In brief: COGIC sex abuse trial updates

COGIC, Inc. has crossed the hurdle of the last of four clergy sexual abuse trials which came to light in the last few years. The verdict: its a mixed bag for the denomination’s leadership.

On February 2, the 236th District Court judge dismissed the case against the church in the Sherman Allen trial. In a rather stunning (and brief) ruling Judge Lowe granted the church’s motion for “evidentiary summary judgement and motion for no-evidence summary judgment”. Click graphic for larger version of the judgment.


The ruling left open the option to appeal. Attorneys for the plaintiff will appeal the case. The case had experienced multiple delays as motions were filed back and forth and ruled on. Darian Kelley, husband of the plaintiff said that he was “shocked” at the ruling. We hope to have a fuller interview with Mr. Kelley in the near future.

In the second trial overseen by Washington State’s King County Superior Court,  four women had sued COGIC, Inc. for 10 million dollars. The church settled the case out of court for an estimated 1.6 million dollars.  GCM Watch was told the case was settled literally right before it was about to go to trial. The money had to be paid within 60 days of the ruling.

Sources close to the case from Washington told us that the national church footed the bill for the entire judgment but “loaned” part to the jurisdiction headed by Bishop TL Westbrook.  Washington State churches (about 25-30 in number) would be responsible for repaying some $650,000. But the “assessment” has caused some controversy among local pastors. According to our source,  “Bishop Westbrook believes COGIC should pay the debt not the WA Jurisdiction.  Most of the churches in WA are incorporated.  Although he disagrees he still assessed the credential holders in his jurisdiction.  People are very angry and some refuse to pay.”

The man at the center of the case Pastor Charles Smith is now deceased, but here he is in 2007 denying everything to a news reporter.

Related stories:
Sherman Allen abuse trial date looms


9 thoughts on “In brief: COGIC sex abuse trial updates

  1. Sherman gets off Scott free.I’m from Texas and something stinks here. Somebody got paid off. And probably not the victim. We should check to see if the judge has a new Mercedes or Beamer.

  2. I agree Andre. I didnt believe it until I saw the judgment with my own eyes. The judge didnt even attempt to explain himself as if this were a case of a simple fender bender. This reeks of something rotten.

  3. I was listening to a lawyer today talk about summary judgements. There is a 30 day period to file to remove the judgement removed. I believe that’s what’s happening in the Allen case.

    We’ll see. Anyway, check out what I’ve done Elder and hear it for yourself. I would appreciate the readers also writing Rev. Al asking him to do the same.

    The Lord is on our side!

  4. Will I think I can let you all know now who I really am. I am Darian Kelly, who is the husband of Davina Kelly. I am working on a Youtube Channel now and hope to have my first video posted soon where I discuss some aspects of our cases and also videos on false doctrines and leaders in church in general. Sherman Allen was deposition 3x times over the course of our case and plead the 5th in all 3. DL has copies of Allen’s deposition and he can bear witness that Sherman Allen is a big liar that should have never been allowed to join COGIC. Now contrary we and he was allowed to settle out of the lawsuit in Aug or Sept 2009, just last year. I can’t get into all the legal reason why he was allowed to settle out but believe it had nothing to do with paying his way out of the case, and I live it at that because of confidentiality reasons.

    But COGIC we felt pretty sure we had enough evidence against them to show that they were liable for overseeing him and falied to do so,and it was shock to our attorneys and my wife and I didnt’ Judge Lowe dismissed the lawsuit. We couldnt’ understand why or how, especially when we had depositions of several people including a victim, who told of a church hearing in 1990 when Bishop Haynes was told of Allen beating and sexual abusing women. At this meeting was Bishop LaDell Thomas from Waco, and several district superintendents.

    Our trial was suppose to start on January 25th, 2010, and six days before it was to start the judge called a hearing for the attorneys of COGIC and ours to render his rulings on several motions. It was no surprise to us that COGIC filled a motion to have the case dismiss because our attorneys told us of that in December, which wasn’t a big deal because it’s typical in pre-trial motions and hearings to ask a judge to dismiss charges or suit, so our attorneys didn’t expect the judge to seriously grant them a dissmisal. COGIC also had filed a motion to exclude Al Sharpton as one of the expert witnesses in case also because they felt his testimony would be irrevelant but we know it’s also because of the media attention Al Sharpton brings with him, and COGIC doesn’t like media attention. As one of thier lawyers said during a hearing last year, “We don’t want to turn this into a circus (paraphase).” So when we heard the judge granted them this motion we were just flabbergasted and dumbfounded.

