IS THERE JUSTICE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST?

July 20, 2013

PLEASE RESET YOUR CLOCK

Reset Your ClockRead this stunning article written by Dr. Lenard Lovett.  The subtitle is “A response to the Trayvon Martin verdict”.  Click on the image to read the Ebook.  Click here to read the PDF. Please Do Not Forget to Reset Your Clock

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July 18, 2013

JOURNEY TO JUSTICE: THE STRUGGLE OF THE ORLANDO INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH IN 1999

07-18-2013 02;12;18PM The struggle for justice is not a new one.  Here is a struggle over church property the courts in Florida got right.  If someone with the clout of say a General Board Member had come to Wichita, Kansas to dispute the testimony of former General Counsel Bishop Enoch Perry the outcome would have been different.  Click on the picture to the left to read this book written by Bishop Charles E. Blake when Supt. Derrick Hutchins was at the Orlando Institutional Church of God in Christ?

Here is an account of the story written in the O.I.C. NEWS.  Bishop Blake showed a willingness to fight for the underdog, to go against the system to correct an injustice.  What has happened to that?   He did not show up in Wichita, Kansas.

Click on the image below to read the story

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March 26, 2013

INJUSTICE AT MT. OLIVE; MUNCIE, IND

“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?”

These are not the words of some radical, this is a direct quote from a book written by Bishop Charles Blake, Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (page 4, para 5:     Why I Testified For The Defense In Orlando ).

Remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Page 1. paragraph 4, Letter From Birmingham Jail ).  Another quote from this same letter says “Oppressed people cannot stay oppressed forever”,  Page 6, paragraph 4.  Make no mistake about it,  the people have no rights as can be evidenced by these events and others chronicled in this blog.   In 2 Corinthians 3:17,  the Bible says  ” Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”     The converse to that is also true, if there is no liberty, there is no Spirit. 



Here is an article from The Star Press, a newspaper which serves Muncie.

Divided church faces foreclosure

Written by Robin Gibson

Mar. 25

thestarpress.com

MUNCIE —When two opposing groups within a church each declare they constitute the actual church, who pays the bills?

In the case of Mount Olive Church of God in Christ, a 60-year-old congregation divided since last year between the family of the founding pastor and his successor, the answer is apparently no one.

The result has been an ongoing conflict now further complicated by proceedings on church property, damage to a day care facility owned by the church, the apparent departure of the new pastor and an uncertain future for the longtime southside congregation.

After the death of Mount Olive’s founder, Pastor Jesse Branson, in July 2011, Victor Champion, a pastor from out of state, was named to succeed him at the request of some church members but against the wishes of the Branson family.

The struggle between the family and Champion for control of the church and records eventually ended up in Delaware Circuit Court 1, with the red brick church closed to everyone for 30 days, then reopened for separate services by the two groups each Sunday.

After an August 2012 court ruling that both sides interpreted in their own favor, Champion had police stop Branson family members and their supporters from entering the church the Sunday of Labor Day 2012 weekend, warning them they would be trespassing if they did so.

Since then, the Branson side of the dispute has tried without success to regain access to the church property, including calling for a vote by church members in September 2012 to withdraw from the denomination entirely. That vote and supporting signatures were duly submitted to the denomination’s bishops, but the local group has never received a response, according to B. Joseph Davis, attorney for the Branson family. The Bransons’ supporters have taken a “wait and see” approach on that matter, since pursuing that in federal court would be so costly, he added.

Champion and Bishop Nathaniel Wells Jr., who oversees the Muncie church from Michigan and who appointed Champion as pastor, both said before the September vote that it would not be considered valid since the pastor had not called the meeting at which it was taken.

Damaged day care

Another issue resulting from the clashes between Champion and the Branson family was the closure of Little Lambs Day Care. Located in a separate building owned by the church, the day care —run by Pastor Branson’s daughter, Dorothy Jean Mills —closed shortly after Champion used a padlock and chains to lock the building’s doors in September 2012. Mills initially moved the day care to another, temporary site, but was soon after forced to close it down entirely.

Little Lambs later sued Champion and won a default judgment against him in November when Champion failed to appear in court, with damages still to be determined. At a hearing earlier this month, Delaware Circuit Court 1 Judge Marianne Vorhees issued an order allowing Little Lamb’s representatives access to the building to retrieve any personal property and documents.

