COGIC Official "offended" by sexual abuse website

hutchins_derrick_wIn a revealing interview published online by Charisma Magazine October 15th, an official with the Church of God in Christ said he was “offended” by portions of the clergy sexual abuse website which exposes sexual wolves in his denomination.

Apparently responding to the charges of cold silence and inaction directed at victims of clergy sexual abuse by COGIC leadership (which we have proven many times over),  Elder Derrick Hutchins, Chairman of the General Counsel of Pastors and Elders told the magazine,

“That’s the part that I really find offensive,” Hutchins said. “Because sometimes it’s written like all we want to do is save ourselves from liability, we don’t really care about people—and that’s not true at all.”
“Our first concern is the parishioners, not just pastors,” he added. “We do not tolerate pastors in the pulpit who are found guilty of these improprieties.”

If COGIC doesn’t tolerate pastors in the pulpit found guilty of sexual malfeasance and more, why then is Larry Weems still pastor and holding all of the offices he held before he was instructed by GE Patterson to pay off the five women he sexually assaulted?

Hutchins offered no examples of COGIC’s alleged compassionate concern to refute the charges. Instead he defaulted into typical uninformed defense mode and said, “Anybody who can find where it’s not being carried out and can prove it, I’m sure that charges will be brought against that bishop who did not carry out his responsibility.”

Its not a question if there is proof, but the question is just how much proof does Rev. Hutchins need to file charges against bishops who have treated victims like dirt. In one case, even after convicted pedophile Leonard Smith  admitted to his guilt, church officials lined up to testify in court that the convicted pedophile was a good man and the district “needed” him.

Members of the victims families said that the pastor Samuel Payne, Sr. (the administrative assistant of the jurisdiction), his wife Barbara Payne (vice chair of the International Assistant Supervisor Unit) and the district superintendent CW Johnson, Jr all passionately –and publicly– rooted for the pedophile.  One member under oath said she informed the pastor of Smith’s actions as early as 2004.  And the bishop ignored all the warnings, reports and everything. Such gross negligence, incompetence and evil from COGIC leaders is reprehensible at best.

GCM Watch spoke with several family members of the victims of convicted molester Leonard Smith. The families are suing COGIC, Inc, Greater North Carolina jurisdiction and Sycamore Temple COGIC in civil court for unspecified damages. The trial opens in a Asheville, NC district court on Monday.

Family members told me that during a district meeting at Sycamore Temple, Asheville District Missionary Gwendolyn Stokely singled out  women in the church whose sons were victims, paraded them around and proclaimed “So what you had a dream [about Smith]?? Youre not the only one who’s had a child molested!”

Upon hearing that, the church’s pastor Samuel Payne, Sr jumped from his seat applauding while shouting, “that’s right, that’s right!”. Not one single member of any “pastor-led jurisdictional council” (if such a thing exists) so much as interviewed the families or the children affected. Instead, they were shunned, smeared and re-victimized by Hutchins’  fellow COGIC leaders.

Bishop Larry Shaw of Hinesville, GA furthered disparged and demeaned the victim’s families. On Easter Sunday 2008 during services at Garden of Prayer Church, Shaw openly accused the victim’s family of being con artists who made a living filing false claims.  The implication was that the family was just filing another false claim. That’s called slander.  The evidence was caught on tape, so Shaw couldn’t deny he said it. Confronted with the evidence, he submitted an affidavit saying  he didn’t mean any harm by it.

Mrs. Gwen Fox, whose son was molested by General Board Member JD Husband in 1981 was treated with much disdain after she reported the situation to church authorities. She said her certified letters to General Board members (of which Bishop Blake was a member of) were ignored. Eventually she went and hand delivered a letter to Bishop Ford. She recalled that he snatched the letter from her hand and refused to speak with her. Instead she was told to talk to a secretary. More abuse and mistreatment from leaders.

Husband was not removed from office until allegations that he had embezzled 500k from jurisdictional churches surfaced. That was almost 10 years after the molestations (which COGIC officials knew about) occurred.

Based on the information we have documented, will Elder Hutchins initate charges against Bishop Leroy Woolard (NC), Bishop Larry Shaw (GA), late Bishop LT Walker (AR), Bishop Chandler Owens (GA), Bishop Samuel Iglehart (TX), Bishop Hollis Musgrove (MS), Bishop J. Harvey Lyles (MD)  and Bishop James H. Bell. Sr (KY)? According to your own constitution these men should be brought up on charges because they did not carry out their “constitutional duties”.

Since you’re sure charges will be brought, Elder Hutchins, how much longer will these victims and their families have to wait before the Church of God in Christ even apologizes for what has been proven in a court of law? Since you asked for proof, why don’t you speak up and stand up or admit you’re as much a part of the problems as the pedophiles and rapists themselves?

Related: Pastor Harvey Burnett writes about serious ethical and moral violations in COGIC and why Derrick Hutchins remarks are beyond outrageous.


8 thoughts on “COGIC Official "offended" by sexual abuse website

  1. Please do not be surprise by COGIC response to and your recent interview mentioned. It is now standard practice for these established organisations to protect ‘their own’ at the expense of victims.

    Please do not be discouraged. Hold fast to the things which are of God as these are the things which are civilise, the things which are true, and stand in the gap for the defenseless as Jesus would require from us all. In the meantime, lets pray that God will convict the hearts of the leadership in COGIC as well as saving their souls!

