Did Enoch Perry, COGIC's top lawyer, reveal coverup strategy?

Calls for pastors to keep media attention away from sexual abuse cases in the church

Enoch Perryperry-enoch III is a man on a mission. A dubious one no doubt, but a mission nonetheless. He’s lethal against people who accuse COGIC leaders of sexual abuse because he used to be a judge so he is keen to how the “system” works. Currently, the seemingly unbridled sycophant is pulling the Church of God in Christ into legal, moral and ethical quicksand. But the top brass in COGIC apparently like him and his advice. So our job is to document the proceedings as a witness to such reckless folly.

Perry has been COGIC’s chief behind-the-scenes architect of sexual abuse “policy” in the last few years. He’s navigated church leadership though numerous legal waters with ubiquitous ease, donning different faces depending on which court room he happened to find himself in. In November 2009,  when Bishop Charles Blake dropped a bombshell announcement that his denomination spent on a yearly average $800,000 to settle sexual abuse claims against the church,  he actually thanked Perry for his cacophony of supporting distortions.

But Perry does have one major fear. He fears the media connecting the dots to the sordid events perpetrated by sexual predators in COGIC (44 and counting) and like the current Catholic church debacle,  putting all the dirty business on NBC nightly news, FOX, ABC and other outlets. To that end, he tells COGIC pastors to keep attention away from sexual abuse cases.

“Media coverage of any sexual oriented event and the church will have a negative slant. The pessimistic coverage will have a direct impact on the overall public perception of the church involved, its corporate body and its membership. Additionally, this negativity will directly affect new membership and outside donations.”

Perry is still miffed at the excellent reporting the Dallas Observer did on Sherman Allen which led to a reopening of the case and a potential PR nightmare for COGIC.  In his deposition, he called blogs who reported the story “gossip rags”.  The problem was the reporting on real facts threatened the flow of donor money the church was getting from corporations. And who cares about victims when money is at stake?

If anyone ever doubted that COGIC leadership has an intentional strategy of  diversion on clergy sexual abuse cases, perhaps this is the smoking gun.  And all of it can be attributed to the devious counsel of Enoch Perry. His heartless crusade to paint victims of clergy abuse out of the picture or as “problems” for the church is evident in this presentation given to the church’s “General Assembly” last November. You can read or download the 16 page presentation here.

The above statement is so dizzying that we have to break it down so that you see its elements. Notice that Perry pitches media coverage, not the crimes committed by clergy, as the church’s “vulnerability”.

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Perry: “Media coverage of any sexual oriented event will have a negative slant.”

The negativity doesn’t come because the media invents it, it comes because a grown man sexually violated a young woman or a young man. Perry’s perspective helps the criminals look like victims of media bias rather than the lowlife criminals they really are.

Perry: “The pessimistic coverage will have direct impact on public perception…”

Why label coverage as “pessimistic” (meaning  seeing the worst in a situation) when it is the actions of sexually deviant leaders who are causing the “pessimism”?  And just what does Perry expect the secular media to say or think about a church who claims to be the “greatest church in the world” with preachers raping boys and girls? Is there something positive in this we are missing? This is just another way of saying that COGIC’s “name, image and assets” must be protected at all cost, including at the expense of victims.

Perry: “This negativity will directly affect new membership and outside donations.”

There’s the money quote. The BIG reason why COGIC must keep clergy sex abuse cases quiet. Translation: Keep up the lies and charade in order to fool people into thinking that all is well. If we let the media find out we have sexual predators in positions of authority people wont join and money wont come into the church’s bank account. After all what’s more important than keeping the money flowing and deceiving people on the outside of the church? Perry should be arrested for encouraging such blatant deception when people’s lives are in the balance.

The numbers game

Pastor Harvey Burnett took a look at the numbers and came to some conclusions that are almost unbelievable. Stay with me on this.

“He (Judge Enoch Perry) reported that in over 100 years, there have been 20-25 processed cases of sexual misconduct. He stated statistically the numbers are significantly small; however, there should not be one case among us. Judge perry reported there has not been one successful lawsuit against the church; cases have either been settled or dismissed. He further stated that Bishop Blake supports the church’s zero tolerance policy against sexual misconduct.” ~ [2009 COGIC General Assembly Minutes Pg. 2 Para. 2 parenthesis added]

Later, Presiding Bishop Charles Blake remarks included the following:

“Presiding Bishop Blake thanked Judge Perry for his remarks regarding the church’s policy in relationship to sexual misconduct. he pointed out that, on average, the church spends about $800,000 to settle legal matters many of which have to do with accusations of sexual misconduct. (Who made the comment? and that one singe lawsuit has the potential to bankrupt the church.)” ~ [2009 COGIC General Assembly Minutes Pg. 3 Para. 2 as it is in the minutes]

Now it seems to be somewhat of a disconnect. How can a settled lawsuit be unsuccessful when $800,000 on average is paid toward the settlement and legal matters regarding it? According to Perry’s numbers,  this would mean that about $16,000,000 to $20,000,000 dollars (almost $200,000 per year over 100 years) have been paid out to adjudicate matters of this kind and this is only from the national church perspective. I believe these numbers don’t even begin to tell the real story however, because the fact is that it has been documented that over the last 20 years there have been over 35 visible cases of clergy sexual misconduct and abuse among COGIC clergy. Some of these cases were highly publicized and ended in incarceration.

