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The Catholicks, The Baptistos, and now the Premiere of the Pentecostal Pedophiles, Rapists, Adulterers

Wednesday, May 16 2007 @ 09:47 AM CDT

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FW pastor suspended after rape accusations

Woman's lawsuit brought out 8 others' stories, her lawyers say

By MICHAEL GRABELL / The Dallas Morning News

A Fort Worth pastor accused of paddling and raping women under the guise of scriptural teaching has been suspended by the national body of the Church of God in Christ.

The suspension comes more than three months after a Fort Worth woman sued the Rev. Sherman C. Gee Allen of the Shiloh Institutional Church of God in Christ, contending that he repeatedly beat her with a paddle from 2001 to 2005 and forced her to have sex with him.

Since then, eight more women have come forward with similar stories, according to the woman's lawyers.

Mr. Allen, who founded the Pentecostal congregation in 1983, could not be reached for comment Friday. But he has denied the allegations in court papers.

No one has filed criminal charges in the case in recent years, Fort Worth police said. Mr. Allen was indicted on sexual assault charges in 1983, but that case was dismissed.

On Wednesday, Alayna Adams, a spokeswoman for the national church, released the church's first statement on the case.

"The Church of God in Christ does not condone inappropriate behavior from any of its representatives and does not comment on pending litigation," it said. "Until then, Pastor Sherman Allen has been suspended from all national and local pastoral roles and activities."

According to the lawsuit filed by former church member Davina Kelly, she went to Mr. Allen for spiritual counseling in November 2001. At the sessions, he would talk to her and assign her biblical passages. If she didn't read them, she would be punished, she said.

Ms. Kelly, a 34-year-old mother of three, said Mr. Allen then gave her a Bible and asked her to turn to passages such as the one that yielded the phrase "spare the rod, spoil the child."

"It ended up being a lot of Scripture on spanking for the most part – parents disciplining their children," she said in a February interview. "When he had me read them, it became obvious he meant for it to be spanking me."

The Dallas Morning News typically does not publish the names of sexual assault victims. Ms. Kelly said she wanted to come forward because she has nothing to hide.

After the third meeting, she said, Mr. Allen told her to grab her ankles and swatted her once with a green wooden paddle.

"I felt a bit confused," she said. "Afterward, he hugged me, told me he loved me. He just wanted me to obey."

The paddling escalated from there, she said, with Mr. Allen ordering her to pull down her jeans and then her underwear. Ms. Kelly said she was hesitant but believed so devoutly in Mr. Allen's power that she viewed it as a spiritual father/daughter relationship.

"I looked at him as a man of God, my pastor," she said. "I just revered him. I always thought he was hearing from God."

In addition to being a church member, Ms. Kelly volunteered cleaning the church. After Mr. Allen's wife died in 2003, she also started cleaning his house.

Around March or April 2005, Mr. Allen made sexual advances and eventually added sex as part of her punishment, she said.

Ms. Kelly eventually sought help and left the church in September 2005. But she said she didn't call police because she was afraid.

"He had literally put his hand around my throat and said that if I ever told anybody, he would hurt me," she said.

Ms. Kelly isn't alone in making the allegations.

According to a 1983 Fort Worth police report, a 21-year-old woman said she had contacted Mr. Allen about voodoo and he had promised to bring her an antidote that she could use while bathing.

But after he came to her house to talk to her one day, she blacked out, and she believed she had either been hypnotized or drugged, the report said. The woman alleged that Mr. Allen paddled her, sodomized her with a club and raped her.

Mr. Allen was arrested in a candle, incense and herb shop where he worked and was indicted on felony sexual assault charges. But the case was dismissed after Mr. Allen passed a polygraph test and the woman stopped responding to messages from the detective.

Stan Broome, an Irving lawyer representing the women, said he plans to file other lawsuits but hasn't been able to because Shiloh Institutional Church filed for bankruptcy a week after the first lawsuit was filed, barring any further lawsuits.

Mr. Broome said that the allegations span a 25-year period and that one woman was 13 when her abuse allegedly started. Three or four of the women filed complaints with the Church of God in Christ and met with church representatives, he said.

"We're glad that future victims may be protected, but we don't understand why the church, since they had full knowledge this was going on, didn't take action sooner," Mr. Broome said.



Anyone paying attention?

The church (facing lawsuits) said:

"The Church of God in Christ does not condone inappropriate behavior from any of its representatives..."

But they condoned it since 1983!!!


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