Davis said the building’s power had been cut off, resulting in frozen, ruptured pipes and damage to the property over the winter. The emergency motion to permit entry also contended “agents of the defendant” had been removing property from the building.

Davis said last week he believed Champion had left Muncie and was no longer serving as pastor at Mount Olive. Champion appeared in person in Muncie City Court in mid-December to plead guilty to operating a motor vehicle without ever having been licensed and disregarding a stop sign, resulting in a suspended 60-day jail sentence and 60 days’ unsupervised probation through City Court, according to court records.

Sheriff’s deputies attempting to deliver notices related to the Little Lambs lawsuit to Champion at 815 S. Hackley St. on Nov. 30 noted the “house is vacant,” court files show.

Bishop Wells did not return multiple phone messages inquiring about Champion and the current status of Mount Olive Church, and his office would not confirm whether Champion was still at the Muncie church.

Foreclosure

The church’s future is all the more tenuous because multiple properties it owns —including the church building itself —are facing foreclosure.

According to court records in a mortgage foreclosure case filed Jan. 30 by First Merchants Bank, Pastor Branson and three deacons of the church took out two mortgage loans on the church’s behalf, each for $100,000, in June 2001.

First Merchants notified the church in early December 2012 that it was in default on both loans and that failure to pay would result in foreclosure. As of Nov. 28, Mount Olive owned $35,372.23 on one of the loans, and $69,831.52 on the other, according to court records, which cite liens on properties including the church building at 821 S. Hackley St.

The issue with the mortgage payments —as well as non-payment of utility bills at the Little Lambs building and its subsequent damage —according to Davis, attorney for the Branson family, is that both sides had stopped paying the bills. His clients stopped handling mortgage payments after being kicked out of the buildings in the wake of the earlier court case; Champion allegedly had the original church trustees removed from church banking information after that, but also apparently did not pay the bills either, Davis said.

The foreclosure action on the church’s property could have at least one positive outcome in the overall conflict, Davis said; it will clarify who “owns” the church.

As many as 17 people and entities —including Mills, Champion, the local church and trustees designated by both factions, the Church of God in Christ office in Michigan and Little Lambs Day Care —are listed in court records as defendants in the mortgage foreclosure case. Davis said last week that more would likely be added.

Also listed in the foreclosure case is the Muncie Industrial Revolving Loan Fund Board, likely because of a $50,000 loan the board made to Little Lambs in 2004 for such things as furniture, paving and operating capital. Todd Donati, director of the MIRLF, who has been researching the matter, said a church-owned property on South Hackley was put up as collateral for the loan, on which about $37,000 is still owed.

Neither members of the Branson family nor supporters of Champion returned calls inquiring about the church’s current status.

Contact Robin Gibson at 213-5855.

September 29, 2012

HARD TASKMASTER Part II

http://cogicabusewatch.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/bishop_charles_brown.jpg            WHO PROTECTS THE SHEEP WHEN THE SHEPARD IS THE WOLF?

“Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” (Ezekiel 22:26, AV)

“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.” (Ezekiel 34:1–4, AV)

“The diseased and weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the hurt and crippled you have not bandaged, those gone astray you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought to find, but with force and hardhearted harshness you have ruled them.” (Ezekiel 34:4, AMP)

This was copied from the comment section of Cogic Abuse Watch; September 19, 2012

“I am a current member of Williams Temple COGIC. A large portion of us, over 50% have wanted Brown and his family gone since this story broke. Unfortunately, Brown is unrepentant, sin sick and a sociopath. See traits of a sociopath below. He has torn the church up, stolen from the church, broken up marraiges because of his extramarital issues…and continues to attack those that remain nuetral or are openly against his still remaining our pastor. He has sent letters kicking people out of the church, no one is getting the holy ghost, no one is remaining saved…our church is being taken over by registered sex offenders that Brown allows to go forth. He has an army of supporters that know the truthy, but have been brainwashed. The blood of the lost souls at our church is on teh hands of the national church and Brown. YOu dont ever put a fox over a hen house. He is a predator in every way imaginable. His children are bullies. Our MANY requests to teh national that he be taken down have gone ignored and unacknowledged…God is not pleased, but we are still praying and a large number of us still beleive that God is going to remove this man from our church. To survivors 1,2, and 3…God bless you for your courage. You have way more support than you know here in Houston. We are rallying behind you. One thing I know for sure. Pediphiles never stop abusing. If he abused godchildren and neices, CPS might ned to be called to talk to the numerous children that he is surrounded by.