If we condense even Perry’s numbers (which are more than likely understated) into the 20 to 25 year period of time in which we can document publicized cases of abuse and misconduct, that would mean that the church has paid an average of approximately $1,000,000 per year toward the adjudication of sexual misconduct cases. Remember this is $1,000,000 per year of national report and auxillary fund dollars collected and paid to defend and or settle sexual abuse, misuse, harassment, and other sexual misconduct cases.

If you find this at all disturbing, its because it really is. The “presentation” given by Perry to the denominational leaders encouraged duplicity, equivocation, and unethical if not downright illegal activity among so called holiness leaders. Maybe they are already used to operating this way, that’s why no one has called for his resignation. Per the presentation, victims of clergy sexual abuse can expect to receive no mercy, no compassion and no help from Church of God in Christ leaders which is just another reason why they really should drop the “God in Christ” from their name. Perhaps a more suitable name  would be Church of Name, Image and Assets (CONIA).

Other stories on Enoch Perry:
Under oath, COGIC legal counsel Enoch Perry makes stunning admissions
Surveying COGIC’s “justice system”

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14 thoughts on “Did Enoch Perry, COGIC's top lawyer, reveal coverup strategy?

  1. Hey Pastor,

    I think your site is great, you are doing a great job and i respect you in that area. However, I have an issue, I am a member of the Church of God in Christ. My local assembly i attend is a good church. We do have our issues, yet small, but i can honestly say we have a bible believing church. Our pastor is a true man of holiness. Trust…i would not be there if he wasn’t and our Bishop is great. He lives what he preaches about. THey are not money hungry and lot of ministry we have set up is really helping our church and community. There was a part in your article i kind of find offensive…you called the COGIC church the “conia” we are a part of cogic…please don’t dump all of us who are in cogic as a part of this mess. Pastor, I love the work you do, but be careful in your name calling. Remember, with lovingkindess have i drawn thee. I understand what you are trying to do and that is show the negative things that are happening…not only in cogic(we get bashed quite a bit) but all circles. please don’t take this wrong for you are an awesome man of God, but I/we are not all caught up in this “junk”…yes you are very up front with your words…but u said our church(cogic) should change our name. There are some cogic churches who are not putting up with this mess and we are striving for holiness. maybe call out their individual names and not lump all of us in that. I am trying my best to live holy and so are many at our church(cogic)…i can actually see a move of God at our church and it is exciting. Some people may read this and not attend any cogic. Is that what you are trying to promote? Thx Pastor DL on your ministry. I support you and love you and your work. Just a thought…

  2. It is so important that those who are in leadership, whether be natural or spiritual, surround themselves w/people who will keep them accountable and responsible. For one doesn’t need help to do wrong, for were fully capable of that on our own, but to do right we need help, “my people know how to do evil, but to do good, you know not.” But we find so many leaders, surrounding themselves w/yes men, it is not always good to surround ourselves w/people who think exactly the way we do. Many times without “confrontation” no change will take place, and I’m not speaking of a confrontation, to just have something to say, and in the end your not saying anything, but confrontation w/meaning and purpose.

    It might sound like I’m off the beaten path, but COGIC has brought this upon themselves w/faulty leadership and counselors. Scripture speaks about faulty counselors to Kings’, and how they helped twist and already twisted mind and spirit. And many times these counselors’ are more manipulative then the ones’ there serving. But scripture also talks about how the people wanted such leadership, we can never talk about one part of the equation and leave the other out, for in doing so theres no balance in our understanding of a situation “w/all your getting get understanding.”

  3. All I can say is that God always sends warning before destruction.

    Ezekiel 3:17-18~“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18- When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.19-Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

    The numbers speak for themselves to our shame.

  4. Bro T, I get your point. Im not sure you can create an island and say that’s them, not us. The molestors, predators and rapists are not the ones in the Baptist Church, they are “you”. Did you even bother to look at who it is? When you refuse to deal with the what is among you, then by complicity you become partner to it.

    I will reserve comment on your bishop, but I will say that you may be misinformed.

    For instance instead of addressing the stunning and quite disturbing FACTS in the post, you follow an apologetic route. How is that bringing resolution to the men, women, children and their families who are suffering in silence while their church tries to erase them? I don’t get that mindset.

    And Bro T. sadly you seem more interested in how COGIC is perceived by outsiders rather than true righteousness and justice for victims.

  5. Makes me glad & nervous that I’m a Baptist.Glad because so far our denomination has been relatively unscathed by this thing. Nervous because we could be next. It Is, What It Is.

  6. Bro., T.

    I am in agreement w/you I am sure there are some wonderful brothers and sisters of Christ who are part of COGIC, thats why the LORD God, says, “I shall have mercy on whom I shall have mercy, and have compassion on whom I shall have compassion, shall the clay tell the potter, what to do” and due to that whether I’m compassionate and merciful toward you are not, the Lord Christ shall be. But just a thought, lets say if Prince Jonathan, had left his father’s side and went w/his friend David, oh in my “opinion” what a wonderful life he might’ve rendered unto God, once again my opinion perhaps if he were w/his friend, maybe David would’ve made his fateful decision toward Bathesheba, only God knows.

