IS THERE JUSTICE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST?

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

April 13, 2014

COGIC, A HIERARICHICAL CHURCH?

The other day I heard someone say, the Church of God in Christ is a “hierarchical church”.   The word “hierarchical” is used in more than one way.

One meaning is as the person said, the power is vertical, meaning the Presiding Bishop is over the Jurisdictional Bishop, who is over the Superintendent and the Pastor.

The other and most devastating usage is that used by the civil court.  The civil court does not care about the leadership structure.  They deal with property ownership.  To the civil court, in a hierarchical church, the National or parent organization OWNS the property and the local people purchase it and maintain it as a gift to the National Church.  The US Supreme Court used the labels Congregational and Hierarchical for the first time in the infamous case WATSON Vs JONES, and since it benefits the National Church, they all said Amen.

A Hybrid would use parts of both systems.  For property ownership, it could use aspects of the Congregational system.  Combining the two systems would give you the HYBRID

The General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ can define itself.  You can say what type of Government or as a lawyer would  say “polity” your church has.

Concerning property ownership, The Church of God in Christ lets it’s members believe the local church owns the property: (Congregational).  Concerning the leadership structure, I think Bishop Blake in his wisdom said it best

“Thus, the structure is not a pure hierarchy; it is a “hybrid structure”   in which power flows both upwards and downwards. Power flows upwards (not downwards like a hierarchy) from the delegates of the General Assembly to the General Board and Presiding Bishop. And then it flows downwards (as in a hierarchy) to the bishops and to those under their charge. It is episcopal in that it affirms the authority of the bishops who are those above. At the same time, it is governed by a constitution, and thus the constitutional rights of the pastors and congregations, who are those who are below, must not be abused or alienated from them.”  (page 4,  paragraph 2, of the book “WHY I STOOD FOR THE DEFENSE IN ORLANDO” )  Click this link to read the complete book by Bishop Charles E. Blake.

To see how the court views this word click this link THE HIERARCHICAL CHURCH.

For additional information or if you have questions contact me by using the contact form shown below.  No question or information will be posted from this contact form.

In case you think this can’t be true, here is a copy of the opinion of the Kansas Appeals court.   KANSAS COURT CASE involving a church in Liberal, Kansas

January 23, 2014

DON’T TRUST THE TRUST CLAUSE!

DON’T TRUST THE TRUST CLAUSE!

There is a lot of confusion as to what the ‘Trust Clause” found in the COGIC, Inc constitution really means.  The COGIC Trust clause found in the Official Manual, Article III, Part II, Section D paragraph 9 on page 16 states;

“The said property is held in trust for the use and benefit of the members of the Church of God in Christ with National Headquarters in the City of Memphis. Shelby County. Tennessee, and subject to the Charter, Constitution, Laws and Doctrines of said Church, now in full force and effect or as they may be hereafter amended, changed or modified by the General Assembly of said Church”

How many people really know what that means?  To put it bluntly it gives the National Church ownership of your property.
In Wichita, Kansas, in 2005, in District Court, the former General Counsel said;
” The members of the Church of God in Christ are all members who are a part of the national organization from the headquarters down to the local assembly.”
Since the General Counsel in his official position stated this for the court,  that is the position of the Executive branch of COGIC, Inc.
Did you know you are holding your Church for everybody who is part of the national organization? And here you thought it was for the local members.

Black’s Law Dictionary gives the definition of a Trust as;

1. An equitable or beneficial right or title to land or other property, held for the beneficiary by another person, in whom resides the legal title or ownership, recognized and enforced by courts of chancery. See Goodwin v. McMinn, 193 Pa. 046, 44 Atl. 1094, 74 Am. St. Rep. 703; Beers v. Lyon, 21 Conn. 613; Seymour v. Freer, 8 Wall. 202, 19 L. Ed. 300. An obligation arising out of a confidence reposed in the trustee or representative, who has the legal title to property conveyed to him, that he will faithfully apply the property according to the confidence reposed, or, in other words, according to the wishes of the grantor of the trust. 4 Kent Comm. 304; Willis, Trustees, 2; Beers v. Lyon, 21 Conn. 613; Thornburg v. Buck, 13 Ind. App. 446, 41 N. E. 85. An equitable obligation, either express or Implied, resting upon a person by reason of a confidence reposed in him, to apply or deal with the property for the benefit of some other person, or for the benefit of himself and another or others, according to such confidence. McCreary v. Gewinner, 103 Ga. 528, 29 S. E. 9G0. A holding of property subject to a duty of employing it or applying its proceeds according to directions given by the person from whom it was derived. Munroe v. Crouse. 59 Hun. 248, 12 N. Y. Supp. 815.
Law Dictionary: http://thelawdictionary.org/trust/#ixzz2rGkq7QOw

In layman’s terms, what that means is; you give the beneficiary (the National Church) an equitable (think equity as in equity in your house) interest in your Church.  Their name does not have to be on the deed.  When you join, pay your National Reports, participate and go to the meetings you are on the hook.

