One of the attorneys for Bishop Rufus Kyles has sent a request to Bishop Sheard for the reinstatement of their client. It seems the primary reason is the difference in treatment of Bishop Kyles and Bishop Jones. Bishop Kyles has been suspended for almost two years for his conduct, Bishop Jones has been given a pass.
October 1, 2016
September 13, 2016
WHO OWNS THE LOCAL CHURCH, LOCAL MEMBERS OR THE NATIONAL CHURCH?
This is a question that is being asked across the country in the Church of God in Christ. Bishops seem to believe the National Church owns the property and because they are the National Church’s representative, they manage these so called ownership rights.
“Local churches and, pastors are leaving the Church of God in Christ. They are leaving because they see no benefit in laboring to develop a strong congregation whose assets are vulnerable to the intrusion of those who have contributed nothing to its well being, or establishment. Can we validly insist on authority without any investment, withdrawals without any deposits?” (Why I Stood For The Defense In Orlando; Bishop Charles E Blake)
In the Church of God in Christ, many of the local members believe ownership of the local church rest with them. They believe, they purchased, repair, and pay all the bills means ownership. That is not what the leaders of COGIC believe. We are still asking the question; “Can we validly insist on authority without any investment, withdrawals without any deposits?”
Here is a list of churches where the people are in civil court because the National Officials believe (in the words of Bishop Blake) the trust creates ownership rights for COGIC, Inc. which they can exert and manage [Read Letter].
- Greater First Knoxville, Tennessee– By using deception and half-truths Bishop James Scott with assistance from Bishop Blake is trying to take over this church. It is all about the Benjamin’s ($100 dollar bills).
- Pacific Mount Olive Los Angeles, CA – Bishop Hackworth and Bishop Blake , with the use of deception, half-truths are trying to oust these members from their Church and all PMO property. [Read Chronology]
- Bishop Brandon Porter– At Williams Temple Houston, Texas, Bishop Brandon Porter, in violation of Texas statutes has held a bogus vote and removed the duly elected Board of Trustees, refused to perform a count and is trying to steam roll over the people. A letter was sent to Bishop Blake and other COGIC official which fell on deaf ears.[Read Letter]
- Bishop David Hall – Bishop Hall sued a church there in Memphis seeking control over the church’s real and personal property. His suit was dismissed, Bishop Hall appealed and the dismissal was affirmed. [Read Order]
- Bishop Matthew Williams – Is suing the Remnant Church in Tampa, Florida which wants to leave COGIC. This story was reported by the Tampa ABC affiliate TV News.
In the April 2014 General Assembly meeting the Constitution Committee presented and read an amendment which would end all of this madness. The amendment which is included in Attachment H, calls for the local church to have exclusive control and ownership of the local church. It does not change or modify in any way the appointment of the Pastor. For whatever reason, this amendment has not been allowed to come forward anymore. It is not known if that is because Bishop David A. Hall is now the chairman of that committee or not. This amendment would eliminate most of the lawsuits such as the ones listed above. If the local people build it, pay for it, maintain it, it is only logical that they should own it. Again this amendment has been read once, do not allow it to be weakened.
June 7, 2016
Greater First Church of God in Christ, Knoxville, Tennessee is a church at the center of a firestorm. Bishop Thomas Holsey requested an interpretation of the Article III, Section D of the COGIC Constitution which controls the transfer of churches from one jurisdiction to another. Now the Judiciary Board has ruled and the Church leadership is not pleased. Here is an excerpt from his request;
“It is requested the Judiciary Branch of the Church of God in Christ, render an interpretation of the constitution:
SECTION D TRANSFER OF CHURCH
CONSTITUTIONAL PROCEDURE FOR LOCAL CHURCHES”
Does Article state geographical guidelines?
Click here to read Bishop Holsey’s request
The Judiciary Board’s interpretation;
Article III, Part 2, Section D, ¶ 17, 18, 19, of the Constitution of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. governs the transfer of churches between jurisdictions. A careful review of said provision reveals that the Constitution is silent on the issue of geographic location as it relates to transfers.
Therefore, it is the finding of this Court that the Constitution does not prohibit nor restrict local churches from transferring their jurisdictional affiliation regardless of geographical location(s).
Just this past November in the General Assembly, Bishop Blake spoke of a meeting between the three branches of Church government, (excerpt from page 2 of the November 2015 General Assembly minutes);
“Bishop Blake continued informing the delegates of a meeting he convened between the leaders of the three branches of the church’s government. The goal of the meeting was to work out any division or differences among these bodies for the unity and future of the Church. A special resolution (see Attachment C) was prepared as a result of their collaboration and read to the Assembly for acceptance. A motion was made to adopt the resolution. After a proper second, the MOTION CARRIED and Joint Resolution #112015 was ADOPTED.”
Paragraph 5 of the Joint resolution stated;
“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the rulings of the Judiciary Board are final and not subject to scrutiny or review; and”
As I stated before there is now a huge uproar over this ruling.
