COGIC and Bishop still silent on sexual abuse and gay clergy

The COGIC Arkansas bishop who allegedly ignored critical allegations should be removed from office if proven that he indeed sat on information from parents of teen boys who had been molested by a pastor under his charge. 

But don’t hold your breath waiting for the administration of Bishop Charles Blake to move expeditiously and address the growing cloud of clergy sexual scandals attached to its name. Its been five months since Ronald Paige of Earle, Ar was found murdered and several weeks since the allegations of his secret life and crimes were uncovered by Memphis media. But there has been not a single statement from Bishop LT Walker, Bishop Blake, or COGIC.

Witnesses have said they reported Paige’s actions to Bishop LT Walker, but Paige stayed in office until he was murdered by a 21 year old homeless man he allegedly attempted to rape.

Regarding reporting sexual abuse of children, the law is clear and does not exclude ministers for any reason. In April 2003 the Arkansas legislature amended the list of mandatory child abuse reporters to include ministers. The amendment added the following category to a long list of mandatory reporters: “Any clergyman, which includes a minister, priest, rabbi, accredited Christian Science practitioner, or other similar functionary of a religious organization, or an individual reasonably believed to be so by the person consulting him or her, except to the extent he or she has acquired knowledge of suspected maltreatment through communications required to be kept confidential pursuant …”

A looming question hampers holding bishops in the church truly accountable. Do COGIC jurisdictions or its national church keep documented records of sexual abuse cases on file?  Is there a paper trail from the crime to church authorities? Based on the law, could authorities inspect those files for patterns of withholding information of sex criminals?

Gwen Fox’s 15 year old son Tobias was molested by COGIC General Board member Bishop John Husband in a Memphis hotel room during the national convocation in 1981. Fox said that she was repeatedly told that she should not “go against” the scripture by taking the church to the law over the case. Although she personally went to Memphis and plead for her son’s cause and personally mailed certified letters to every member of the General Board detailing the crime, she received no justice for what happened to her son. After years of financial struggle brought on by three heart attacks, she finally decided to “disobey” the church and seek legal redress. But she soon found out the statue of limitations (in Tennessee) had run out. Fox believes church officials intentionally stalled her to prevent the case from going to court. Through his lawyer, Husband who died in 1991, admitted complete guilt.

But the pattern of cold, unfeeling silence seems to continue.

The church should call for an immediate,  investigation as to whether or not Walker reported to authorities what was given to him by parents of underage boys. To regain a legacy being tarnished, the investigation should be made public to reassure victimized parents and children that the church does not value the criminal over the victim.

In his DNC speech, Bishop Blake criticized prolife conservatives for being “silent and indifferent” about inner city injustices, but what about his own silence and inaction?

Although Blake intimated he was frustrated with his party’s support of abortion, he praised its positions for the helpless in other ways.

“Others loudly proclaim their advocacy for the unborn,” he said, receiving a standing ovation, “but they refuse to recognize their responsibility and the responsibility of our nation to those who have been born.

“They are presently and historically silent, if not indifferent,” he continued, “to the suffering of our inner cities.”

Why is the hurt of small town parents whose sons have been sexually violated not being acknowledged publicly? Micah 6:8 said that God requires us to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly, but for the parents and these victimized boys, there seems to be no justice. Or mercy. Only silent arrogance.

COGIC is busy preparing for its quadrennial elections. Bishops are campaigning and members are speculating. Will any of those who are striving to get onto the church’s presidium take up a cry for the victims of clergy sexual abuse? Will any bishop stand in the gap? Or is it church business as usual?

To its shame, COGIC has taken a position of silence in the face of these sex crimes by its clergy and still has yet to respond publicly to Paige’s alleged crimes and subsequent murder.

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14 thoughts on “COGIC and Bishop still silent on sexual abuse and gay clergy

  1. This nonsense is so Catholic Church. I’m sitting here scratching my head just wondering how far we have fallen when every denomination it seems is engaged not only in the practice of homosexuality but the out right covering up of such issues.

    Shameful!

    You know there are only two options ever presented in the Bible for this nonsense.

