO idea so was shocked when I read the article.

    Sometimes I can scarcely discern Christians from the world, even from “front row” vantage points within–INSIDE–the church; and I totally agree with James in his post dated on December 7th, 2007 at 6:13 am

    [QUOTE]: “Unfortunately, most of the gospel being preached, well at least what I hear or see on TV or radio, is weak and dull. Very rarely do I hear a sharp word that cuts straight to the soul to turn a man from sin to Jesus.” [END QUOTE]

    I agree. I have been searching for a church for two years–one that has a TRUE, man of God–a man who has been called out, separated, sanctified and anointed by the Holy Spirit, who knows Scripture and (without fear) will uncompromisingly teach the unadulterated, pure, Word of God rather than spewing rhetoric or giving opinion! I think I would cry from the sheer joy of it. I was in such a church a few years ago, and it was such a blessing. It’s not easy go back to less, to settle for milk after being blessed with the meat of the Word.

  32. Speaking to “The Truth Seeker” (in spiritual love)

    I don’t understand. Gay is a fairly new word coined by homosexuals and friends and family of homosexuals; and apparently the word, “gay” sounds better than the word, “homosexual,” I’m assuming. However, “a rose by any other name is still a rose.”

    I’ve never seen the word “gay” in the Bible as a word for homosexuals. As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen the word, “homosexual” in the Bible, (I read the KJV)so this may be the reason for the confusion in my understanding of what the poster meant by stating that being gay is not a sin.

    Are you speaking of a person who is currently a “practicing” homosexual or “gay” person, or one who was a homosexual, but has repented and turned away? If he (or “she”) had been practicing the sin of homosexuality but has repented and turned away, then he/she no longer is “gay” or “homosexual”

    The Bible uses words such as “effeminate,” and “lying with mankind as with womankind,” in speaking of this particular sin. Here are some of those examples and all are from the KJV:

    1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor EFFIMINATE. nor abusers of themselves with mankind. (emphasis mine)

    Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    What the Bible teaches is much clearer than what man prefers to teach and believe.

    After turning away from any sin, including homosexuality the verse below tells the rest of the story:

    1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

  33. I must first of all say, may God forgive all of those who sin, because we all do. I must say I am deeply hurt by what, I have read about the late Rev. James Cleveland. I am not here to say weather the things said about James Cleveland being an homosexual is are isn’t true.

    I can’t say this I wasn’t there when these horrible acts took place, but it is wrong and whom ever had a hand in it is also wrong and is just as guilty for knowing and not speaking up. I however have to wonder, what has the world, or even the church come to, God didn’t intend for these things to take place in his house.

    I pray God have mercy on anyone’s soul who have taken part in any of these evil acts and putting up a front using the church for their evil doings. I would first in far most have to ask everyone, whom reads this and that is ask yourself a question.

    The question is why did it take until after James Cleveland death for his foster son and anyone else who know of this, to speak out about this, because truth be told, as I said before all whom had a hand in this is just as guilty for knowing and not speaking up and out about the evil.

    I do however feel sorry for the young man, because no young person should have to go through what the young man has been through and still has to deal with for the rest of his life.

    In my close I would like to say God bless everyone.

  34. I am deeply disturbed to find out that one of the gospel music pioneers struggled with homosexuality. But on the other hand whatsoever is done in the darkness shall be made manifest in tne light. I also know that in these last days people will not adhere to sound doctrine, so it is a very vital thing to teach our children about HOLINESS before their young lives are destroyed by filth that is highly published within the christian body. WAKE UP CHURCH and lets represent christ in the earth.

  35. “it is a very vital thing to teach our children about HOLINESS before their young lives are destroyed by filth that is highly published within the christian body. WAKE UP CHURCH and lets represent christ in the earth.”

    Pastor Wallace, thanks for those words. We may not be able to change everything or stop everything, but we can teach our children holiness and demonstrate it before them so they have an example to follow.

