This pervert told his counselor in the US of his illicit sexual contact with a 5 year old son of a church pastor in Haiti.
A “Christian Missionary worker” from Virginia, who had done voluntary work in Haiti for almost 10 years, pleaded guilty to child sex abuse charges and admitted committing unlawful sexual conduct with at least 15 children.
The US District Court in Western Virginia sentenced James Arbaugh, a former Mennonite missionary, to 23 years in prison for child sex abuse, the Virginia-based WHSV TV station reports.
According to court documents, Arbaugh, who “evangelized and showed Christian-themed movies” in Haiti for nearly a decade since 2008, was caught “engaging in inappropriate sexual contact” with a child. After being confronted by a witness, he returned to the US in 2017.
Last September, he told his counselor in the US about his illicit sexual contact with a five-year-old son of a church pastor in Haiti. The next day, the counselor filed a report to local social services.
Arbaugh was arrested in November and later told police that he admitted to befriending, “grooming,” and then engaging in sexual abuse with at least 15 minors.
“James Arbaugh was a wolf in sheep’s clothing: he posed as a selfless missionary when in reality he was exploiting his position to prey on and sexually abuse vulnerable children in one of the most impoverished areas of the world,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski, as quoted by WHSV.
“There’s nothing in the Bible that says you can’t drink alcohol in a responsible manner,” Pastor Chris VanHall told the station.
A building in Santa Cruz, Calif., is being converted into a worship space and public brewery by a pro-gay church that plans to donate some of its beer proceeds to Planned Parenthood, according to reports.
Members of the Greater Purpose Community Church now meet on Sundays at a food lounge to pray, listen and drink beer, KNTV reports.
“There’s nothing in the Bible that says you can’t drink alcohol in a responsible manner,” Pastor Chris VanHall told the station.
Planned Parenthood has offices in the former bookstore VanHall plans to turn into a brewery by next summer, The Santa Cruz Good Times weekly newspaper reported.
“A church that serves beer and gives the profits away to places like Planned Parenthood is really exciting to me,” the pastor told the paper.
Santa Cruz’s recent Pride Parade included a contingent from Greater Purpose, the paper reported.
VanHall told KION-TV in a report Friday that on Sundays there will be church in the bar “but it’s going to be before we open to the public.”
The pastor told KNTV that holding services at the food lounge gave him the idea for the brewery.
“I thought to myself, ‘wouldn’t it be great if a church could figure out a way to make a product where they split the profits with local community service organizations?’ We were like ‘hey, we love beer, we love making beer, why not do a brewery?'” he said.
Anyway, he said, his sermons are always better after a couple of beers.
They were ages 15 and 17, they said, when the alleged abuse began at a Southern Baptist church in Fort Worth
On April 8, Pastor John Finley stood before his congregation in Tennessee with an announcement. After 31 years at the church, he resigned.
He held a microphone and read from a piece of paper.
“I made some poor choices and was involved with two females in inappropriate behavior,” Finley said. “There was no sex. Both ladies were over 18. In the best interest of our church, I choose to resign immediately.”
But the women who sent a letter that spurred Finley’s resignation from Bartlett Hills Baptist Church near Memphis have a different story to tell.
They were ages 15 and 17, they said, when the alleged abuse began at a Southern Baptist church in Fort Worth. It was true he hadn’t had sex with them, but he’d done more than kiss them, they said. He touched one’s breasts and put the other’s hand on his naked erection, they said.
The alleged abuse began 37 years ago at Travis Avenue Baptist Church, where Finley served as the youth minister for five years. Travis Avenue is well known in the Southern Baptist community, with strong ties to Fort Worth’s Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
One of the women said she never told anyone about the abuse until college. The other tried once, telling a youth worker at the church. A rumor even reached a deacon.Still, Finley stayed at the church.
The Travis Avenue of today is pastored by Mike Dean, who arrived in 1991, five years after Finley left. He has worked with both women to confront Finley’s church in Tennessee and now wants his own church to acknowledge what happened, while also trying to make Travis Avenue a place of healing.
“That angered me, that we missed that opportunity to set this straight 30 years ago,” Dean said. “I was just angry that it happened and we couldn’t stop it or didn’t stop it.”
The story of Travis Avenue unfolds against a backdrop of the Southern Baptist Convention’s own recent reckoning with how it deals with abuse. In May 2018, Paige Patterson, head of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was fired over mishandling reported sexual abuse. At June’s annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, which took place in Dallas, much of the conversation revolved around the treatment of women and how churches ought to deal with reports of abuse.
It took 15 years’ worth of attempts to reach out to Bartlett Hills to get Finley to resign, according to the women and their advocates. Bartlett Hills leaders maintain that the two women were adults when the incidents took place.
Finley’s wife, Donna, told the Star-Telegram there had been no more than kissing and that both women were adults. She said her husband would not comment and provided the name of his lawyer, who did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
“It’s been life-altering for me,” said Maria, one of the women who said she was molested by Finley. She’s 51 now and has asked to be identified by a pseudonym. “I believe that God has blessed me with a full life and a family and love and friends, but I don’t necessarily think this is the life, originally, that I was meant to have lived.”
