Relax COGIC Memphis members, its one of the other COGIC denominations. Bishop Eric Figueroa, a clergy member of the Church of God in Christ, International allowed homosexual minister Anthony Williams aka Tonex to “preach” at his church. Since self identifying as a homosexual, Williams has become a fixture in the gay church movement. We don’t know the occasion, why or who was instrumental in causing this blasphemy to happen, but the facts are it did. It appears Tonex disguised himself with old church father robes and gave the church as real show.
BET gospel writer Torrence Glenn who attended the event, gushed at the opportunity to praise Williams in his recap writeup:
So to hear that a more traditional and pentecostal church such as New Life, pastored by Bishop Eric Figueroa was inviting him to their church was a shock to me. Being the Tonex fan that I am, I decided that although it was short notice, I had to go! (Yeah, I don’t stop supporting people just because it’s not popular to. Not my style.) Once I arrived at the church on Monday night, I tweeted that I was there and MORE than a few people asked me to recap it, so here goes. (I originally intended just to go for myself, not necessarily to cover but I realized that more people than me were interested in seeing/hearing what Tonex had to say.)
After the offering was taken and a guest choir sang a song, it was time for Tonex (or Minister Anthony Williams as he prefers to be called as a minister) to preach. He was dressed in a full liturgical preacher’s attire. He had on a navy blue robe with a light blue panel. VERY traditional. Before beginning to preach he sang a piece of Karen Clark-Sheard’s worship song, “God Is Here.” And when I say he sang it, he SANG IT!
That’s about it and as expected from people who devalue sound doctrine, the message (whatever it was) is sidelined in favor of performance techniques. to With all the false teachings Anthony Williams has spewed out in the past, Glenn ignored that to obsess over something else. The musicians weren’t falling over themselves to back up Tonex on the organ, etc. Read it for yourself:
“This may be my personal observation/opinion but it seemed the musicians on duty weren’t very willing to help or follow as the sermon came to it’s climax. I understand that some preachers don’t like accompaniment when they preach and many musicians will wait until the preacher instructs them to play for him/her instead of just flowing with it. Better safe then sorry I guess is their thought process. But this was a totally different thing. There were moments where Anthony had to tell them the chords to play and they hesitantly played the chord and then just stopped. (Imagine if someone told you to pick up a piece of paper and you did and just put it down instead of doing something with it.) It was as if they needed to be told every little thing to do. It was odd because they were seasoned musicians who “know church.” But I may be wrong, this is just my opinion, but it felt like they had to be forced to participate in the closing praise experience that followed Anthony’s message. So to all my musicians, if you feel some kind of way about who’s preaching, get off the instruments!”
If you’re not familiar with what Glenn is having a problem with, let me explain. In the black church, particularly pentecostal ones, when the preacher shifts into a certain sing-song cadence of speaking (heading towards the “climax” of his or her message), the musicians are expected to jump in and match them in intensity. Here’s an example here (listen to the music). One would think that with a self professed homosexual preaching, one would not be caught up about what musicians were or were not doing. But such is the shallowness of today’s church goer. The musicians may have not initially wanted to participate in another man’s sins, but they too probably got caught up in the pentecostal histrionics of Tonex.
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure. 1 Tim 5:22
Who’s Bishop Figueroa?
Let’s try to sort out all the connecting names so that no one is slighted.
Glenn admits all this is somewhat surprising since Figueroa’s church is known as “traditional”. According to Glenn, Figueroa’s daughter who sings background on Sunday Best show, tweeted the news out like it was Bishop Mason returning from the dead. Traditional?
Another source told GCM Watch Figueroa is mainly known in the New York area.
“When I lived in NY years back I’d see his name and his church’s name a lot in the main Christian newspaper which I used to receive monthly, taking out large ads advertising their various events convocations, etc. He might not be that well known nationally, but in NY black church circles he seemed to command a lot of respect from various other well known churches, leaders, bishops, etc.”
Figueroa’s Myspace site says he was consecrated a bishop in the Church of God in Christ International in 1998 and currently serves as bishop of the New York “jurisdiction” of said denomination. This is not the COGIC Intl headquartered in Jonesboro, AR. This particular strand of COGIC breakaways has its headquarters in New York and primarily sprang out of the famed Institutional COGIC headed by the grandfather of Monique Walker. Its now headed by Bishop JC White, a former member of the Institutional Church. White has not made any public statements about the appearance of an openly homosexual minister in one of his churches.
So what do we make of all this? The same as we have been saying many times before. We are in the midst of a great falling away where the so called church is becoming a habitation of demons, unclean spirits and every unclean work. But guess what? They all “love the Lord” and gonna “get their praise on” no matter who says what.
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities'” (Revelation 18:4,5).