IS THERE JUSTICE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST?

September 29, 2017

COGIC NOW PLACES LIEN AGAINST LOCAL CHURCH

In a stunning display of the Love of Money, COGIC, Inc. has placed a lien against a local church; Greater First Church of God in Christ located in Knoxville, Tennessee. One might think how much money could a local church owe the National for them to place a lien against them? The answer is none; the local church went through the  transfer process (which is why transfers were stopped by the General Board a violation) because they believe there is money to be gobbled up.

There is now a new weapon in the leaderships insatiable appetite for money place a lien on the property and extort money form the local congregation.  This is done under the “Trust Clause”.  Another example of the need for the General Assembly to amend a clause which is noting more than a license to steal.

View Lien as Filed

View Lien Clarification

Advertisements

November 28, 2016

A letter of withdrawal from Dr. Edward L. Johnson

Here is a post I found, you can see the complete article at http://truthandtheway.com/featured-articles/


New Cathedral

128 West Hamilton Street, Lincolnville, S.C. 29485
Ministry Line 843-871-6848 Fax 843-821-6148 Email: mynewvisioncenter@gmail.com
Dr. Edward Lee Johnson, Sr.-Pastor

To: COGIC constituents
From: Edward Lee Johnson, Sr.
Re: New Vision Cathedral Inc. COGIC withdrawal and South Carolina certificate of incorporation

Date: 11/18/2016

It is with much spiritual conviction that I submit this letter to you. I cannot continue to support an organization that I truly believe that its leadership is not following basic biblical ethics and spiritual values. I left home at the age of 17 in 1972 for the military as a backslidden teenager who grew up in my parent’s church. A year and a half later I got arrested by the Holy Spirit at a party while smoking pot and drinking with my friends. I was actually in El Paso Texas at the time when God saved and called me into ministry in 1974. I was transferred to Germany that same year after preaching my first sermon at Calvary in the month of July. When I got to Germany, I couldn’t find a COGIC church so I attended the Church of God Serviceman Center in Nuremberg, Germany.

For an entire year I cut my spiritual teeth in a ministry with a White pastor and predominately White congregation. I develop such a great relationship with my pastor—when he took his family vacation with his wife and two small children for an entire week in England, he took me along and I spent the week with them. When I returned home in1975, I became extremely active with my dad at Calvary. The greatest struggle I had early on was the cultural differences between what I experienced in Germany versus being back home in a COGIC church. In fact, when I would preach, people told me I sounded White. I shared that with the late Bishop H. J. Bell who became our Bishop in 1976; and he said to me, “Well brother Ed you have to blacken up your preaching a little.” What he really meant was that I needed to learn how to whoop like Black preachers. He obviously saw something in me that I couldn’t see at the moment because he appointed me to be the Jurisdictional Secretary around 1977, and Associate Pastor of Friendship in 1981. Although I objected to a lot of things that Bishop Bell did—I was too naïve to confront him. That was then—but I’m not that novice in ministry anymore. I believe that the course that I have taken in my ministry over the past 20 years is that “good fight of faith” that the Apostle Paul taught about, “follow peace with all men…”. The foundation that I received from my father’s ministry has kept me on the straight and narrow through the worst of my spiritual test.

I said all of that in order to help you understand my reasoning for relinquishing my ties with the current COGIC structure. I honestly believe that the leaders have taken the church completely away from the principles in which Bishop Charles H. Mason built it. The corruption didn’t start with Bishop Blake—but he has taken things off the rails just like President Obama did by glorifying immorality in a way that no other president in my lifetime has done. For the past 40 years I struggled in my heart about the cultural differences as well as trying to make sense of the denominational division among churches. I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t some kind of working relationship with like minded Christian organizations for the benefit of our communities; and especially White and Black Pentecostal. As the Holy Spirit began to teach me how all the division got started among denominational churches within the body of Christ —He also gave me a real passion to work with churches outside of the COGIC box.

We use scriptures out of context to justify ourselves like, “touch not my anointed” and “let the wheat and the tare grow together”. If you know anything about the anointing, you would know that a man with the practices and culture like Charles Blake is NOT anointed. And, as for the wheat and the tare parable—go back and read (Matthew 13:36-43) the explanation of the text. Jesus said that the field is the “world” and not the church. If you say that you cannot touch the tare in the church in an attempt to justify openly corrupt and vile people serving in God’s church—then any application to spiritual discipline taught by Jesus and the apostles will not be applicable in any church setting. Of course homosexuals, whoremongers, liars, backbiters, people who are full of hate etc practicing a vile lifestyle, should be allowed to exist in the field “world,” but not in the church. That’s the whole meaning of going into the highways and hedges to preach to sinners. If our gospel be hid—it is hidden from those that are blinded by sin. The purpose of the gospel is to transform the sinner into a saint. If our gospel be compromised—we will all be punished by God as wicked servants in the judgment. And, some weak pastors will have their works burned up even though he or she may scarcely make it into the kingdom.