The youth pastor
John Finley, now 62, became Travis Avenue’s youth minister in 1981, according to the church’s history book. In his mid-20s, he favored bright shirts with bright ties. The kids called him “John.” His favorites loved him and remembered him as quick with a joke and easygoing, just like a youth minister should be; the boys not in his inner circle bragged about dumping a toilet in his yard.
Sarah Beth — a pseudonym — said she was 15 when her abuse began in 1981. She’s 53 now and up to that point had attended Travis Avenue her whole life.
The first incident occurred on a youth trip bus, she said, when she thinks Finley thought she was asleep. She said he sat next to her and touched her breasts. She froze and waited for it to end.
The alleged abuse went on from when Sarah Beth was 15 until she was 18, from 1981 to 1983, she said. She remembers one time when Finley rubbed her leg on a youth group trip to a Fort Worth buffet and arcade while she played a video game. Another time, she said, he pinned her against his truck door, kissing and touching her. Still another time, she remembers him touching her breasts. Sarah Beth blocked out some of the alleged abuse.
“One time — and I’m not sure what age this is — I remember I was kind of watching it happen. It’s like I wasn’t even there. I was kind of ‘up here,’” she said, gesturing to the ceiling, “and I’m like, ‘Oh, is this happening?’”
As an adult, she said, having had normal relationships, she looked back and thought, “How was that enjoyable to him? I didn’t reciprocate.”
She went away to college in 1983. She’d never told anyone at the church what happened.
When Sarah Beth was at college, Maria, a girl two years her junior, came to Finley’s attention. Like Sarah Beth, Maria was a leader in her grade. She always wanted to do the right thing and considered herself a rule follower.
In August 1984, when Maria had just turned 17, the youth choir was on a bus trip to Colorado. Maria said the group was playing cards and trading seats, sitting on one another’s laps and lying down, and she wound up on Finley’s lap. She didn’t realize it was inappropriate — she had barely even kissed a boy then. So she didn’t think about it, she said, until Finley started touching her from behind.
“You know how when you’re nervous and you can feel your pulse just beating?” she said. “I remember that feeling, and I’m sure my face was red, my ears were red. I just couldn’t believe it was happening. Then he started just kinda raising his knee up underneath me, and I knew then that something was very weird and wrong.”
Little incidents happened throughout the trip, she said: pointed looks, Finley rubbing his arm or leg against hers. To this day, she remembers his blue eyes and the puffy bags under them, staring at her.
When the bus pulled up to drop the youth group back at church, Finley helped unload suitcases. Maria went to get hers when Finley, she said, grabbed her arm.
“He looked at me with his big blue eyes and he’s like, ‘Hey, hey, I love you. You know I love you, right?’” she said. She felt furious. She hadn’t processed what had happened and she felt sure Finley was trying to cover himself.
Mark Leitch was a member of the youth group at the same time as Maria, an active member but not a favorite of Finley’s. On the bus home from that Colorado choir trip, he said, he saw Finley touch Maria’s bottom with an erection.
Leitch told his parents, who didn’t believe him. His girlfriend, he said, told her parents — and her father believed her enough to speak to others. One of the others was a deacon and the father of another 17-year-old in the youth group, who was one of Maria’s best friends.
Amanda — who, on advice of her attorney, has asked to remain anonymous — remembers her parents called her into the kitchen and told her to ask Maria if Finley was doing anything inappropriate with her.
Amanda and Maria went toMcDonald’s. Over soda and fries, Amanda tried to get Maria to tell her if anything was happening.
By the time the church’s ice cream social rolled around a few weeks later, Maria felt like she had to tell somebody what was happening. She asked one of the youth volunteers — a younger adult — if they could talk.
They sat down on the steps on the side of the church, and Maria talked in circles, not making eye contact. She rocked back and forth. Finally she told the youth worker what happened on the choir trip.
Looking back, Maria thinks the youth volunteer didn’t know what to do. The woman’s first reaction, Maria said, was to ask if the man touching her was her husband. No, Maria said, and she told her who it was. The volunteer asked a few details, if it had happened since the trip.
“Thank you for telling me,” Maria remembers her saying. “I’ll check on this.”
The youth volunteer wrote a statement in January 2018 about what had happened. She said she had heard about rumors of Finley and Sarah Beth before Maria approached her. She said she approached Finley in his office in 1984 with the rumor about Sarah Beth and Maria’s accusation.
“He admitted to the relationship with [Sarah Beth] but that it was over,” she wrote. “As far as [Maria] was concerned, he told me it only involved a kiss, and that he would leave her alone.”
The statement was provided to the Star-Telegram on the condition that the woman who wrote it not be identified.
Finley, she wrote, said he would talk to the then-pastor of Travis Avenue, who is now dead. The youth volunteer didn’t know if he ever did. She declined to comment further.
