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In a seven page letter with almost 4000 words[pdf], the Chief Operating Officer for the nation’s largest black pentecostal denomination has accused the church’s top legal man of a plethora of legal, ethical and financial improprieties. The letter, bearing the signature block of Elder James Smith, in effect predicted a looming financial doomsday for the Church of God in Christ and laid the blame at the feet of its “incompetent” counsel Enoch Perry III.
The contents of the undated letter was sent anonymously to GCM Watch and Report COGIC Abuse on Monday by a “concerned cogic saint on the east coast”. The letter was also sent to a blog which writes on clergy issues but with no identification of the sender. Its unclear if any other new media outlets received the information. The letter is addressed to the Church of God in Christ’s General Board and copied to its General Secretary.
While GCM Watch was in the process of verifying the authorship and authenticity of the letter, we were informed that Smith —in a telephone conversation with Atlanta-based blogger Kevin Oliver— refused to deny or affirm that he was the letter’s author.
“I told him that we received a letter purportedly written by him. I told him it was posted on PimpPreacher.com and asked him if he were aware of it and if he could confirm he is the author”
“He told me point blank, “I don’t do blogosphere. I don’t who you are or where you’re from and I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment on something I haven’t seen.”
“I then told him that “the blogosphere” is not what it once was, and that a lot of people get their news and information from blogs. I then asked him if I could have his email address so I could send him the article, or if he’d like to go to the site. He again stonewalled me, saying that he had “no interest in discovery” and that it would be inappropriate for him to comment.
Excuse me, but how juvenile and trifling can a person be? Elder Smith, (and yes I know youre reading this blog, just like you read several others) if you didn’t write the letter, just be a real man and say “no that letter was not written by me it is a forgery”. Or if you wrote it, just say, yes I wrote the letter. With duplictious “leaders” like Smith in place in COGIC its no wonder why the church is falling into darkness.
Oliver said that although he informed Smith the letter was spreading across the internet, Smith continued railing against “blogs”. Incidentally, GCM Watch was told by a source within COGIC that Presiding Bishop Blake had sent out a warning to church leaders to stay away from blogs on the internet.
This comes as no surprise to anyone who has read GCM Watch’s comprehensive reports on COGIC clergy sexual abuse and followed our documentation at Report COGIC Abuse. This is old news. Here’s a review for those who have been vacationing on the planet Krylonogic for the past three years.
Update April 1st – 1810 est
The rancor over the letter released by COGIC’s COO has been in essence refuted publicly by the church’s Presiding Bishop. In a letter released yesterday through its website , Bishop Blake said it was “unfortunate that private communication became public”. Although Blake praised Perry, he said the issue will be dealt with as an “internal” matter.