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October 20, 2010 at 15:36 PM EDT
Bishop Eddie Long Fall Out Is It Time For COGIC Bishop Charles E. Blake To Clean House
This is in fact Bishop Blake’s Hurricane Katrina and his response time to this issue will also define his legacy. COGIC has become infected with a horrific virus that has the potential to cause the entire organization to implode.
If The Most Honorable Bishop Charles Mason were alive today he would most definitely break out the spiritual sickle and cut off this recent crop of COGIC Pastors. Lately it seems that every month there is another story in the news about a Church of God In Christ Pastor (COGIC) for either rape involving a child, moral issues concerning pastoral leadership or even worse, murder!
Bishop Charles E. Blake (the Presiding Bishop of COGIC) has found himself in the same position as President Obama in that he now has one of the most prestigious positions in the country, but at the same time he is faced with issues of biblical proportions.
The Preacher Bureau of Investigations (www.pimppreacher.com) actually makes no connection in between the recent outbreak of arrests involving COGIC Pastors and the leadership of Bishop Blakes because many of the arrest involving his Pastors were isolated incidents. Despite being out of his direct control, the increase of arrests involving COGIC Pastors is proving to be a test of Bishop Blake’s leadership.
But from this point forward Bishop Blake will be held accountable if the organization as a whole has failed to address the epidemic of sexual crimes involving COGIC Pastors. What’s at stake if he fails to fully address issues of sexual crimes perpetrated by Pastors of the Church of God in Christ is innocent members of this massive congregation, many of them under age children.
For insight on how to handle issues of sexual crimes committed by Pastors within the organization Bishop Blake must avoid the mistakes of pervious Presiding Bishops such has in the case of the Gwen Fox molestation complaint against COGIC General Board member John D.
The following passage is reported by www.gcmwatch.com
“Bishop Blake’s press statement citing COGIC policy of silence is nothing new. Its been an effective weapon wielded against its own faithful members and their families for decades. Gwen Fox, whose father was a prominent COGIC church planter in Georgia found out in 1991 that COGIC leadership had little value for the victims of its clergy sex predators.
When Fox found out that her 15 year son had been sexually molested by COGIC General Board member John D. Husband,[video preaching at GE Patterson's church] she sent certified letters to each member of the church’s General Board (Blake was a member). Not one of them responded to her. After none of the members of the board responded, Fox went to Memphis to hand deliver a letter to then Presiding Bishop Louis Ford. The molestation occurred in 1981, but Fox, a single mother, was told by officials not to take the church to court (using 1 Cor 6) . Delays, anonymous death threats, refusals to respond and health issues brought on by the stress of the molestation of her son weighed down justice. When Fox finally found the strength to seek outside legal redress, the statue of limitations had run out.
She believes church leaders intentionally stalled, lied and prolonged meetings with her to delay justice in her favor.”
There are striking similarities to the issues facing The Church of God In Christ and The Catholic Church when it comes to sexual crimes committed by Priest and Pastors, but unlike the Catholic Church, COGIC Leadership has never had a policy of interfering with Police investigations.
Under Bishop Charles Mason’s leadership, The Church of God in Christ became the bacon of the holiness movement and set a standard of excellence and integrity that became the actual identity of the church. Many people in the traditional Baptist arena simply referred to members of COGIC as “Sanctified Folk” for their radical worship services and the adherence to strict biblical requirements, but it was the mandates of righteous living at the core of their doctrine that made them exceptional.
Somewhere along the way the organization started to lose its identity at the leadership level and the end result has produced this recent surge of amoral Pastors that would make Bishop Mason turn over in his grave. Bishop Blake is not responsible for criminal acts of rouge Pastors who decided to molest a teen age boy, but Bishop Blake is responsible for letting the world know that this behavior will not be tolerated under his leadership. In this age of technology and information we have yet to hear from the organization as a whole on the individual occurrences that have made national news.
Listed below are few unfortunate incidents involving COGIC Pastors that has made national news as report by www.reportcogicabuse.com
ƒ˜ James H. Bell COGIC - A central Kentucky pastor charged with sexually abusing a juvenile has told police he is HIV positive. James H. Bell was arrested Dec. 30, 2008 after he went to the Shelby County Detention Center in Shelby County, Kentucky and spoke with police. An arrest citation said Bell told police he is HIV positive and had unprotected sex with a 15-year-old. The citation said Bell did not tell the juvenile he was carrying the virus.
ƒ˜ Edwin House COGIC - A pastor charged with sexually abusing children said his congregation is supporting him and he has no plans to leave the church. Edwin House, 71, was charged last week in Logan County District Court with five counts of lewd molestation. House and his wife, Lovenia, 64, ran a foster home for 25 years. She is charged with child neglect.
ƒ˜ Charles Campbell COGIC - A former funeral home employee accused of sexually molesting a teenage girl, then photographing another in the nude, is a pastor at a small DeLand church. The suspect, 46-year-old Michael Charles Campbell, is pastor of the House of Worship Church of God In Christ in the 300 block of South Woodland Boulevard. Campbell, charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and lewd and lascivious conduct, was also employed by Lohman's Funeral Home in Daytona Beach, police said.
The Church of God in Christ 103rd Holy Convocation 2010 will take place in St. Louis and serves as a convention for members allowing them to hear directly from Bishop Blake on matters concerning the church. The recent scandals involving COGIC Pastors has many observers wondering if Bishop Blake will speak directly to the leadership of the church concerning not only Pedophile Pastors but also how to enact measures that will prevent future sexual crimes.
At the point at which the leadership of COGIC is fully aware that they have a problem that's leading to the abuse of women and children, it is now their responsibility to address it. This is in fact Bishop Blake’s Hurricane Katrina and his response time to this issue will also define his legacy. COGIC has become infected with a horrific virus that has the potential to cause the entire organization to implode under the weight of criticism and criminal investigations, but not if they act swiftly and preemptively.
Our Prayers are with Bishop Blake as he takes on this enormous challenge, but the cure for the issues facing The Church of God in Christ may be found in a quote from a pioneer in the Holiness Movement.
“Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessing that come to others because of his faithfulness. “
- Bishop Charles Harrison Mason - Founder of the Church of God in Christ
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