The youth worker told Maria she’d spoken to Finley and that he promised the behavior would end. But the incidents, Maria said, continued, and by then, Finley had warned her not to tell or he’d get in trouble. At that point, she decided it was useless to press it further.
Maria said the abuse happened once or twice a week. Finley, Maria said, made a point of driving her home after youth events. He would grab her and kiss her and touch her in his car. With a few exceptions — once, putting her hand on his penis — she said, he usually touched her.
Sometimes, she said, he would express guilt. He’d kiss her and touch her in a parked car and then move back to the driver’s side, repeating, “I don’t know why I keep doing this. I’m a good person, I love God. I’m a good man. I just don’t do this.”
Maria said she thought, “How come people don’t see this? How come people don’t know this? Surely people see this.”
John Finley left Travis Avenue Baptist Church in 1986. When Maria found out, she was working in a Fort Worth department store with a couple of other friends from church. When a friend told her, she ran to the back room and sobbed.
A 1989 directory from the Tennessee church John Finley would resign from almost 30 years later shows him smiling from a page of staff members in a red tie and a gray suit. He has the same tight curly hair the Travis Avenue kids remember. He’s listed as the church’s minister of education and youth.
‘I knew this day would come’
Away at college, Sarah Beth began telling some friends — several of whom have spoken to the Star-Telegram and confirmed her accounts — what had happened. In the early 1990s, she told her parents. Watching the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings — and Anita Hill being questioned as she testified about being sexually harassed by the soon-to-be Supreme Court justice — rattled her enough that her mother knew something was wrong.
“It felt like, ‘This lady’s saying stuff, and people aren’t believing her,’” she said. “And that’s on the national stage. What’s going to happen to me if I tell anyone?”
In 1994, Maria and Amanda drove to visit a friend’s new house in Fort Worth. Brad Ward had been a member of the youth group and hadbeen told whathappened to Sarah Beth. Ward asked if Maria and Amanda had heard about Sarah Beth and told them that she had been abused by Finley.
Maria started crying when she and Amanda got back in the car. She told Amanda that Finley had molested her, too. Through some friends, she got Sarah Beth’s number, and the womentalked about their experiences.
After she heard about Maria, Sarah Beth called Finley. She confronted him about what had happened. She remembers him saying: “I wish you girls would leave me alone.”
Maria also called Finley. She asked, “Why did it happen?” She described his response as flippant. “It’s just one of those things, and I’m sorry,” he told her.
In the late 1990s, Sarah Beth wrote two letters to Finley’s church in Tennessee, one to the head of the deacon board and one to the personnel chairman. She can’t remember their names now, but she detailed the allegations against Finley and had a phone conversation with one of the men.
From Sarah Beth’s point of view, she’d done what she could. They’d been warned.
The church would be warned again. Scott Floyd is the minister of counseling for Travis Avenue and serves as the director of the master of arts in counseling program at B.H. Carroll Theological Institute in Irving, Texas. Sarah Beth went to him for counseling in 2003 about what had happened to her, and he learned there was another woman who had been abused as well. He heard Maria’s story separately and said he realized there were similarities between the two.
“It disturbed me a lot, and I struggled with it,” Floyd said. “I felt like I needed to do more than just try to help them individually.”
He got the women’s permission to do research. He spoke to Mike Dean, the Travis Avenue pastor, who agreed to let Floyd do anything the women were comfortable with. Floyd spoke to others who had been members of the youth group at the time. And then, with the women’s permission, he reached out to two officials at the church with a letter laying out his findings — and to Finley himself with a letter and phone call.
“The first thing he said to me is, ‘I knew this day would come,’” Floyd said. Floyd provided details about the allegations against Finley on the phone. Finley, he said, denied nothing.
Finley said there was no intercourse, there had been only two girls and that he was repentant. He also said he had not worked with children since being at Travis Avenue (according to the old church directory and Finley’s resignation statement, this is untrue: He worked as a youth minister at the Tennessee church before becoming the pastor).
At Floyd’s urging, Finley agreed to get counseling and allow Floyd to check in with the counselor, Floyd says. Floyd said Finley went to several sessions.
“What I was hoping to do is make other people aware of what he had done in the past,” Floyd said. “I was trying to contain the likelihood he could do anything else.”
Finley would stay at the church until 2018.
What more can our church do?’
On April 3, 2018, just after he resigned from his position as the student minister of Tennessee’s Bartlett Hills Baptist Church, Nick Daniel received a package that had been FedEx-ed overnight to his home address.
When he opened it, he found a letter detailing five years’ worth of alleged sexual abuse by John Finley at the Travis Avenue church in Fort Worth during the 1980s. Finley had hired Daniel at Bartlett Hills.
“This day will serve as a line of demarcation for those receiving this document,” read the letter, written by Amanda and Sarah Beth and approved by Maria, dated April 2, 2018. “It will mark the day each of you became aware that your Executive Pastor committed sexually criminal acts and now have a responsibility to act in order to protect your church and its congregants.”