    I mean you would expect the judge to dismiss the case if there was a reason to early on, but why wait 6 days before trial. As far as I am concern there was no justice serve in this case, and Bishop Charles Blake is BIG JOKE and so is COGIC. If I was a COGIC pastor affliated with this denomination I would go independent. These bishops in COGIC don’t have any power and they chase after worldly titles, and they make you think they’re all deep and spiritual but the truth of the matter is they are just regular men. Nothing spiritual about them. If am lying then prove me wrong. But to all of you who have given words of encouragement in our case I want to personally thank all you. An appeal has already been filed in our case and rest with the Texas Court of Appeals, because we believe the judge reason for dismissing the case is for lack of showing the burden of proof is contrary to Texas laws of Clergy Abuse. So I pray that the court will reverse that decision and send it back to trial where it should have been in the first place, and hopefully if that happens I hope it get assign to a different judge. This whole ordeal has been a nightmare, and letdown for us because I use to look up to COGIC as the best denomination in the world, but now I see they don’t care about anyone but themselves.

    As for Sherman Allen, he’s on borrowed time in my opinion because you can’t do the things that he’s done and still pretend you’re some great pastor. He’s a sick puppy and devil got a barbeque ready for him in hell. But you all be on the lookout for my videos and again keep my families in your prayers.

  5. @ Mr. Kelly, I can feel the pain, agony and frustration coming through your email. I can’t even imagine what you and your family must be going through. I will be praying for your family and just know that the truth will ALWAYS prevail, whether on this side or the other side of heaven. Stay encouraged,prayerful, hopeful and finally, keep your “faith” and “trust” in the “Lord…inspite of the circumstances or the outcome. For there will await a fiery judgment should those men “appearing” as “minister’s of light” not confess, repent and turn from their wickedness!

    A sister in Christ standing with you in the Spirit!

  6. Godsoldier

    Thank for your words of encouragement and we know that while men can fool men they can’t fool God. I honestly feel in my spirit God is telling me to just setback and watch the show because He’s about to do something awesome to prove to this unrighteous religious leaders and organization that you can’t just go back to business as usually when there have been left a trail of destruction under your watch. Stay in tune for my Youtube videos and I pray God use me to expose the signs of the deception in ministry and teaching today.

    God Bless

  7. Darian, God is not sleeping neither will he forget the injustices done by those in power. Remember trust him always. Whether here or there, victory is ours.
    Out new motto for ReportCOGICAbuse is “Until Victory is Won”.

  8. Pastor Foster, did you ever report (and I just miss) how Sherman Allen had settled out of the Kelly lawsuit? I am thinking that the few reporters monitoring these proceedings had no knowledge of that detail. News updates I read online as late as November still identified this as the trial of “former COGIC evangelism department vice president Sherman Allen,” but according to Mr. Kelly, Allen was no longer a defendant in August or September???

  9. Joseph, no I didnt report it as a separate story because the information was sketchy and unverifiable. I had even received several conflicting stories about the outcome of the trial. So until we received this dismissal judgment, we decided it would be best not to speculate as to the proceedings.

    However, according to the information I received, Allen did not settle out of the case. I believe he made some deals with the prosecution which perhaps could have sealed the national church’s fate. But Allen is a huckster so who knows whether he had made other “deals” on top of the deals.

    This dismissal of the case is stunning which leads me to believe some deals went awry and the judge just halted everything. Without him articulating in the judgment why he did what he did, that is left to speculation.

    Allen’s pretrial role (and perhaps the deals they made) are complicated, so I will defer to Darian Kelly to explain it in detail if he will. I have no court documents indicating Allen was convicted in the sexual abuse case or even went to trial. He was deposed.

    My best guess is that when the case against COGIC, Inc was dismissed, whatever deals were contingent upon Allen’s participation/testimony also fell by the wayside.

    Sad because the victim never received justice. I am glad the appeal option on the table. So its not over.

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