  36. I am very saddened to learn about who James Cleveland really was after all these years…when my husband told me I argued with him and said “NO” that is not so…i then decided to follow up because i have just started attending the GMWA since 2007 representing a chapter from the carribbean and witnessed so much……..This Gospel really needs to be preached in its fullness….and the word of God must be rightly divided…….this is no time to for true men and women of God to be silent……….For the hour has come so that the True worshippers needs to come forth…IN JESUS NAME!


    GCMW: Edited

  38. Hello,

    First let me say (not to receive pitty or shame), I have been sexually abused as a child and for many years struggle and did some perverse things in my life with the same sex. I thank God for having his hand on my life since a child (not saying He bestowed this apon me). My mom has been on drugs all my life and thus cared about pleasing herself more than looking out for her son. She did not protect me like a guardian is suppose. My father was never there and still have no idea where he is.

    I remember when I was around 12 yrs old and my neighbor introduce masterbation to me and did all manner of nasty to me, I heard a Voice tell me Homosexuality is wrong. Well because of my mothers lack of judgement she allowed me to stay with her friends children who were MUCH older than I when she would leave me there, he would use fear like scary faces or fear manipulation to make me (7 yrs old at the time) conform to what he wanted to do with me. From there I struggled heavily! But God’s hands have always been on me! I fight daily not to go back to that spirit (cause that is what it is a spirit and not brokenness). For something to be broken leaves the possibility to be fixed in that state. So if homosexuality is brokenness then if fixed you will be a fixed homosexual. NOT SO! It is a spirit that needs to be broken out of people (deliverance). I can say that that spirit attaches itself through being broken!

    Now veiwing this I hope Cleveland turned from his wicked ways or hell is his portion. I feel bad for his foster son. I just have no tolerance for this type of mess!

    Pray Saints Pray for the State of the Body of Christ!

  39. Oh I had a dream when I was young (that is how God deals with me. In the dream I was invited to sing at Bobby Jones gospel special. I began to minister and the judgment and prophetic annointing of God fell on me. I began to caution Bobby Jones and his Tenor Section of his choir about their behavior and the judgement that it will bring if they didnt repent. Another lady was there and also prophesied (no clue who she is). The choir wept and Bobby Jones got mad with me cause I was not like all the others that come on his show meaning I did not compromise!

  40. My brother thank you for that testimony. Our greatest responsibility as Christians is to obey God. It is through obedience TO HIM that our LOVE FOR HIM is clearly expressed.

    I share your feelings towards wolves and sheep killers.
    They will find no sanctuary until they openly repent. David did not tolerate the lion or the bear but instead slew them because they came to destroy the sheep.

    God bless you and I pray that he cover you as you stand tall for Him.

    The devil is a liar and God is exalted. Like you, I experienced much devastation early in life sexually and it led me into a lifestyle that only God could free me from.

    I refuse to be silent or passive while wolves roam the churches and the music conventions looking for more victims to destroy.

  41. Everyone needs to stand up and put a stop to this sin. It is killing so many men and women. Its a sickness but most of all its a spirit that has taken hold of the aa church. I’ve been out at a conference and I ve met married pastors that are fooling around with other men. Its disgusting and sick. We need the Lord. Perversion is running so rampant in the church. I went to two churches and men were too busy staring at the next man coming in instead of listening to the sermon. Why? People are drawn to sin even in the church. I am saddened. I went to a church that had two women holding hands and rubbing each other backs. When are we going to say enough is enough. Take back what the devil has stolen.

  42. I have read everyones responses to the start of this blog, yes James Cleveland and others. Why, what happened? Are we so “saved” that we have no help for the lost. Yes lead them to Christ, but what supports are given afterwards. I being a young talented musician of the church had been molested many times by older men (pastors (1), musicians (muliple) and some lay person (unnamed), raped, abused, used and mistreated by the socalled religious preachers and musicians, music stolen. The betrayal of men of God was deep and hurtful. Yet I for years remained silent, and eventually after growing up, got into the same pattern of life and,became the same person as to whom lead me to the water (so to speak).