Daniel was shocked. John Finley had been at Bartlett Hills for 30 years. But the accusations in the document were detailed — and there were enough to make him doubt Finley, Daniel said.
Five other Bartlett Hills officials received identical letters the same day.
The next Daniel heard, Finley had resigned — with a statement different from what the documents said had happened.
“For me personally, it becomes a struggle,” Daniel said. He is now working at another Tennessee church. “I worked with this man for eight years, I never knew any of this. It makes you question your own ability, your own discernment.”
Spurred by the #MeToo movement and its spillover into the church world, Sarah Beth and Maria had decided they were ready to try again. This time, Amanda — their old friend from youth group — took on a role as their advocate.
In January 2018, both women said, they filed reports with the Fort Worth Police Department.
The report filed by Sarah Beth alleges that Finley sexually assaulted her several times from the time she was about 15 to the time she was about 17 years old. The report says Sarah Beth told police Finley kissed her on multiple occasions. Once, while fully clothed, he lay on top of her on the floor, kissed her and became aroused, the report said. On another occasion, Finley put his hand under her shirt and rubbed her breast, Sarah Beth told police.
Maria provided the Star-Telegram with a portion of the report she said she filed with police. It does not identify Finley but says Maria reported that she was assaulted by her youth minister on and off for two years, beginning around 1984. The report alleges the youth minister touched her buttocks, then pushed his knee into her groin. It also alleges the youth minister kissed her, fondled her breasts and asked her to kiss and touch him.
In the letter to Bartlett Hills, Amanda put herself forward as the advocate who would be the point of contact with the church. Ted Rasbach, chairman of the personnel committee at Bartlett Hills, responded to Amanda and declared himself the spokesman for the church.
In an interview, he said he and the other recipients immediately took the letter to Finley. Finley, he said, “acknowledged he had committed inappropriate behaviors but that they were not with minors.” Rasbach, who has been at Bartlett Hills since the early 1960s, thought Finley had been a wonderful pastor. He’d never heard any allegations against him of inappropriate behavior until the letter arrived.
“The communications in the letters had no basis in facts,” Rasbach said.
On April 8, Finley read his resignation speech to the church, saying as much. Backlit by the chancel’s purple lighting, he told the church that he had been involved in “inappropriate behavior” with two women, both over 18, over 30 years ago in another church. “Nothing like this has happened in our church,” he said.
As he walked off the chancel, a congregant called out, “John, John, please don’t do this. We’ve all made mistakes.”
Rasbach provided a transcript of Finley’s remarks.
“I was angry when I saw that,” Maria said. “I was like, ‘How can you sit here and lie? You have the opportunity to come clean.’ ”
Amanda sent an email the day after Finley resigned, demanding that the church correct his resignation speech. Rasbach asked for police reports. Amanda promised to travel to Tennessee with other documents and obtain the police reports. Maria would travel with her, ready to tell her story to the entire congregation. Ultimately, Rasbach replied that the committee decided a visit would be unnecessary.
“We’re not sure what the two ladies are wanting, at this point,” he said. “John Finley has resigned. What more can our church do?”
Donna Finley, John’s wife, picked up the phone at the couple’s Tennessee home on July 3. More than anything, she wished this whole thing would go away.
“I can tell you for certain it was no more than kissing,” she said. Referencing Sarah Beth, who signed her real name to the letter to Bartlett Hills, Donna Finley added, “She should be over this. She cannot live her life trying to destroy my husband.”
Donna Finley said her husband would not comment and deferred comment to his lawyer, Jeffrey Jones, an attorney based in Bartlett, Tennessee.
Jones did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls over the course of the last week. The Star-Telegram sent Jones a list of 34 questions regarding each accusation Maria and Sarah Beth made against Finley, as well as recollections others had of interactions with Finley over the nearly four decades of his time at the Travis Avenue and Bartlett Hills churches.On Sunday, July 8, Pastor Mike Dean informed his congregation at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth of what had happened. He put out a statement from the church, outlining that the church had learned about the allegations in 2003 and had worked since to help Sarah Beth and Maria warn the Tennessee church.
“Our first instinct is self-defense, and yet I knew we needed to resist that,” he said in an interview. “This is something that happened. It happened here at our place.”
The church has more safeguards in place than it did in the 1980s: background checks, windows between rooms, a two-adult policy for staff workingwith children. And the youth minister copies his wife or another worker when texting a student.
He hopes that Travis Avenue can help other churches deal with such circumstances in the future and use the situation to minister to abuse victims in its own congregation.
In December 2017, before confronting Bartlett Hills, Amanda had sent an email through the Southern Baptist Convention’s website asking how to turn in a pedophile. She never got a response. She wrote an email to the Ethics &Religious Liberty Commission — the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention — and presented the situation. She asked for guidance.
“Specifically engaging in this matter is not in the scope of our role, authority or ability,” Lauren Konkol, the commission’s team coordinator, wrote in an email back to Amanda on Feb. 3. “Within Southern Baptist churches, the local church is the highest authority, and we as a denominational organization have no authority to remove or rebuke any local pastor.”