The attorneys know this but they talk in legal speak where words have a different meaning to them and the civil court than it does to those not trained in the law.  This I think is done to deceive, when you want to communicate truth you speak the language your hearer will understand.

Different states also handle this differently.  Some states use the “Neutral Principle”, that means whatever name is on the deed, that whose it is.  Others states use whatever their state law says.  The third and the one that is most harmful to the local members is the “Hierarchical Principle”.  You should find out which policy your state uses but remember, it  could change with the stroke of a judges pen.

If the Trust Clause stated it was held for none but the local church members or congregation, it would protect the local church.

As it stands, every chicken dinner, every bake sale done for the church is for the National Church, because of the “Trust Clause.”

Because of the Trust Clause, you are owners in name only.  Which makes you a sharecropper.

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]

July 13, 2013

COGIC CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS EXPOSE REVISITED

This is a topic whose time has come for it to be revisited.  The Constitutional Rights Expose was written by Brenda Stidham and the Response to the Constitutional Rights Expose was written by Bishop Samuel P. Nesbitt.  The documents are presented in Ebook form a more comfortable reading experience.

Click here on the title to view The Constitutional Rights Expose

Click on this title to read Bishop Nesbitt’s Response to The Constitutional Rights Expose

If you cannot open the Ebooks, here are the PDF versions;

Constitutional Expose 

Bishop Nesbitts Response

Here is another critique of the governmental system of COGIC.  COGIC GOVERNMENT

September 14, 2010

CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, INC SEEKS TO GARNISH MEMBERS WAGES!

In the parable of the “good samaritan”, the priest and the levi did exactly what they were supposed to do according to the law.   It is interesting that Jesus commended someone who was looked down upon by the Jews (can we say church folks).  Where are the good samaritans?    I was Garnished again.  My prayer, Psalms 94:3-4.

October 13:  I was garnished again today.  Total “stolen” since this began is $558.22.  As someone else said “How Long This Madness” 

UPDATE: On October 6, 2010 I was garnished again.

There are those who will try to “misplace the truth” and say they did not ask for a garnishment.  The CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, INC is a plantiff.  The plantiffs lawyers work for COGIC.  They can tell them to stop at any time.

UPDATE: September 29, 2010

My personal check, has been garnished today !  

Not only has the Church of God in Christ, Inc and Bishop J. C. Gilkey thru Kansas Southwest Juridiction taken our church, stripped us of the non-profit corporation, have an injunction against us.  They tried to sue for all the offerings, tithes, Jurisdiction reports, National reports etc.  They recieved default judgement which is being appealed. However, now they have filed papers to garnish my paycheck.  Yes, thats right, they want to garnish my paycheck.  This could happen to you.  Enoch Perry General Counsel for COGIC, INC has assisted and even advised Bishop Gilkey to begin this action back in 2005.  Some of the named defendants are not trustees but members.  One person not only is not a trustee but she is not a member either.  They know my sister Brenda Stidham is not a member.  We have sent letters to every member of the General Board except the ones newly elected in 2008.  The National Church has consented to the taking of local property even though they know there was no national or state money put into the building.  That case was dismissed through a mediated settlement which Enoch Perry signed,  they then filed again in 2009.  Each time Enoch Perry, General Counel for COGIC, Inc. has come to Wichita and has been the star witness for Bishop Gilkey.  They say we are a bunch of renegades but not once  have they came out to see if that were true.  We have sent complaints to every member of the General Board (except as noted above), to Bishop Sheard in 2006 and to the General Assembly.  Supt. Hutchins said there was nothing he could do.  Even though they knew this Bishop did not follow the correct procedure.  Watch out, if you make your Bishop mad, you might be next!

 

 

 

 

                                                                    

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