Internal trouble may be brewing at Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies headquartered in Columbus, OH. GCM Watch confirmed today through a confidential source that Detroit Bishop Andrew Merritt has left the denomination over issues uncovered by this blog in August 2007. Merritt had served as the organization’s second assistant (or vice) bishop behind Bishop TD Jakes and presiding bishop Sherman Watkins. Merritt’s name is longer listed on HGAAA’s clergy roster.
GCM Watch reported that a former member of the organization’s episcopacy Bishop Robert Taylor was deeply involved in a religious homosexual organization, The Fellowship while still apparently enjoying a level of fellowship with HGAAA. Bishop Merritt apparently felt some measure of deception over this situation and decided to leave the organization. After our initial report, Taylor’s name was quickly removed from the organization’s website.
We later received an official e-letter from the organization stating that GCM Watch had engaged in slander and defamation, but gave no specifics and then refused to clarify the circumstances around Taylor’s association and departure. Because we were not at liberty to reveal other information we received, we challenged HGAAA to prove its accusations. Via email, they refused further dialogue.
Calls were made to Straight Gate Church, requesting affirmation or denial of Bishop Merritt’s disassociation with HGAAA, but the media representative (called “helps ministries”) had not returned that call at the time of publication.