Konkol deferred response to the commission’s vice president for public policy and general counsel, Travis Wussow.
“We’ve been grappling with what is our responsibility, what is our mandate,” he said. “But what autonomous doesn’t mean is we are autonomous from every authority.” Criminal justice, he said, belongs to the state to execute.
The autonomy of the local church — a backbone of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is technically a voluntary association of local churches — can be a sticking point in rooting out abuse. The SBC itself is hesitant to publicly rebuke pastors and churches.
A proposed database of offenders, which has been talked about since 2007, has been repeatedly defeated. In 2008, the SBC executive committee announced it would not support it, citing the “belief in the autonomy of each local church.”
After this year’s convention and its focus on abuse, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention has been tasked with studying the viability of creating one. No church has yet been kicked out of the SBC for mishandling abuse, but Roger Oldham, spokesman for the SBC’s executive committee, said it could be done.
“Who has the authority to go to a church and say: ‘Your pastor has a problem?’ There isn’t an authority within our convention with the legitimacy to do this,” said a lawyer familiar with the SBC, who required anonymity to speak freely. “Southern Baptists as a whole have to look at each other and say: ‘Let’s do something about this.’”
After Finley’s resignation, Amanda sent an email to Mitch Martin, executive director of missions for the Mid-South Baptist Association, a Tennessee-based network of Southern Baptist churches, outlining what Finley had allegedly done and the discrepancies in his resignation speech. In an email to Amanda, Martin promised to “discourage John from pursuing vocational ministry” and, if a church came asking about him, he would “tell them that I cannot in good conscience recommend him.”
Martin told Randy Davis, president of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, that Finley had resigned and that there had been accusations made against him. Davis said he didn’t know the specifics. He hasn’t informed other churches about Finley, he said, because he doesn’t have enough firsthand information. He said he wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to alerting the churches in the Tennessee Baptist Convention’s network to an abuser, though.
“It is pressing the envelope of church autonomy, but I believe we need to become more involved in informing our network of churches how they can understand their responsibilities in vetting someone,” he said. “We’re desiring to be very proactive in helping churches to deal with these things openly.”
Maria never dealt with her emotions until she wrote her impact statement to send to Bartlett Hills. For a while, she felt like nobody cared. For years, she carried blame and self-loathing for what happened.
Mark Leitch, the boy on the bus who tried to alert his parents to what he saw happening with Maria, is 51 now and still living in Fort Worth. He’s carried the incident with him ever since, as well.
“As a young man, I felt like I should have done something to protect my friends,” he said. “I just hurt so bad that I didn’t do anything.”
Sarah Beth feels like the alleged abuse — though it was physical — affected her more psychologically and emotionally than physically. As an adult, she asked herself how the abuse kept happening. She was disappointed when she found out recently that a youth worker had been told what happened to Maria and that there had been rumors about her, yet Finley remained at the church.
“Why didn’t anyone check into that?” she asked. “I feel like the opportunity has come up to help other people — to either prevent something or help people who have been hurt. I’m trying to do what I wish someone would have done for me.”
Mark Edwin Aderholt, of Columbia, has been charged by the Arlington, TX Police Department following an allegation from 1997 in Texas.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) –
A South Carolina man has been charged with the criminal sexual assault of a person younger than 17 that happened in a different state two decades ago – and before his arrest, he resigned from the South Carolina Baptist Convention, headquartered in Columbia.
According to theFort Worth Star-Telegram, Mark Edwin Aderholt, of Columbia, has been charged by the Arlington, TX Police Department following an allegation from 1997 in Texas. He was originally booked into the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on July 3, the newspaper says, and then booked into the Tarrant County, TX Jail on July 9.
The newspaper did not expound on the details of the assault claim or what Aderholt is being accused of specifically.
The newspaper says Aderholt, “prolific as an international missionary,” graduated from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth in 2000.
Dr. Gary Hollingsworth, the Executive Director/Treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, has received and accepted a letter of resignation from Dr. Mark Aderholt who had been serving for the past year and [a] half as the Associate Executive Director and Chief Strategist for the Convention.
While accepting this with a heavy heart, Dr. Hollingsworth did so based on the importance of staying focused on the Convention’s Vision statement of “seeing every life saturated and transformed by the hope of the Gospel.”
Hollingsworth informed the Executive Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the staff of the SCBC, all the Associational Directors of Missions and leaders of the Convention’s Institutional Ministry Partners and wanted to make sure all South Carolina Baptists were made aware of this staff change.
He and the SCBC staff are committed to continuing to see the Gospel advanced here in South Carolina and around the world by working to fulfill the Convention mandated priorities of evangelism, church strengthening/discipleship, missions mobilization and church planting.
Aderholt is now out of jail on a $10,000 bond with conditions. The conditions of his bond are not known.
Leaked text messages between “prophet” Uebert Angel and his “spiritual granddaughter” reveal sexual exploitation of unsuspecting girls/women church attendants.
