The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Rev. Dr. Laneer Fisher, pastor of the Miracle COGIC in Alquippa, PA in suburban Pittsburgh was arrested and charged with indecent assault and corruption of minors [source]. Laneer, who was arrested August 31st, allegedly has a history of sexual improprieties with young males. This is the fifth known case of clergy abuse/misconduct this year for the nation’s largest pentecostal denomination.
The pastor of a church in Aliquippa was arraigned yesterday on charges of molesting two teenage boys.
The Rev. Dr. Laneer Fisher, 38, of Moon, who is the pastor of the Miracle Church of God in Christ on Wilker Street, was charged by Aliquippa police with unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault and corruption of minors. He was charged with those crimes as well as aggravated indecent assault, sexual assault and indecent exposure by Beaver Falls police.
“My client vehemently denies these allegations and will defend himself against them,” said attorney Dirk Allen Goodwald, who wonders why the two young men waited until now to go to police.
“My client understands that these allegations stem from a time when these people were young and came from broken relationships and that they may have misinterpreted, misconstrued, misunderstood and could not accept the nurturing and caring from a pastor and man of God.”
Then on October 13th, Palm Beach, FL police arrested Michael Charles Campbell pastor of the House of Worship COGIC in Deland, FL [source]. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Campbell devised a scheme to sexually molest a 15 year old girl. He later used the same scheme on a 13 year old girl.
The suspect, 46-year-old Michael Charles Campbell, is pastor of the House of Worship Church of God In Christ in the 300 block of South Woodland Boulevard.
Campbell, charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and lewd and lascivious conduct, was also employed by Lohman’s Funeral Home in Daytona Beach, police said.
The day police say he accosted the 15-year-old girl at a beachside motel in Daytona Beach in the spring of 2007, Campbell first picked up the girl at her residence. He was driving a hearse with a body in it, one he was supposed to deliver to Daytona Beach International Airport, a police report shows. Investigators said Campbell told the teenager’s father that he needed the girl to help him do some work at the funeral home. The youngster’s parents agreed and Campbell went to get the child.
The national church’s leadership however continues to deny that the problem of clergy sexual abuse is anything significant. Enoch Perry, head of the church’s legal department told a gathering of leaders last year that the denomination had only had about 20-25 cases since it began in 1906. Asked by the Memphis Commercial Appeal about the mounting sexual abuse documented by Report COGIC Abuse, Bishop Charles Blake downplayed the cases saying too much attention was being given to them. He later admitted that COGIC spends $800,000 a year on sexual abuse cases.