    Thank God I was caught through my own confessions and brought to justice. I dont look at that in the negative but celebrate my deliverance and stand now to inform those of whom I may, that people are still out there. Young musicians be warned, you could be next if you allow the enemy to creep in. DONT DO IT DUMMY! God can and will keep you. The dinners you are invited to after a “high” service, the apartment you are invited to that has keyboard for practice. The gentle rub on the leg and shoulder, attempting to change the way you think, while using your talent and body for their own selfesh desires. RUN! The James Clevelands (if these facts are true) are still out there, in every church, in every conference, in every revival.

    Though you may not be abuse at such a young age as I 10 years old plus…..and though you may not become an abuser also, the stains of guilt, the feeling of shame, the hurt that no one will understand will stay with you until God restores your joy. You can and will be delivered, but why go there when you dont have to.

    Im preparing to take the message out, though I will be rediculed for my past and judged over and over, but I understand what lead to the events in my life, though some say I could have stopped, but my thoughts had become distorted and my ways foul.

    Old men, you are reading this just as I, some still in it, repent, get right and bring yourself out of that distorted thinking. Abusers, stop, get help, even if it means going to do time, if you go repentant with a Godly sorrowful heart, you can bring change. For too long young black childern (singers, musicians) have been preyed upon like I was. For too long their talent pimped and bodies misused, STOP!

    FOR THE CHURCH, you must be able to see, pray, and act. Those that have been mislead, used or abused, comfort and restore. Those that are in need of deliverance help them seek the Face of God dont run them away. Those that are still sitting in positions but are in sin, in love sit them down, yet work on them with the Word of God and Love of God.

    This that is in the church is like weeds, you may have to pull, pull pull, even use weed killer (Power of Holy Ghost) but eventually it will leave. But if the church does not work on it, run from it, or just put it out, nothing will be accomplished, nothing will be delivered and the door will revolve open again for the next one. Yes take a stand NO MORE! Yet be wise, stern, and unwavering. I believe if James and others had the “right” people, doing the “right” thing, praying the “right” prayers, God would have exposed, brought deliverance, and the songs of Zion would have continued but with true Holiness.

    I am a product of Holiness now, but what would I have been if I was never open enough with myself and true to God that I needed help and moreso I needed Him more than the sin.

  43. I am a pastor who followed the leadership of one of the pastors who allegedly died of AIDS. What a dreadful assignment. I was castigated and stigmatized by the large gay community in and outside of the church, many of them were pastors and leaders of the community who though they may not have been openly gay were homosexual sympathizers who made me look like the enemy because I was not condoning of the life style. I like them and all of us have imperfections and fall short of the glory of God. God is willing to forgive all manner of sin. Its time now for the chuch of the living God to repent from the pulpit to the street corners and run into the everlasting, ever loving arms of a merciful God while there is time. ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS SIN.

  44. I’ve just found this website and have been reading, some what in shock. Firstly , we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, but this doesn’t excuse continued sinful behavior. I am COGIC and believe the founding principles of our church to be in accordance to God’s will.

    However, I am torn on the gay issue, I can’t believe a loving God would allow a child to be born gay and then condemn him with the scripture. Therefore, contrary to any scientific research, I repute that theory.

    But we have to love and treat all people as we would want to be treated. So , I challenge all people reading this to look for possible solutions to ridding your local churches of spiritual wickedness in high places.

    Remember that Christ said that he was married to the Backslider. Pray for your brothers and sisters who have left to faith to follow after the sins of the flesh. May the love of God bless all the readers of this message.

  45. It is important again to be very careful what is said about people without factual information. Not to defend Rev. Cleveland but to point out the fact the him dying in AIDS is only rumor and speculation and not a fact. The foster son is truly a victim in this case any child that has been abused in any for will be greatly affected in their lives and must be prayed for. Stories surface all the time but again only God knows the truth. Everyone has a weakness or a spirit that they deal with, for example for Rev. Cleveland it could have been homosexuality for others it could be the need for sex period, pornography, drugs abuse and so on. This doesn’t make Rev. Cleveland any less human then all of us. The church needs to continue to tell the truth and create a place where all and come and be delivered from the sins and issues and find a refuge from the world. We need to lift each other up and not tear each other down. This does not mean ignoring homosexuality but it means to make it know along with all other sin that goes on in the world.