For the complete letter click the Read More button

  Read More 

November 12, 2016

CONCERNING PACIFIC MOUNT OLIVE- THE TRUTH UNCOVERED

In a letter found on the Church of God in Christ web site, General Counsel Uleses Henderson gives what I believe to be a fictional account of the events which have occurred at Pacific Mount Olive Church of God in Christ. The letter ,titled “Statement On Pacific Mount Olive Church of God in Christ” has many discrepancies not supported by facts.

Paragraph 1: FALSE

On January 6, 2016 Bishop Blake sent a letter in which he stated;

“I, Bishop Charles E. Blake Senior, am the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ Inc., with the International Headquarters located in the City of Memphis, Shelby County Tennessee.

Pursuant to Article III, Part 2 Section A (1)(a) of the constitution of the Church of God in Christ as set forth in the Official Manual 1, you are ordered to cease all operations of Pacific Mount Olive Church of God in Christ, located 1385 East 21st Street in Los Angeles, California, by Saturday, January 9, 2016. You are further ordered at that time to turn over to Bishop J. Bernard Hackworth and the Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, or his representative, all keys, papers, bank accounts and all property of any kind belonging to Pacific Mount Olive Church of God in Christ.

This order in addition is being made by the express approval of the General Board of the Church of God in Christ.”


In a January 16, 2016 Ex- Parte Application for Preliminary Injunction and TRO, General Counsel  Uleses Henderson submitted a declaration to the under penalty of perjury.  On page 2, paragraph 8 of that declaration he states;  (Declaration)

“All members of the General Board voted that Defendant Joyner and his agents and affiliates must vacate and turn over all real property held by Pacific Mount Olive Church of God in Christ to Bishop Hackworth.  There were no objections.”


RESPONSE TO THE BULLET POINTS

Bullet Point 1: FALSE

Pastor Joyner appointed to Mt. Olive by Bishop Murphy, Prelate of California Southwest Jurisdiction (Letter from Bishop Murphy)

Bullet Point 2: TRUE

Stated in a deceitful manner, Pacific Mt. Olive had been without a Pastor or Bishop for approximately two years, members voted on a Pastor because they had no Bishop at that time.  In a letter dated July 17, 2012 Bishop Ealy  put them out, for two years they had no Bishop, no jurisdiction and no Pastor.  No COGIC official took any action until the letter from the ousted trustees.

Bullet Point 3: FALSE

Bishop Murphy appointed Elder Joyner as Pastor of Mt. Olive in January 2014. (Letter from Bishop Murphy)

Bullet Point 4: FALSE

Five Trustees, three of whom had been voted out of office sent Bishop Hackworth a letter claiming they represented the membership after they were voted out of office.  These five people were not authorized to speak for the congregation.  The Constitution calls for a vote of two thirds of the members to take this action. (Trustees Ousted)  (Invalid Request)

Bullet Point 5: MISLEADING

If points 1, 3 and 4 were true this would be true. However, to make this statement knowing points 1, 3 and 4  are false, makes it appear as if the General Counsel is attempting to be deceitful.


To read the chronology of the struggle for Pacific Mount Olive, click the button below

  Read More 

September 13, 2016

PACIFIC MOUNT OLIVE COGIC, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

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.

From the April 2014 General Assembly Minutes Attachment H

June 7, 2016

Greater First COGIC Knoxville, Tenn- The Judiciary Board Stand For Justice

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:
ARTICLE III
Part II
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).

Complete Order

Article III, Part 2, Section D, paragraph 17,18, 19

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”

Complete Joint Resolution

As I stated before there is now a huge uproar over this ruling.

More on this subject at a later date.

June 3, 2016

Bishop Rufus Kyles, Jr.-The JUDICIARY BOARD TAKES A STAND FOR JUSTICE:

cropped-scales-logo_small1.pngThe Case of Bishop Kyles

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.

I.

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.

II

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.

III

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.

IV

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.

V

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 20, 2015

MASON TEMPLE, BUILT FOR A JOYOUS NOISE

Here is a letter written by Bishop Nathaniel Wells, in reaction to a column written by David Waters in the Memphis Commercial Appeal  .

Here is a link to a PDF of that article.

Cover Letter copy

March 31, 2015

FEDERAL SUBPOENAS HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN JOHNSON vs HUNT COGIC LAWSUIT

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.Command

Those to whom the subpoenas were issued are;

  Bishop Thuston  Supt. Williams   Bishop Wells    Supt. Saffold

January 15, 2014

THE ABUSE, OF THE COGIC SEXUAL ABUSE RESOLUTION

IS THE MISCONDUCT RESOLUTION BEING ABUSED?

