GCM Watch calls for class action lawsuit against COGIC



In the wake of a string of sexual molestation cases perpetrated by Church of God in Christ clergy, GCM Watch is openly calling for victims to unite and file a class action lawsuit. Less than two weeks after news surfaced about the sordid case of COGIC pastor James Bell of Kentucky who possibly infected a teen boy with HIV, another shocking story of sexual abuse by COGIC clergy is unleashed upon us.

I groaned in my spirit when a reader of this blog alerted me to this case which just broke in Maryland Wednesday. The Southern Maryland News reported that police arrested Pastor Tony Ray Malbrough, 44  (pictured) after relatives of a 15 year old boy reported the ongoing sexual molestation to the police.  Like Bell, Malbrough is married.

A former pastor at a Waldorf church is facing charges of molesting a child who was taking music lessons at his home, according to police.

Charles County sheriff’s officers arrested Tony Ray Malbrough, 44, of Indian Head on Sunday after hearing about the alleged abuse earlier that day.

At 10:20 a.m. Jan. 18, a 14-year-old boy called police to report being molested by Malbrough at the man’s Indian Head home, according to police. Detectives learned the abuse happened multiple times over several years and involved other children the victim knew, police reported. Those victims were contacted and confirmed they had been abused. Malbrough used to be an elder at the New Community Church of God in Christ in Waldorf, according to the church’s Web site, but he recently founded Safe Haven Ministries Church of God in Christ in Indian Head. [full story]

Two days later, a subsequent story by the paper uncovered more facts about the abuse, some which are disturbing and point to a culture within COGIC which appears to more concerned with saving church name and reputation than justice or even concern for the victims of these predators. That must change.  Malbrough is accused of molesting 4 boys he met at the church while serving as an Elder there.

Since the arrest, one more person has reported being molested by Malbrough, increasing the total number of victims to four, according to Richardson.

The victim is now in his 20s, but the abuse happened several years ago when he was a sophomore in high school, Richardson said.

Two of the four victims went to Malbrough’s home for music lessons, Richardson reported, while others visited the residence because the church leader played a mentoring role in their lives.

In court documents, Malbrough reported that he had worked as a musician at New Community Church of God in Christ for 14 years. A woman who answered the phone at the Waldorf-based church said that Malbrough was no longer a minister there and that she couldn’t comment on the case.

That’s right, Malbrough had been on staff at the New Community COGIC for 14 years as a minister and musician, but when the church was contacted by the media, they issued a tight-lipped “no comment”.  That’s all. The boy was a member of the church.

The church bears full responsibility for this crime.  Due to COGIC’s calloused and arrogant non-response to these heinous acts committed by its clergy upon defenseless children,  GCM Watch is calling for a class action lawsuit against the denomination.

If you or a family member have been sexually molested (or propositioned) within the last 10 years by a “credential holder” (licensed minister, ordained elder, bishop, et al)  in COGIC please contact gcmwatch@yahoo.com  GCM Watch immediately.

Addendum: Myths and facts about prevention of sexual abuse using legal means (National Association to prevent sexual abuse of Children)

UPDATE: o1/27/09

According to one website, Bishop Blake issued this “official statement” after the Sherman Allen sexual abuse (TX) case:

“The Church of God in Christ does not condone any inappropriate behavior from any of its representatives, and does not comment on pending litigation against the Church or its representatives until a case has been brought to trial and an official ruling has been made. Until then, Pastor Sherman Allen has been suspended from all national and local pastoral roles and activities within the Church of God in Christ. This is Church policy and we will honor this policy for the case against Allen.”

Perhaps this is the reason he or any his lads in waiting will do or say nothing. You have to (1) take them to court (2) Get an official ruling. Then, they will magically start to talk and tell all. Victims of COGIC clergy sex crimes, please note. There will be no communication from Los Angeles or Memphis until you take them to court and win. But the convocations, midnight musicals and credential reports will continue without pause. If you want to talk to them about that, you’re in business. Oh, and for the record COGIC doesnt condone that “innappropriate behavior” that happened to you.

UPDATE 02.03.09

The last story link isnt the final one in the saga of COGIC Supt Roy Tate of Portland, OR. In the face of a lawsuit the local church declared bankruptcy (hows that for integrity) and the woman instead sued the national church for 10 million dollars. Before the case could come to trial, the national church settled out of court.  Credit goes to the jurisdictional Bishop who brought Tate up on charges for a church trial. Before that could happen Tate fled the COGIC. That’s right the degenerate predator was using the church as a cover and the only thing that stopped him was legal action.  This is why victims need the support of the church not further victimization by winking at the crimes of its representatives.