  46. “The church needs to continue to tell the truth and create a place where all and come and be delivered from the sins and issues and find a refuge from the world. We need to lift each other up and not tear each other down. This does not mean ignoring homosexuality but it means to make it know along with all other sin that goes on in the world.”

    I agree with most of this statement. The problem that I have is that people think websites like this are PICKING on homosexuality. It’s not. The homosexual agenda has succesfully infiltrated the church and is doing so right now. This website is waking others up to that fact. You say “all other sin”. “All other sin” does not have movements and organizations dedicated to mistranslating scripture to change what the bible says and dialoguing with churches to change their views. When I see the movement “Liars for Jesus” or “Fornicators for Holiness” then this argument will make more sense. I don’t see a widespread movement trying to change the fact that all “liars shall have their part in the lake of fire.”

  47. “Not to defend Rev. Cleveland but to point out the fact the him dying in AIDS is only rumor and speculation and not a fact.”

    Based on the public reports it is a fact. What is your evidence that its not a fact? Not only is it a fact but it is important to point that out so that people stop seeing homosexuality as some sort of benign feeling with no consequences. That’s very immature and deadly idea that the church must not let take root. Homosexual sin has consequences and death caused AIDS is one of those consequences. People should know that so that it remains a deterrent to the vunerable, especially the young.

  48. The body of Christ need to get right before the wrath of God clean the whole church good and bad will be affected. My cousin married an apostle who was caught doing some not so pleasant things to some young boys in his church. He went to prison for three years. Now the apostle is in a wheelchair for the past 8 years. God IS NOT PLAYING. All sins will be judged. The pastors with the chick on the side is just as bad as that pedohiler. The pastors with outside babies are just as bad in God’s eyes. Repent, Repent and turn from your EVIL ways.

  49. to gmcwatch May God forever keep you safe is in my prayers.

    thank you for all of this information. I notice that you report the truth in love and with the word of God to bring people to getting
    saved, healed, and delivered.

    prehap, you should start a healing ministry.

    there are a lot of people hurting out there.

    my two neices and nephew who are now in their early teens
    was all sexual molested at the age of 6 months, 1 year, and
    2 years of age.
    this was done by the mother boyfriend, as she lay in the same area drugged up.

    Protected Service brought the childrens to me. I kept them for 4 years. I spent many days and night praying, crying, angry with my neice for allowing this to happen to all of her
    But God told me one night that he would heal the babies if
    would just trust him, give him the hurt, the pain, and the unforgiveness and he would give me peace so that I would
    be able to help the babies. well, to make a long story short;
    i did just that and with God help, studying the word of God, praying, fasting and believing God, He did just what he promised.
    There is absolutely nothing that God can not do. I am a living witness.
    Today, the children are ok, there is no memory of all the bad things that happened to them.

    now, here we are in the house of the Lord, and leaders are
    closing their ear to the cry for help. i know that God is not at all pleased with. let us stand up who know the truth with one voice “WE WILL NOT BE SILENT ANYMORE”

  50. Praise God for this wonderful testimony. God is indeed a healer of broken hearts and wounded spirits.

    Thank you so much for your encouragement and for speaking up for the least of these.

  51. I attended my first GMWA Convention in 1983 (St. Louis) and a some after that (Detroit, Chicago, Houston). I grew up in the church as a young musician and knew what may be expected of me to “make it” in the business. My godfather Walter Younge, who himself was gay, told me what not to do, say, go alone. I thank God and him for that advice and know that only the grace of God kept me form that lifestyle. Someone said reform. It’s possible but it has to start at the local church or grassroots. Pastors who think gays play and direct better or put on a better Sunday morning show, Then those of us who are true to the calling of the ministry MUST stand up and make our voices heard and God’s glory known. I challenge some on to step up and take gospel business and challenge it with your desire to take care of the business of the gospel. Rappers display their lifestyle openly, Country singers demonstrate their lifestyle openly, Rock stars disclose their lifestyle openly. Where are the openly straight gospel musicians and singers? When we stand and say for God I’ll live and for God I’ll die? I’m one of them (and I don’t mean THEM) but them of the straight and narrow way today! Anyone else ready to declare your straightness? God gets the Glory!!!