More on this subject at a later date.
June 3, 2016
The Judiciary Board of the Church of God in Christ, has taken a stand for justice that is unprecedented. This week they have released two rulings in which they looked at what the document says (what is written) and made these rulings.
In the case against Bishop Kyles of Texas, because of errors by the Board of Bishops, Bishop Kyles won his appeal. The Judiciary Board did not address his guilt or innocence, they only looked to see if errors claimed by Bishop Kyles occurred in his trial.. These are their findings of errors made by the trial court (Board of Bishops). Judiciary Board Order
Here are excerpts of the Judiciary Boards Order which only consist of the reason their decision was rendered as it was. The purpose of these excerpts is so the average person can understand their decision. Links will be provided for the complete documents. Links will be provided for the Board of Bishops rules which are mentioned.
Certification, Function and Deliberation of Jurors
The first issue the court will consider pertains to the certification, function and deliberation of the jurors in this case. The Constitution of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. as recorded in Section D, paragraph (i) of the Official Manual and the Board of Bishops Rule 10(r) govern the trial of a Bishop. For a Bishop to be convicted of misconduct, the majority of bishops present and voting must so vote. (See Board of Bishops Rule 10(5) (r)).* Likewise, the sentence for said wrongdoing must be agreed upon by the majority of bishops present and voting. (See Board of Bishops Rule 10(q))….
…The record is silent as to the number of bishops that voted for conviction. That deafening silence renders a review impossible. In the absence of numbers, there is no way that this court can accurately calculate the existence or absence of a majority. If this court is unable to confirm the existence of a majority, it cannot affirm a conviction predicated thereupon. As for the penalty phase, the record reflects that 46 (+5) voted for removal from office.
Simple arithmetic clearly indicates that the sentence cannot stand as is does not reflect a majority of the certified number of bishops present. It is largely irrelevant, however, because without a valid conviction, the sentence cannot stand. As a result, both the conviction and the sentence must be vacated.
This court is at a loss as to why the specific voting results were not recorded and incorporated into the official record of these proceedings. The failure to do so denies the respondent fundamental fairness and impugns the integrity of our church’s adjudicative process.
[(from Official Manual Article VIII, Section D, paragraph 2(i))]
(i) It will take a vote of the majority of the members of the Board of Bishops, present and voting, to sustain the charges or charge. If less than a majority, present and voting, fail to vote to sustain the charges, the accused Bishop shall stand acquitted.
Grievance Committee Members as Jurors
It appears from the record that bishops who served as grievance committee members also served as jurors. (See transcript of Day 2, Page 7, Line 6). For bishops to serve in this dual capacity denies the respondent due process and fundamental fairness.
First, the Grievance Committee members serve in an investigative capacity. As such, they are privy to information pertaining to the allegations that may or may not ultimately be admitted at trial. Additionally, their function is not merely to collect data, but they must evaluate that data. They not only determine whether charges should be brought, but they actually issue the charges. (See transcript of Day 1, Page 3, Lines 22-24; Page 4, Lines 1-5).
…Additionally, as investigators, they may be called upon to testify as to some portion of their investigation, in much the same way that a police officer is subject to be called upon to testify during the course of a criminal trial where he conducted some portion of the investigation.
In summary, not only does such a circumstance deny the respondent due process by tainting the jury pool, but it also compromises the legal process as it allows for the potentiality of grievance committee members to serve both as jurors and as witnesses in the same proceeding.
Arguing in Opening Statement/Standard of Proof
The next allegation to be addressed is whether allowing the plaintiff/prosecutor to argue during his opening statement was reversible error. It is fundamental that arguing during opening statements is improper. It is also fundamental that arguing during opening statements is generally not a basis for reversible error. However, in this case, the prosecutor did not merely argue in his opening but he effectively charged the jury which, of course, is improper. (See transcript of Day 1, Pages 17-19)….
Given that multiple standards of proof were provided to the jury, there is no way to ascertain if the jurors utilized the applicable standard of Clear and Convincing Evidence or the lesser standard of Preponderance of the Evidence. As a result, the conviction cannot stand.
Removal as Pastor
The respondent also argued that he was illegally removed from his post as pastor. Pursuant to the Board of Bishops Rule No. 3, paragraph (b) “[I]f the Complaint is being brought against the Bishop for his conduct in his capacity as a pastor of a local congregation, the Complainant must certify in writing that the Complaint is being brought by a majority of the members of the local congregation. (Emphasis added).” A review of the record from the proceedings below reflects that no such certification was ever referenced, presented or made part of the record. Furthermore, the order entered by the Board of Bishops does not include any language that pertains to restrictions or reprimands pertaining to the Respondent’s role as Pastor. Accordingly, no action taken against him as Pastor can stand, as no charge was levied against him in that capacity and no order has been entered against him infringing upon his functioning in that role. Furthermore, any action taken against the respondent in his capacity as Pastor is void ab initio.