According to now deleted social media posts- a filthy sex scandal involving false prophets “Shepherd Bushiri”(real name Chipiliro Gama aka major1), and Uebert Angel of ECG church, in Pretoria South Africa and with a branch in Washington DC has been exposed via a cellphone that was not password protected of a woman mentored by “Shepherd Bushiri” named Melody Dzingaiwho is allegedly having a sexual affair with Shepherd Bushiri (Uebert Angels “spiritual granddaughter”), to arrange sex dates for him and source pretty girls for him from the church congregation. The post stated that Uebert Angels wife Beverly Angel is aware of his sexual escapades and uses hush money to pay off and silence would be troublemakers who would expose the secrets of Uebert Angel.
According to the now deleted post which was allegedly hacked and deleted by Bushiri’s “damage control team” created by LeroyElliot, Melody Dzingai’s personal driver; Melody Dzingai forgot one of her cellphones in a hired car, and Elliot received a phone call from the rental car office after returning the car that a cell phone had been left behind, LeroyElliot knew that the phone belonged to Melody Dzingai, Uebert Angels spiritual granddaughter so he went to retrieve it. LeroyElliot stated that He almost immediately received a phone call from false prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s “hit men” warning him to not open the phone followed by a number of warnings and death threats. Elliot stated that he had no intentions of looking in the phone but since his life had been threatened, he was adamant to learn the contents of the phone and made screenshots of the contents therein and created a Face Book account to reveal his findings to warn the public of Bushiri and Uebert Angels sexual activities which involved young girls and women in the church since his life had been threatened. Elliot stated that he couldn’t believe some of the despicable text messages that were being exchanged between UebertAngel and Melody Dzingai. He recorded Bushiri’s goons threatening him and the audio can be heard HERE
I was able to locate a few of the screenshots of the text messages exchanged between Uebert Angel and Melody Dzingai. Unfortunately, every internet source that published the information has been deleted- most likely paid off/bribed to delete the information. Here are a few of the text-messages exchanged between Uebert Angel and Melody Dzingai, his “spiritual granddaughter”
There has been an alarming number of incidences similar to this throughout the United States as well as in other parts of the world, tolerance for such behavior in South Africa is apparently more lax than in the United States. This is not the first allegation of sexual misconduct involving Bushiri and his “spiritual son” Uebert Angel. Since Bushiri and Uebert Angel came on the scene as “prophets” the allegations immediately irrupted. I won’t bother listing them, just google their names and read for yourself. I know without a doubt that these two use evil means to fool their followers to believe that they are performing “miracles”, when in reality they are being assisted by demons and most likely their participation in sexual morality is to appease the demon that is servicing them. My goal is to bring awareness to Americans who attend Bushiri’s church in the United States. Please, Please, Please don’t trust your children around this man or in his church– don’t take these allegations lightly, This man IS NOT a “man of God” he is an opportunist and a vulture who should have never been allowed to build his Satanic Temple in the United States.
According to the police report cited by ABC13, the pastor’s wife told the victim’s daughter, “You wanna know why this happened? It happened because your mom slept with my husband.”
An Ohio church pastor, his wife, and daughter are accused of robbing a Sunday school teacher in the church at gunpoint.
Anthony Morris, 49, his wife, Zelda Morris, 46, and their daughter, Kamali Morris, 19, have each been charged with the first-degree felony of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, the Toledo Blade reported.
Sunday school teacher Nickema Turner who had an affair with the pastor Morris claims she was at the St. Paul’s AME Zion Church in downtown Toledo, where Morris is a pastor, when she was violently assaulted and robbed. Turner alleges Kamali Morris grabbed her by the hair, and then both pastor Morris and his wife began to push and beat her, according to a police report.
Zelda Morris then allegedly emptied Turner’s purse and began taking some of the items.
Turner resisted and tried to recover some of her belongings, according to cleveland.com, and when it appeared she was getting the upper hand against her two female assailants, the pastor pulled out a gun and said “Bitch I’ll kill you”. It is alleged he pointed it at Turner’s face, according to the Toledo Blade, and made threats.
Two prescription bottles, a Taser, and an iPhone were allegedly taken from Turner’s purse. The iPhone was later recovered, with the screen broken.
The incident took place shortly before Sunday service was set to begin, it was reported, with witnesses on hand who later provided information to the police.
According to the police report cited by ABC13, the pastor’s wife told the victim’s daughter, “You wanna know why this happened? It happened because your mom slept with my husband.”
The three assailants then reportedly fled the church, while Turner was treated at the scene by Toledo Fire and Rescue crews.
The pastor and his wife have been arrested, police said, but at the time of reporting their daughter remained at large.
In a message on the church’s website, Morris describes St. Paul’s AME as “a family-focused, multi-generational ministry. We honor the traditions of the elders, but we are also intentionally contemporary in our Worship Experience.”
Public schools have an obligation to remain neutral toward religion…..