    Church Law Campaign

  2. Hi!!! I am so GLAD for this. So, so glad. I went to Mason Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center where I received a Master of Divinity degree. I also worked for the publishing house in Memphis, TN. Let me tell you, from my experience and all that I saw (which was little, but enough for me to say, “I’m outta here. I love my life and my reputation.”), I can say that I am sooooooooooo glad that someone is speaking up and out against the injustices that are being done to people in this church. I had the opportunity to meet with a whole lot of COGIC officials and Bishops and I met the Elder Hutchins, too. These people do NOT put the parishoners first. Maybe they do when it comes to trying to get you to put your wallet in the pot, but unfortunately they do not care about the people in the pews who so love the COGIC and its’ teachings. It’s unfortuante. I grew up in this church and I am from the lineage of one of the founding fathers. I don’t know what it was, but it has become some weird fraternal evil order. I pray for them, but thank God for you.

  3. “Our first concern is the parishioners, not just pastors,” he added.

    Precisely the problem. The first concern should be God and being obedient to Him through His revealed, infallible Word to us, the Bible, which is to be the final authority in all situations. The Bible is what tells us of the qualifications for ministry. The Bible tells us what to do when ministers no longer meet these qualifications. Clearly COGIC ignores these instructions. As such, they are not a Bible-centered organization, and as a result they are not a God-centered organization, but rather just another corporation and should be viewed and treated as such.


  5. I would like to say, I am a member of the COGIC and will remain a member because I trust the doctrine to keep me on the right track and get me to heaven. I beleive what the bible says, there are “sinners” in zion, which means sinners in the church. Leaders are not above sinning as we are not, none of us are. According to the bible, we are to pray for those in authority every where and pray for each other (people every where). The COGIC is not corrupt just because some members in it are. I’m not condonning the wrong in the Bishops or Elders, or any members for that matter. I do believe if we are true children of God, and we pray over these kind of situations, the Lord will intervene and give deliverance and victory, which ever way He sees fit. It is ours to pray and fight against sin no matter who it’s in. We are no better off if we spread gossip (true or false) to kill the influnce of others, God forbid. I pray you that keep this ugly communication going, will take time to seek God in pray for an answers the church and the world needs today.

  6. At First I said,this is good, it will make the leaders of the Church that I love so much more accountable.I have heard of abuses that have been reported and the leaders seems to be slow to respond.I was saved in COGIC the old time way in 1982 as a teen.My family was not in cogic at that time ,I went with friend from school, there father was the Pastor.I had a father at home ,but this man of God helped me become a real man and a holy man.He was the husband of one wife who he loved dearly and father of 14 children.He lived it at home,I spent days and nights there,He lived it and taught it at church.He was and still lives holy and taught me that I could live free from sin.Today I am a pastor of 10yrs.I still believe that holiness is right,not this new holiness of the last 20yrs,but that old time power that changed my life and knocked a 6’1 220b young football player in the floor and wouldn’t let me up until i said ,YES LORD.IT seems to me in some articles that you are attacking the church,rather then reporting abuses.Your web-site has the attention of the churches leader,evident my the comments made in our general assembly.But please remember to stay focused on the word of God not on attacking cogic .A lot of us and still living holy and if you fight the church instead reporting the truth then you become a accuser. Satan is the accuser.My god help you is my prayer. (People of all backgrounds & beliefs are seeing this and God will Judge)

  7. WA,

    Thank God for your salvation but please let me remind you that the church (of God in Christ) didnt die for you on the cross, Jesus did. Be careful not to ascribe his rightful glory to another. If the COGIC didnt exist and you cried out to God to save you, it would have still happened. That’s focusing on the word.

    Thank God for your pastor whom you apparently are witness to of living an exemplary life. But let us not forget our responsibility to confront sin openly when it is open. No one in the church is an island unto themselves. If we see it, hear about it and discern evil among us and yet do nothing, we bear guilt of complicity. You indicated you have heard of abuses. The rape, molestation and sexual assaults of children and vunerable men and women is a deeply grevious transgression with far reaching effects.

    Be careful that your loyalty to your church does not color your loyalty to the word of the Lord. That’s the danger. Its called respect of persons. God does not have it and neither should we. Leaders who are derelict should be held accountable. When the Lord brings your sins to the open, the leaders’ response should not be to circle the wagons and get the pr machine in spin mode, but to call for serious evaluation and repentance from wrongdoing. Moreover, they should not punish or minimize the the cries of those who have been victimized. Whether you want to admit it or not, COGIC leadership is guilty of all of this.

    Satan is an accuser and he works through those in religious power to hinder divine discipline when it is time. Say what you want, but dont forget that satan is transformed into an angel of light and his ministers into ministers of righteousness. Not to deceive the world, but God’s people.

    You say dont attack cogic. I dont understand that statement as it has no accompanying examples of such “attack”. If I cry loud and spare not is that “attacking”? If I tell the truth without respect of persons is that “attacking”? If I expose the unfruitful works of darkness is that “attacking”? Or is it because I mentioned the name “COGIC” you construe that as attacking?

    I agree with you our focus should be on the Word of God, but it seems you want to exempt your church when it is culpable. To my knowledge change comes through repentance but those who cover (conceal with intent to deceive) their sins will not prosper. Unless COGIC has some sort of biblical exemption Im not aware of, then what the website seeks to accomplish is Godly and true to both the spirit and letter of the Word.

  8. It is unfortunate that so many people have to be wounded along with the already wounded. There is clearly a certain level of restraint and honor that is needed whenever we are attempting to resolve conflict and to make the wounded whole. We have many persons out there who no doubt have just heard the Gospel through the medium of the COGIC. We should make sure that we are sensitive to people who have recently become born again and do not have the strength or discernment to understand that the entire organization is not corrupt but rather a select few. I am not a member of the COGIC so I am not trying to cover them as one would think. It does say in the Scriptures blessed are the merciful for the shall obtain mercy (Mt.5:7). Let’s not hinder the gospel while trying to eradicate sin.
    Love to all.

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