Texas Pastor Faces Abuse Allegations

by | Jan 31, 2008 | Charisma Archive

Pastor Sherman Allen and the Church of God in Christ are named as defendants in a sex-abuse lawsuit

A lawsuit with far-reaching implications for the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is working its way through the courts again after a delay caused by a bankruptcy filing.

Sherman Allen, pastor of what used to be known as Shiloh Institutional COGIC in Fort Worth, Texas, and COGIC are listed as defendants in a lawsuit filed in January 2007 by a former Shiloh employee.

Davina Kelly seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for alleged abusive behavior on Allen’s part that she claims escalated into sexual abuse two years ago. The lawsuit also alleges that COGIC breached its duty to supervise Allen despite complaints made to its leadership.

Seven other women came forward after the suit was filed, alleging similar mistreatment. Kelly’s attorney, Stan Broome, said some might be added as plaintiffs, including a woman who charged Allen with rape in 1983 but later withdrew the complaint.

Last February, Shiloh filed for bankruptcy, but a judge ruled in May that Kelly’s lawsuit could proceed without a judgment on the filing.

A married mother of three, Kelly said soon after she joined Shiloh in fall 2001, she began counseling with Allen for “emotional issues.” She said as a form of punishment for not reading Scriptures, not completing work or being tardy, Allen beat her with a paddle, causing bleeding, bruises and scars.

Sometime in 2005 the beatings escalated into sexual abuse, the suit claims. “These sexual assaults were serious in nature and continued over approximately a six-month period,” it states. “Allen instituted the sexual and physical assaults expressly under the guise of pastoral counseling.”

In a court filing Allen denied all the allegations. His attorney, Frank Hill, said, “Whatever the nature of their relationship, it was consensual,” but would not elaborate.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, who was elected COGIC’s presiding bishop in November, suspended Allen from church and national responsibilities last May pending the outcome of the case. But Blake said when Allen’s suspension was extended, the pastor presented copies of his church’s deed and articles of incorporation, which showed that his ministry was never legally tied to the denomination.

“He informed us that we had absolutely no authority to suspend him and no authority to try him, no authority to discipline him in any way because we were not legally connected to him,” Blake said. “So we accepted it as that and excluded him from any involvement in our denomination.”

At press time, the ministry’s Web site listed the congregation as Shiloh Ministries Church. But because Shiloh carried the COGIC moniker for years and Allen held offices within the national church, Kelly’s attorneys said Allen’s dissociating from the denomination won’t affect the case.

“There are so many ties between his church and him and the national church that clearly they were the governing body, so it won’t have any impact on the lawsuit at all,” said Matthew Bobo, co-counsel on Kelly’s case. He added that members of COGIC’s general board were likely to be deposed early this year.

Kelly said she put up with the abuse because she was under the impression that God told the pastor to use a different kind of counseling technique. “He never flat out said, ‘God told me,’ but he led me to believe that,” she said. “[I thought] he was a man of God, he hears from God and works in the prophetic. I never thought, He’s not supposed to be doing this.”

The alleged rape victim said she dropped charges against Allen—then pastor of another Pentecostal church in Fort Worth—after he came to her apartment complex and threatened to do the same to her daughter. “Maybe I’ll get some closure, just knowing he’s not out there lurking around somewhere,” said the woman, who plans to join the lawsuit under a “Jane Doe” identity. “I really want the pieces of my life put back together.”

Blake said COGIC has long-standing policies condemning and forbidding harassment, inappropriate sexual involvement by ministers and misbehavior on the part of clergy and members alike. “In the past, and in this case, any word that we have received regarding this, we have aggressively sought to investigate these matters and ascertain the validity of the charges and nature of the case,” Blake said.

“The lawyers are dealing with the matter in court, and it is our concern not to make media statements that complicate the process.”
Ken Walker

 

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

Abortion Restrictions Don’t ‘Force Religion’ on Women

After the Supreme Court ruled last week 6-3 that there is no constitutional right to abortion, pro-life supporters cheered while angry pro-choice activists took to the streets to denounce the decision. Abortion advocates carried placards and shouted slogans such as...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

Curt Landry: 6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Mind to God’s Voice

We are told that we must listen to God’s voice when we need to make important decisions. What does the Bible say about hearing God’s voice? How do we apply this to our everyday lives? 7 Bible Verses About Hearing God’s Voice “So then faith comes by hearing, and...

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

Prophetic Word: The Books Are Open and the Scales Have Tipped

As we were coming into the month of June, the halfway point of the year, the Lord began to speak to me that we are at a tipping point. How we position and posture ourselves in this month will set the tone for the next six months. A tipping point is a series of small...

RECENT ARTICLES

Charismatic Christian Spreads Spirit-Filled Hope, Boldness and Truth to the U.S. House of Representatives

One of the most high-profile, outspoken, freedom-fighting and influential conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives is a Spirit-filled, Charismatic Christian. Colorado Rep. Lauren...
Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

A predator ensnares his prey with a trap meant to weaken and disarm the life so easily enticed by the bait set before it. Once the predator catches his prey, his goal is to steal, kill and destroy. Do you know this is exactly what the enemy is trying to do to you...

3 Things God Can’t Do

3 Things God Can’t Do

 Most people will be surprised and may even gasp at that statement. You mean there are some things God can't do? Yes, it’s true. He can do anything except for these three things. {eoa} Bill and Annette Wiese founded Soul Choice Ministries in 2000 for the purpose of...

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Before the invasion, many—probably most—Western analysts expected the war to last from a few days to a few weeks due to Russia’s vastly superior military might. However, the Ukrainians surprised everyone. Due to the bravery...

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]