    And then we hear the Apostle Paul say, “get ye from among them” personally if I were a member of this denomination, and based on all that is going on, I and my wife would probably left a long time ago, but you and yours are not us. We all can’t take on the “Jonah” spirit, I would say to you take up the cross and follow Christ, do as Moses, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel did pray for God’s forgiveness and mercy, pray for your leaders and congregational members, for a man who is a leader does not separate himself from the plight of the people he is serving whether he’s innocent or not, for he is one of them.

    And I as your brother in Christ will pray w/you, “one can put a thousand to flight, but two can put ten thousand to flight”, and “where two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be.” Call a solemn assembly w/your leaders and congregational members and seek God, remember if we search for him w/all our hearts regardless of what anyone says, he promises, he will be found of us.

  7. If everyone departs from the church who will be there to help it be restored? The efforts of those within the church should be to network, pray and continue to lead and advocate for change and reform. That’s what’s needed. The sin and condemnation of those who do evil deeds only serve to prove the authenticity of the word of God. All sin will be judged!

    This is a church were truth is preached, accepted and true holiness and righteousness is enjoyed. That’s worth fighting for. Personally, I’ve never been afraid of a fight and this is one of those type of things. The sins that these men commit are not worthy of true believers being discouraged or running. I’m encouraged because men realize that they aren’t in control when judgement like this happens.

    In addition, you’ll find these incidents are across both denominational and nondenominational lines. If things are this difficult within an organized or denominational church, I shudder to think of what happens within an independent church that doesn’t have a system of accountability in place. The numbers prove that this isn’t a COGIC only problem. It just seems that too many leaders are in denial and the importance of it hasn’t been fully accepted t some extent.

    Where can you go where there are not sins that some are caught up in? HEAVEN! God certainly doesn’t want us to be isolationists and or run from trouble. I’m here to fight for the Saints and the people of God until they kick me out…I’ll do that respectfully and in a godly manner, because I’m not the one wrong.

    Just my thoughts to those who can’t see why the godly stay in the organization…there’s PLENTY of good reason to stay and be blessed!

  8. I do think Enoch Perry should resign or be fired immediately. He is bad business for this church. For all those who say you dont approve of their actions, do something about it. Maybe Bishop Blake is receiving bad advice from this man on this issue. If that’s the case, he should find someone who is not duplictous but operates with honesty and integrity.

  9. Who was the “MAN OF THE CLOTH” from the COGIC that molested the singer Sylvester at an early age? If any of you have not seen Unsung on TV ONE, check it out. This seems to be some more cover up by the COGIC people.

  10. Pastor, do you know if Sherman Allen has gone to trial? If not, when is it scheduled, and do you have any recent info on the status of that case? Thanks.

  11. If your church is a part of a denomination that is corrupt from the head down, then you are supposed to come out from among them and be separated. Bro T. your church cannot continue to be a part of COGIC because if the head is sick then the whole body will eventually become what the head is. This sin will eventually trickle down to where you are worshipping. It’s going to happen believe me. You cannot separate and say we are not doing in our church what they are doing. Evil communication corrupts good manners.

  12. @Nan – What organization/denomination could Bro. T’s church become a part of? Every organization/denomination has problems/issues that need to be addressed. The key is for a his church to determine if it can remain a part of COGIC in good conscience. Incidentally, his local church can be a beacon of light for other congregations; hence, the issues of the national leadership do not have to trickle down to his local church (in the sense that they do and respond in the exact same manner).

  13. Thats true, but it would also apply to Bro T’s local church. I dont think that is the issue as much as a local church saying to its leadership, we demand better representation than what you are currently portraying.

    Its the same with the denoms like Lutherans and Episcopalians who have now embraced homosexuality. After attempting to confront leadership about their activities, they made a painful decision to separate. Separation has never meant that one has no “issues” of its own, just that the issue at hand is unacceptable to the point of where one can no longer continue in honest fellowship.

    Right now, there’s no evidence of any local COGIC congregation saying to its national church leadership their handling of clergy sexual abuse is unacceptable. As you said the key is to determine if this is something they can “live with” and no be affected. Personally, the Washington State case should make every church look with alarm at what leadership is doing. How is it possible that an ENTIRE jurisdiction can be held financially liable by the actions of one man? Especially when the national church, not the jurisdiction was sued? Where is that in the COGIC constitution?

  14. First we have to realize that curruption is able to seep into these denomination because this is not church because God
    24 dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
    25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
    Acts 17:24-25 (KJV)

    The church i belong to is:
    20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
    21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
    22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
    Eph 2:20-22 (KJV)

    Maybe some of you who put so much trust in these man made denominations and buildings should try joining this church. Think about this: “every denomination in the united states is a offspring of the catholic church” so if the root be evil how much more the branches that spring from the tree. “let it merinate”

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