JONESBORO, Ark. — A prayer thanking God for life’s blessings was recently removed from an Arkansas elementary school’s Thanksgiving program after one of the nation’s most conspicuous atheist activists groups lodged a complaint.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to the superintendent of the Westside Consolidated School District on Nov. 10 after being informed by a parent that students at Westside Elementary School were sent home with lyrics to memorize for the program, which included a prayer of thanks to God.
“Thank You for the world so sweet/Thank You for the food we eat/Thank You for the birds that sing/Thank You, God, for everything,” the poem was to have read. FFRF contended that the prayer is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
“[P]ublic schools have an obligation to remain neutral toward religion,” the letter read. “Moreover, inducing young and impressionable children to give thanks to God is a usurpation of parental authority.”
“Such a practice alienates the students, teachers and members of the community whose religious beliefs are inconsistent with the message being promoted by the school, particularly the 24% of all Americans, and 38% of Americans born after 1987, who are not religious,” FFRF asserted.
The group therefore requested that “all references to God or religion” be removed from the Thanksgiving program, and asked for a written response advising how the district would take steps to do so.
According to FFRF, Superintendent Scott Gauntt conducted an investigation into the matter and after confirming the inclusion of the prayer of thanks in the program, had it nixed from the event.
“We will be more diligent in the future in an attempt to uphold the letter of the law in regards to separation of church and state,” Gauntt wrote.
FRRF has applauded the move removing God from the Thanksgiving program, calling it a “sincere action to uphold its constitutional obligation to protect the students’ rights of conscience.”
As previously reported, in 1828, just 52 years after the nation’s founding, Noah Webster, known as the Father of American Scholarship and Education, wrote, “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. … No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
If we Orthodox Jews had to choose between a Christian America and a hedonistic secular America … well, that’s not even a contest. I don’t have an invested interest in Christianity, but I have an invested interest in preserving human reverence for God, both because I don’t want to live in a society where God becomes a joke…
Yitzchok Adlerstein, director of interfaith affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, is an Orthodox rabbi who says he used to propagate “untruth” about Christians but is now “addicted to the goodwill of Christians.” I met him at a ceremony commemorating the legacy of William E. Blackstone, a pioneer Christian advocate for the Jewish community. Here are edited excerpts from our conversation in his West Los Angeles office: It took place before recent desecration’s in Jewish cemeteries.
As director of interfaith affairs, what kind of interactions have you had with other religious communities?We have been available to all kinds of religious groups to talk about the Jewish experience as a minority. I’ve spoken to many Korean, African-American, and Latino Christian groups, and I also speak to Muslim groups—sometimes people with whom we don’t always see eye to eye politically, as some hate Israel as much as I love Israel. But as long as they’re not endorsing terrorism, we will talk to them.
How do you assess the response to persecution of Christians?When we see hard-core religious persecution, we as Jews have to be the first to respond. We’ve succeeded in raising consciousness to the persecution of Christians around the world. Christians are being persecuted for their faith in the Middle East, yet the State Department has in the past refused to call it religiously motivated. So we kept on pushing back, writing pretty condemning letters to State. Until recently, we’ve been more aggressive about this issue than other Christian groups.
Are these efforts motivated by empathy or self-interest?Both. People would surmise that it’s the latter. I can’t prove it to them, but I can tell you it’s not. It is primarily an issue of principle. These endangered Christian communities in the Middle East whom we are trying to protect often do not like Jews or Israel. However, as people who were victimized by the Holocaust, we recognize that we can’t tell the world or our kids and our grandchildren, “Where was the world when they were silent about the killing of Jews?” and then be silent when the world is doing the same thing to Christians.
‘Ironically, traditional Christians and traditional Jews are now in the same boat. Not only politically, but culturally: How do you keep the next generation committed to the Word of God?’
What was your previous perception of Christians?I had a deep-seated revulsion to anything Christian. When I was growing up in Manhattan, I got beaten up by Irish Catholics after school. My mother was a Holocaust survivor. I believed Christians were either evil or out to convert me.
What changed?Along came a Catholic woman who started attending my Torah classes. After a while, she pointed out all the mistakes we were making in our publications in regard to Christian beliefs. Because of her, I researched more of Christianity: I read lots of articles, parts of the New Testament, and spoke to Christians from a variety of denominations. Since then I’ve learned that the strongest supporters of the State of Israel are Bible-believing Christians.
What did you think about the New Testament?I think Romans 9 to 11 is crucial, because that’s the section where Christians leave room for Jewish significance.
And what have you found is the biggest difference between Christianity and Judaism?You expect me to say Jesus. And that’s true—that’s a huge one. And yet! While it’s true we reject the divinity of Jesus, when we listen to you talking about Jesus, we think, “Oh, you mean God!”—without abstracting that into a Triune godhead.
No, the real difference is how we look at the Bible itself: Christians look for messages and deeper understanding in the Bible. Orthodox Jews see the Bible—particularly the first five books—as law. One consequence of this difference in outlook is that Christian seminary students study the Hebrew Bible a chapter at a time, but Orthodox Jews dissect it three words at a time, convinced that every letter, every nuance, is pregnant with meaning and instruction.