    A: Repentance

    or

    B: Chastisement

    Kyle

  2. I am a son of the COGIC. There was a time when I was so proud of the organization I would fight you if you made a contrary remark. I still have a level of pride, but this makes me ashamed. It is sad to hear that an organization what had such glory is now sinking. Sooner or later the administration will have to deal with this issue.

    Funny how Mom could not “disobey” scripture by seeking an attorney, but they can “disobey” scripture and allow this to go uncorrected. Hmmm.

  3. Eld Carl. Im a 3rd generation COGIC son. My heart is in this and so is it personally. I was 15 once. Most folks know that story so I wont go into it. All I can say is that God has seen my tears and has comforted my heart although my church did nothing but accuse me and cause me untold pain.

    So was Mother Fox, her dad was a COGIC pioneer in Georgia. When I interviewed her, she could only afford to live in a 1 bedroom apartment where the living room couch was her bed. Her son is physically disabled for life due to his infirmity.

  4. Truly we are living in perilous times were the false prophet has caused some to be deceived by the deception of his false doctrine. One wonders what can the righteous do. I find that most of the local pastors are living in some little box unaware of what is happing in their on denomination. Maybe that is because they only really care about their own local church, which points out how they themselves have become bound by the spirit of selfishness. Yes are task to preach the truth in these last days seems at times to be difficult and very dishearten, it will cost some of us a lot but the good thing is that the gates of hell “WILL NOT Prevail Against the church” I will inform all the local pastors in my area of the vineyard to see if they are aware of what is happing. I will also write my local bishop to see what his response will be.

    PS. Please keep praying for the church. There are enough of us to demand a change, the watchmen on the wall just has to sound the alarm.

  5. I too see a difference church, Eld. Carl your church and my church organization COGOP have made changes that only can be counted as Man’s views and now this happens. It is a sad day for the church, when I see them not taking responsibility for this. It’s sad that the pastor lost his life, but I see that he was still in his position even after allegations. The church should have taking him out of that position until cleared. But the church is still silence. I think they will hope this will past away without any think beening said.
    In my opinion they are more concern about their position within the church.

  6. Bro berkrl thanks for pointing that out. We are aware that this problem is certainly not the exclusive domain of COGIC or COGOP et al, but it is an issue across the length and breadth of the body of Christ. And it is cresting and must be addressed and expunged righteously.

    Most people use the excuse “well its happening every where not just in our church”. As if to say why are you picking on our church? That statement has no resolution and it very passive. Think about saying that to a young boy or girl who has been sexually and emotionally brutalized by some degenerate pastor and you’ll see it is offensive to even say it.

  7. Pastor Foster, I think what hurts more is that the leader who is still silent on the issue is my former pastor. I am a former West A. member. Having heard message after message about holiness and to see this mess almost prevailing is so disappointing and almost discouraging. I know prayer is the key right now. As the old mother’s used to say, “Grab hold to the horns of the alter…”

  8. Pastor Foster,

    Is Brother Fox disabled because of what happened in that hotel room?

    GCMW: Djenk, not specifically, but it is connected to it.

  9. This is what the Holy Spirit is saying RIGHT NOW to the leadership in our churches when they have done NOTHING and KEPT SILENCE and continue to do NOTHING and KEEP SILENCE when it comes to these VERY EXACT situations(past, present, and future)! James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

    ALL Churches(not just COGIC), we are in SIN on this along with a lot of other things!

    What is it going to take for all of our Black Churches as well as our predominate White Churches, not just COGIC, but ALL of them to rise up and protect the flock of GOD?
    A LITERAL Judges 19:22-30 Fulfillment???
    GOD forbid!

    And for those naysayers who say Judges 19:22-30 cannot happen…IT ALREADY HAS on a micro-level! If we are not faithful unto the least of these…GOD forbid!

    This Belial spirit HAS OVERTAKEN whole congregations(well it ALREADY HAS, gay friendly inclusion churches), a whole city(DONE–San Francisco), state(California, Almost), Nation, then the World!

    GOD bless you Pastor Foster and KEEP Sounding the Alarm brother!

  10. Why would anyone continue following leadership whle complaining. By simply continuing in this you are supporting it and it’s crimes. What’s more important, to be COGIC or to be obedient to God and His scriptures.

    I pray that Jesus shows up at the General Assembly and whips all of these money changers out of His house!!!

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