Admission of Evidence of 20 year old trial
The final issue considered for review by this court is the admission of evidence of a charge from twenty years ago where the respondent was accused of similar offenses, but was ultimately exonerated. This court is unable to see the probative value of such evidence. Moreover, any probative value that it may have had was substantially outweighed by its prejudicial impact.
We find that such is the case here; it was plain error to allow the jurors to hear and consider that the respondent had been similarly charged over two decades ago.
For the foregoing reasons, the “Final Order and Judgment” of the lower
court is vacated and the matter is remanded for a new trial.
November 14, 2015
Click this link to read the Job Description and Remuneration Booklet which was passed out at the November 2015 General Assembly. Here is a link for the Job Description and Remuneration Report.
This booklet details the qualifications and the duties of all the elected officials. It also details the areas of authority each official and Branch or Department has.
March 31, 2015
Four subpoenas have been issued for members of the Church of God in Christ. In times past COGIC has encouraged those whom have been subpoenaed to claim they are too busy to attend. Those cases have been filed at the State Courts.
This action however was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (Federal Court). The way these subpoenas were issued, a failure to attend could have the U. S. Marshal show up to escort you to the site. Here is part of the subpoena, below it you can click the links to view the complete documents.
Those to whom the subpoenas were issued are;
March 6, 2015
I received this essay via email and after reading it I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. It is a 9 page letter which requires the reader to think. Here is an excerpt from the essay written by Dr. Edward Lee Johnson Sr., Pastor of New Vision Cathedral Church of God in Christ. Click this link to read the complete article. Has God sent JUDGMENT to COGIC?
Here is a link to a blog he has started: COGIC ON FIRE
Dr. Edward Johnson Sr.
I would like to begin by saying how much I admired Bishop Charles Blake as a teenager, and to this very day, for the work that he has established in California. The West Angeles Cathedral is a marvel to that region and this nation as well. As an accomplished American of African ancestry—he deserves credit for building and overseeing one of the most elaborate worship facilities in the history of America. And, we are all enamored by our “so called” favorite Hollywood movie stars that Bishop Blake heralds as prominent members of West Angeles Cathedral. However, as a church that is founded upon New Testament biblical principles—promoting individuals because of their social, political, or financial status is a “direct violation” of our spiritual principles . We are to esteem those who labor in the kingdom for preaching the gospel, and their work sake. But when it comes to salvation, everyone must come through the same narrow gate and forsake the “lust” of this world in order to win Christ. There are no “celebrities” in God’s kingdom. “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (Philippians 3 :8 ) How is it that some individuals can claim to be Christians, members of a Pentecostal Church—and at the same time promote values in politics, movies, music, and civic activities that are morally detestable?
When it comes to the kingdom of God—the message of the cross is for everyone in the human family to come to Jesus just as they are. But, you cannot come to Jesus and remain as you are. Jesus said, “take on my yoke and learn of Me.” And, we all know that the prevailing message that comes out of Hollywood and the entertainment industry does not reflect the teaching of Christ and His apostles. So, if an individual has committed to being a Christian, and an active member of a Pentecostal institution (The Church Of God In Christ), he or she must shun the very appearance of evil in order to follow Christ. If the said person is overly concerned about their livelihood once taking a stand for the kingdom of God, lead him to this passage of scripture. “Take no thought saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or wherewithal shall we be clothe? (For all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father know that you have need of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness (what God requires out of a professing believer); and all of these things shall be given freely to you by your heavenly Father.”
I would be the first to say that a spiritually healthy, grounded, and full-grown adult can probably decipher through most of the filth that some of these individuals portray on the big screen, and in many of their songs. But impressionable young children, most teenagers, and some adults don’t stand a chance against the overt and subliminal messages that come from these morally depraved institutions. The reason why America is currently in a moral free-fall is because too many churches have taken their focus off the “transformed” life and placed it on the almighty ($) dollar….(continued)
For the full essay click here Has God sent JUDGMENT to COGIC?
February 5, 2015
Here is a new publication which I have come across which discusses COGIC current events.
January 27, 2015
The Federal Lawsuit has been revised to include members of the General Board. Those included are, the Presiding Bishop, first and second Assistant Presiding Bishop, the Secretary, and the Assistant Secretary of the General Board.
December 27, 2014
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ (Revelation 3:1–6, NKJV)
There has been a lot of controversy over the message Evangelist Earl Carter preached at the 107th Church of God in Christ Convocation. Many letters have been written, many opinions have been expressed. Bishop Blake apologized because “one of the more than fifteen speakers used terms and spoke in a way that was offensive and inappropriate”.
The only opinion that matters is that of the Most High God.
I have included the apology as well as all the letters I have found on the internet concerning this issue. You can view the apology and click on the links below to read the letters.
There has been a call for a forum at the Leaders Convention January 2015 concerning this controversy. Bishop Talbert Swan has written a letter refuting the need for a forum on this subject. Click on the link provided to read that letter, then you decide.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” ‘ (Joshua 24:15, AV)
“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22–23, AV)