The resolution granting the authority to suspend, presented and passed on November 12, 2002 is being used in a manner that causes due process for pastors and potentially all credential holders to be in jeopardy. (Resolution is found on page 2)

It was originally purported as way to protect the National Church from Misconduct involving Sexual Molestation (See the first and last Whereas).

From the Church of God in Christ online Sexual Misconduct course, the definition of Sexual Misconduct is;
Any conduct of a sexual nature that is non-consensual, including but not limited to sexual harassment and sexual assault, or any behavior that has the effect of threatening or intimidating the individual against whom such conduct is directed.  A minor or mentally incapacitated individual can never consent to conduct of a sexual nature.
From the Church of God in Christ online Sexual Misconduct course the definition for Sexual Harassment is;
Sexual harassment, which is a form of sexual misconduct, is unwelcome attention, advances, touching, or harassment of a sexual nature that includes a range of behavior from mild, implicit or subtle transgressions an annoyances to overt and blatant activity or conduct than can involve forced sexual activity in an employment environment.

November 12, 2002 Resolution

November 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This resolution has been misapplied and used as an excuse to deny Pastors their due process under the law of the Church of God in Christ.  It is an act of injustice to use this resolution to circumvent the pastor’s constitutional rights of due process when competent, consenting adults are involved.

One such case is at the Bethel Temple Church of God in Christ in Gary, Indiana in the Third Jurisdiction of Indiana, Bishop E. Bobby Warren is the Jurisdictional Bishop .

When you look at the picture of the church, one wonders if the true motive is the acquisition of the church.

An allegation was made of conduct between two consenting adults.  The accusation have to this point not been substantiated but have been categorically denied, a case of He said/ she said.  The pastor was denied the rights as shown here from ARTICLE VIII, Section B, paragraph 2, sub paragraph, pages 31-32 of the Official Manual;

2 The procedure for the trial of a local Pastor shall be as follows:
(a) When a majority of the members of the Church Of God In Christ have documented evidence that a Pastor of a local church has committed any or all of the offenses enumerated hereinabove, they may file charges against such Pastor specifically setting out the acts and things complained of The original copy of the charges shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of the Assembly of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of which the Church and Pastor are a pan, or with which they are affiliated, and copies thereof shall be filed in the office of the General Secretary of the Church Of God In Christ at its National Headquarters in Memphis. Tennessee.

How will the General Council of Pastors and Elders respond?

Will the council require the law be followed?

As we prepare to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I am thought a line from his paper, ”Letters from the Birmingham Jail” where he wrote;

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” [Source ]

Bethel Temple Church of God in Christ, Gary, Indiana

Bethe Temple

[Source Google Maps]

December 17, 2013

FIRST COGIC JUDICIARY BOARD: HISTORY REVEALS THE FACTS.

THE FIRST JUDICIARY BOARD

The First Judiciary Board in the Church of God in Christ was established  as early as the 1940’s and operated until the new era of Church Government, (The General Board).  The actions and recommendations of the board was recorded in the General Assembly (first known as the General Council of the Church of God in Christ) Minutes of 1959 as well as 1960.  The minutes verify two cases found in the book “HISTORY REVEALS THE FACTS”, with a date of March 18, 1993 found on the page with a heading “Overview”.  This Judiciary Board operated from at least 1959-1969 and then, for unknown reasons, ceases to exist.  In the 1959 General Assembly Minutes (click here to view a copy) Item #5 shows the Judicial Board addressing a case known as “Richardson versus Jefferson.   In 1960 it shows the Judicial Board making a recommendation the the General Assembly (Click here to view the minutes).

PREFACE

In 1992 a Judiciary Board was elected by the General Assembly and has mistakenly been identified as the First Judiciary Board of the Church of God in Christ.

History has proven this to be inaccurate. The first Judiciary Board, the original, was established in the 1950s by the General Assembly. It consisted of Bishop J. W. White, Bishop C. C. Cox, Bishop A. T. Moore, Bishop W. A. Patterson, Bishop J. L. Lewis, Bishop F. Clemmons, Bishop W. L. McKinney, Bishop L. T. Walker, Bishop Monte J. Bradford, Bishop Van Goodlow, Bishop E. B. Stewart, and Bishop F. J. Hayden.

For reasons that are unknown as of this writing, this original Judiciary Board became inactive and the General Board assumed its responsibilities.

The Judiciary Board established in the ’50s has never been formally dismissed. As you read these pages you will learn of some of the cases that were handled by this board

(Click on the picture below to read the book))

THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL JUDICIARY BOARD OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST1st Judiciary Board copy

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.