  52. That would mean some of these gospel musicians and pastors who are gay are also in heterosexual marriages? I thought Bobby Jones was married. I also heard that [names deleted] are gay? Aren’t they too in heterosexual marriages?

    These are serious allegations that are life threatening and an abomination.

    I’m concerned about the wives who condone this type of lifestyle? Is it denial, shame, fame or what? Why do the wives or the other woman take a second seat to this type of life?

    Any comments?

  53. I think that the only good response to this article is that we forget about forgiveness and love.

    THe songs that came from the whole James Cleveland era became very important to people … hundreds if not thousands … who when they hear the songs and plays the songs … are uplifted and invited to belong to Jesus the Christ.

    If God so chooses to use a James Cleveland or a Bobby Jones or a Oral Roberts or who ever or even what ever He chooses to bring sinners into His loving arms… then who are we to judge God and challenge His authority.

    Solomon made mistakes too … as did David whom God cherished.

    Certainly there are false prophets in the world. But be careful about judging others. It’s really not our place. And if God isn’t going to judge anyone until they are before His throne … why do we claim God’s throne and do His job for Him so much.

    We always forget to forgive – and to love.
    so disappointing.

  54. As I read through these comments my mind goes in many directions. As a theologian, I realize that all of us who are saved are being saved from the dominion of sin. Moreover, I would be ignorant not to say that we struggle with sin and will struggle with sin until this body is redeemed when Christ returns for his church. Nevertheless, that fact does not absolve us or give us the liberty to willfully sin. The reality, in accordance to Romans 8, we are being sanctified daily by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is this sanctification that moves from sinful living to holy living without being legalistic.
    Now as I examine the life of James Cleveland through the lens of Christ this is my conclusion. I believe he was saved. You can hear it in his music and see that he had a passion for Christ. I also believed he struggled, sans Romans 7:25-31, which teaches that even Paul on his best day struggled with doing the right thing. Who knows Cleveland could have longed just like Paul to be delivered from this wretched body of destruction, knowing that our hope is in Messiah, Jesus our savior.
    In closing, I am by no means codoning homosexuality or premarital sex or lying or any other sin. Last time I checked sin is sin, but I am confident in knowing that Christ can and does save, heal, deliver, and set people free. Do we all struggle with sin, the answer is yes. However, by the power of the Holy Spirit, prayer, accountability, study of scriptures, and fellowship with believers we can overcome the dominion of sin.
    So what is the church to do? We are to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Then we are to disciple the saved. Discipling goes beyond just preaching to them, but it is walking with believers as they mature in Christ, teaching them the ways of the Lord.

  55. Jee, while I agree with you theologically, you are not considering several factors in your comparisons of Cleveland with Paul or his Roman writings.

    There exists no record of Paul infecting people with sexual diseases, engaging in a consistent pattern of sexual immorality or living a duplictious lifestyle.

    Can the same be said of Cleveland? You say he is/was saved? But does salvation constitute continuing in a pattern of willful sin despite your “desire” not to do it? Isnt that mocking God and what message does that send to people who have disciplined themselves and not engaged in this behavior neither have they desired to? Can people like Cleveland live a rag tag life and then scoot into heaven just because they “desired” to live right?

    You are going way off track in trying to smooth things over for Cleveland. Why not just tell the truth and tell people they need to live right. Come from among them and be ye separated saith the Lord and I will receive you unto myself.


  57. Caddigirl dont feel bad a lot of people didnt know and it has allowed church creeps like Jones and others of his ilk to spread their nasty beliefs without any scrutiny.
    No more. We are watching and we will speak out.

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