Qualities of a Sociopath

Someone who is described as a sociopath will have several traits that set them apart from those with no personality disorders. These traits include the following…

• Lack of empathy – Inability to feel sympathy for others or to understand the emotional consequences of their actions

• Cold, calculating nature – The ability and willingness to use others around them to personal gain

• Shallow emotions – Lack of real emotion in response to events, limited capacity to feel love

• Narcissism – A personality disorder in itself in which the individual feels strong love and admiration toward themselves (often a defense mechanism against deep seated low esteem)

• Grandiose self image – They might see themselves as someone who is superior to others and sometimes even experiences delusions. A sociopath might see themselves as a fitting ruler of a country or even the world, but might also have delusional beliefs such as seeing themselves as a God or having super powers

• Charming – While the sociopath is unable to fully understand the emotions of others, they are capable but rather highly adept at mimicking them and might appear to be charming and normal at first

• High IQ – Often sociopaths will exhibit a high IQ which they can use to manipulate and plan

• Manipulative – Sociopaths use their superficial charm and high IQ to manipulate others to get their ends, and their lack of empathy allows them to do this with no sense of guilt or remorse

• Secretive – Has little need for others and is highly secretive in their actions meaning

• Sexually deviant – The lack of remorse, guilt or emotional attachments means that the sociopath is happy to have affairs and to engage in questionable sexual activity without questioning their desires

• Sensitive to criticism – That said, like all narcissists, the sociopath will desire the approval of others and will be highly sensitive to criticisms. They often feel they deserve adulation and admiration of the world and might feel victimized

• Paranoid – Often their lack of understanding of emotion along with their incongruous self view means that they feel a lack of trust and paranoia

• Despotic/Authoritarian – Often the sociopath will see themselves as a necessary authority and will be in favor or totalitarian rule

• Lawfulness – Despite popular belief, a sociopath is not likely to be a problem to the law in later life, but rather will seek to find loopholes, to rise to a position of power, or to move to another area so that their behavior is tolerated

• Low tolerance for boredom – Sociopaths require constant stimulation and get quickly bored

• Impulsive behavior – A lack of regret and empathy means makes sociopaths more likely to make sudden rash decisions based on the current facts

• Compulsive lying – As part of their facade, and as a means to an end, sociopaths are compulsive liars and will rarely speak truthfully making them hard to pin down”

September 21, 2012

HARD TASKMASTERS

 

“The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.” (Ezekiel 34:4, AV)

Bishop Nathaniel Wells; Jurisdictional Prelate of Western Michigan Jurisdiction and a General Board member, (brother of convicted pedophile Milton Wells) has joined the ranks of leaders who has succumbed to the allure of power.  Like those spoken of in Ezekiel 34:4, it appears he has used a hard taskmaster to do his bidding.  Elder Victor Champion (see arrest record) fits the bill to a tee.  To be named a Pastor in Indiana and still be the registered agent for Mount Moriah COGIC a church in Texas, how can that be?

Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ; located in Muncie, Indiana is the scene of another horrific example of abuse of the people of GOD by a Jurisdictional Bishop.  There is a pattern to most of these cases, at first the people are made to believe the wishes of the previous pastor would be honored, however once it is known the people desire a voice in who their next pastor will be, then the true colors of the Bishop comes out.  They always find someone who values the favor of the Bishop over the favor of GOD who will attempt to bully the people into submission, like Tarzan they will thump their chest and yell “obey your leader” or “don’t fight leadership”.   They ignore GOD’S word which says

“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:3, AV)

“Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation).” (1 Peter 5:3, AMP)

And then,  out comes the big gun, the Ecclesiastical Enforcer himself, Bishop Enoch Perry III; General Counsel for the Church of God in Christ, Inc.  Who to my knowledge,(and please someone help me if I am wrong) has never come to the aid of a local church.  If that is not correct send me the information and I will gladly post it here.

 Here is an Order of Events

July 24, 2011   Pastor Branson goes into the hospital

July 25, 2011   Pastor Branson goes home to be with the Lord

July 30, 2011   Pastor Branson home going celebration. Bishop Wells eulogizes.  Immediately after Pastor Branson’s burial. Bishop Wells speaks with the congregation concerning Pastor Branson’s successor.  David Branson; the son, is mentioned. Bishop Wells says that’s what Pastor Branson told him as well.  Several members voice support for David, no one objected or offers an alternative.  David expresses his unpreparedness of not be ready,(needing to get himself together).  Bishop acknowledges; then there is a sidebar between Bishop and David for a few minutes. David confirms what Bishop says to him about his life.

Bishop then explains women pastoring in the COGIC. Explains the scripture concerning women usurping authoring.  Then explains how women can be given authoring.  He then asked how the church functioned in the absent of Pastor Branson the times he is was not present.  David explains how services were carried on.  Bishop then said he would allow them to carry on.  He then said this is what he was going to do.  He would put Mother Branson in charge of the church, He, Bishop would put his name as pastor over the church, and He, Bishop and Administrator Alford would mentor David to bring him up to the point where he could pastor.

Bishop also asked about the Pastor’s salary.  It was told to him about Pastor Branson’s salary or first Sunday tithes and offering he received. Bishop then said Mother Branson would received what Pastor Branson was receiving and it she would receive it until the Lord called her higher.

August 2011   Administrator Joseph Alford comes to Mt. Olive.  Preaches and instructs the church. (Where do we go from here).  Elder Herring talks with him after service. While walking down the aisle Elder Herring commends Admin. Alford and the Bishop who was not present, about how they were handling the transition.  Elder Herring was referring to them allowing Mt. Olive to choose their pastor by respecting Mother Branson the widow.

Admin. Alford acknowledges Elder Herring’s remarks and says “yes it’s because of Mother Branson, if it wasn’t for Mother it would be totally different”.

August 2011  David Branson talks to Elder Herring about him (Elder Herring) pastoring Mt. Olive

August 2011   Admin Alford visits Mt. Olive.  Informs congregation that someone called Bishop Wells about a complaint.  He (Admin Alford) then informs the congregation that they are to go through him and hands out to everyone his personal card for contact information. Admin Alford tells everyone they are not to call Bishop Wells.

September 2011         David asks Elder Herring if he would take the pastoral position at Mt. Olive.  Elder Herring response is to pray and seek God’s direction.

September 24, 2011 Administrator Alford and Elder Herring have a phone conversation.  Admin. Alford ask Elder Herring have they (Mt. Olive) decided what they’re were going to do. Elder Herring informs Admin Alford that David desires him (Elder Herring) to be the Pastor of Mt. Olive. Admin Alford asked what his response was. Elder Herring told Admin Alford He would accept.

October 2011 Administrator Alford visits Mt. Olive.  After service there is a meeting between Admin Alford, David Branson, Mother Branson, Elder Herring and his wife, with Deacon Stokes being present.   An offer for pastoring Mt. Olive is made to Elder Herring and his wife by Admin Alford.  They both accept.  Administrator Alford mentioned he’d like to also consider Elder Jerry White for pastor (a former member of Admin Alford who grew up at Admin Alfords church) from Terra Haute, IN.  He then said there would be a one month trial for both Elder Herring and Elder White beginning some time at the start of 2012. Lisa Herring expresses concern for mother Branson not feeling like she’s being push to the side and over looked.  Admin. Alford says mother would not be overlooked or pushed to the side.  Admin. Alford also said any decision about selecting a new pastor Mother Branson would be included.

November 06, 2011   Elder Herring calls Admin Alford to inform him (Elder Herring) of attending Mt. Olive for morning service.  Admin Alford gives his consent.

November 27, 2011   Champion visit to speak for Sunday morning service.  He has a 3 day revival announced.  He stays for two weeks running the service’s and church.  During this two week period he obtains a copy of the deed to the church by telling the clerk he is the pastor of Mt. Olive Church. He goes over the financial records of the church with Jackie Leflore.  The latter two actions were done without the permission or knowledge of Mother Branson or David Branson.

December 2011          Elder Herring has a phone conversation with Admin Alford concerning Elder Herring attending Mt. Olive. Admin Alford gives his consent.  Admin Alford then asks Elder Herring have they (Mt. Olive) decided what they were going to do.  Elder Herring is a bit perplexed but answers as per their previous conversation and meeting, that David desired him (Elder Herring) to be the pastor of Mt. Olive.

December 2011          David Branson and Admin.  Alford have a phone conversation.  Alford does admit Champion gave him a and or the copy of the deed to the Church.  David is upset that Admin. Alford didn’t inform him (David) of Champion giving him the copy.

December 2011          Bishop Wells and David have a phone conversation.  Bishop informs David that he didn’t know Champion did those things.  Bishop states that Alford brought Champion to Mt. Olive.

December 18, 2011   Administrator Alford visit Mt. Olive.  Meeting ensues after service.

January 15, 2011      Administrator Alford visit Mt. Olive.  Business meeting ensues after service.

January/February 2011      Bishop Wells sends David a letter, requesting he turn over the key, financial records of the church and daycare info to Admin Alford.

February 5, 2011        Mt. Olive has meeting after church. David is very disturbed about the 180 with the daycare from Bishop Wells. It was once considered separate by the Bishop, now it’s not separate.  David informs the congregation of the intent to transfer jurisdictions.  Everyone is allowed to speak.  He also asked if anyone would like to talk to him in private that they could call him. Two individuals asked for the number, one of which was Jackie Leflore David gave out his phone number audibly.  No one calls David.

February 2011 (week of the 5th)  Mt. Olive sends Bishop Wells their transfer request letter.

February 14, 2012      Bishop Wells releases Mt. Olive into Bishop Alford’s Jurisdiction per letter.

February 2012 (week of the 17th)     A phone conversation between Bishop Wells, Bishop Alford and Admin Alford takes place for Bishop Alford to meet with Mt. Olive to welcome them in 4th Jurisdiction.

February 19, 2012      Administrator Alford visits Mt. Olive.  Elder Knowlins a guest of Admin. Alford delivers the sermon.  After service Admin Alford conducts a business meeting.  He passes out copies of the letter from Mt. Olive to Bishop Wells. He asked if everyone had seen the letter, a few people claimed they did not. Admin Alford then informs the congregation that no one from the church should send a letter on behalf of the church to the Bishop unless the whole church sees it.  Admin. Alford reads a letter from Bishop Wells responding to Mt. Olive’s request to transfer jurisdiction. (no copies were passed out) A vote is conducted by Admin Alford on transfer of jurisdictions.  There were 11 yes votes to transfer and 3 no votes.

David inquires about Champion once again. Bishop Wells is called by Administrator Alford and put on speaker phone. David asked Bishop Wells about Champion.  Ask who was responsible for him being at Mt. Olive back in November 2011.  After a back and forth between Admin Alford and Bishop Wells not wanting to take responsibility for Champion, Bishop Wells finally says “I sent him, now, next”.  David then tries to explain there was no disrespect intended about the letter of request to transfer jurisdiction. Bishop Wells cuts him off and says “and that letter, don’t no woman send me no letter telling me what to do. THAT WOMAN, she must be crazy. The letter was off.  Ya’ll act like ya’ll don’t know nothing about the church.” He then says “I’m sick of all ya’ll, I’m sick of you to David. You want to know why”? David asks why. Bishop Wells says, “Because I heard you got a WHITE WOMAN living with you”.  Bishop Wells then says “you don’t want to mess with me, I aint the one to mess with. I’ll have you in court so fast.”  After the meeting Admin Alford tells Elder. Herring to talk to David and let him know he (Admin Alford) wasn’t the enemy.  Admin Alford explains Bishop would have put his rubber stamp on it. Admin Alford then told Elder Herring he (Admin. Alford) and Bishop Wells had already talked to Bishop Donald Alford (Prelate of 4th Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Indiana).  About transferring the church to Bishop Alford’s jurisdiction. (also see attachment)

February 2012 (week of the 19th) Bishop Alford contacts David Branson and or Shavon Branson  and welcomes them into 4th Jurisdiction of Indiana. He also plans a meeting with the church.

March 04, 2012   Bishop Wells does a 180 for reasons unknown.  He totally goes against his words spoken at the funeral.   Admin Alford shows up to Mt. Olive with his twin brother, Deacon Stokes, and Champion.  They claim they own the property and gain unwarranted access into the building by producing a blue document.  A letter of appointment is read by Admin Alford from Bishop Wells regarding champion as pastor.

Here is an article from the Muncie Star Press on  the issue at Mt. Olive COGIC.

Here is a link to Cogic Justice where I found the Judges Order giving property ownership to the people.

Another link dedicated to their struggle Mt. Olive COGIC.

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