How do you study the Torah?I’m usually at the synagogue by 6 a.m. Then in the evening I study the Torah and Talmud some more. I am an addict of the Torah, particularly the Talmud—they’re my daily dose. Jews who don’t digest their daily dose of Torah can be just as ornery as males are reputed to be before dinner. My wife will warn the kids, “Don’t talk to abba before he’s fed!”
What most attracts you to your daily dose?We’re in the presence of God when we study the Torah. It’s engaging the mind of God and applying it to the human situation in all of its nuanced details. It’s absorbing it in a way that you can pass on to your children and build a sense of community.
If only more Christians studied the Bible as seriously as you do.Something I’m most concerned about is that too many Christian millennials just don’t have the same interest, intensity, and love for the Word of God as the older generation did. They say, “Just give me a message! Put it on a six-second Vine, a 140-character Twitter, a three-minute YouTube.” They just want to know what the “message” is—and they want it to be social justice and tikkun olam (a Reform Judaism phrase meaning “world repair”).
So …That’s not going to work! If people say the message is, “just be a better person,” what happens when you spot a Buddhist who’s doling out soup to homeless people with the same passion? You’ll start wondering, “He’s doing what I’m doing … so what does my faith have to do with it?” Even doing good things can be self-serving: It makes you feel good. If your beliefs are not related to the rest of your lifestyle, you can’t really hope to build lasting community and transfer your beliefs from generation to generation.
Why do you as a Jew care what’s happening to young Christians?Christians and Jews need each other. Today, America is not only looking down upon religion, but sees it as a countercultural force. American Christians have become vaguely aware that they’re no longer a cultural majority, but a minority. I won’t use the word “persecuted” just yet, but we’re getting there, and in some places, that’s true. Evangelicals are now waking up to the idea that they can’t afford to lose anything more. Ironically, traditional Christians and traditional Jews are now in the same boat. Not only politically, but culturally—which is the more important battle: How do you keep the next generation committed to the Word of God, committed to the idea that there are some things in culture that don’t change?
Many Jews are committed to secularism.If we Orthodox Jews had to choose between a Christian America and a hedonistic secular America … well, that’s not even a contest. I don’t have an invested interest in Christianity, but I have an invested interest in preserving human reverence for God, both because I don’t want to live in a society where God becomes a joke, and because I do believe it’s my Jewish mission—just as you believe it’s part of your Christian mission—to bring God-consciousness to as many people as possible on the face of the earth.
‘Ironically, traditional Christians and traditional Jews are now in the same boat. Not only politically, but culturally: How do you keep the next generation committed to the Word of God?’
An organization is launching a campaign asking Christians to donate money to help transgender people pay for surgeries related to their gender transition as a form of reparations for past discrimination.
Faithfully LGBT, a group that seeks to share the stories of LGBT people of faith, is raising funds for the transgender community through a campaign called #TitheTrans.
“There needs to be tangible ways that progressive Christians, who disagree with anti-trans theology, give to the transgender community,” says Eliel Cruz, founder of the organization. “I want Tithe Trans to be a way for Christians to begin to pay reparations for the damage we have caused,” he added.
The group noted that transition surgeries can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $90,000. About 20 percent of transgender individuals do not have any form of health insurance, and many insurance companies do not provide coverage for procedures related to gender transition, according to NewNowNext.
“Christians have disparaged the bodies of trans people, which has contributed to a culture of violence against them,” a statement from the Tithe Trans fundraising site read.
“From promoting anti-trans bathroom legislation to theology that has lead to suicides and homelessness.For those Christians who have seen this violence and have been horrified by it, it’s time to put your tithe money where your beliefs are,” it continued.
According to a news release published on the group’s website, the money collected by the campaign will be directed to the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to provide grants to cover gender transition surgeries. Applications for grants are reviewed by a board of trans activists, who provides as many grants as the organization’s funds allow.
A fundraising goal of $10,000 has been set by the organizers, and while the campaign is directed at Christians, others are also allowed to donate. The organizers are hoping to surpass its fundraising goal, but, as of Sept, 9, the campaign has only raised $512.
The hashtag #FaithfullyLGBT was first used by Cruz when he was sharing his column of the same name at Religion News Service in 2015. Since then, others have used it to create visibility for the intersection of their faith and their sexuality.
In January 2016, Cruz launched a photo campaign highlighting the faces of LGBT people of faith. The photographs are also featured in the Faithfully LGBT website, each one accompanied by the subject’s name, sexual orientation, and religious tradition, as well as a quote about the individual’s relationship to sexuality and faith.
[ written by Jardine Malado]
“Church,” “body of Christ” you have failed miserably! If God were truly in this modern day Christianity THERE’S NO WAY this would be happening! If “the church” wont stand against evil beyond the comforts and safety of the pulpit then what good is the “church”!? I believe that there is a remnant of people, those who dont wear suits or titles who are standing against evil. Their voices seem unheard because they are few in number and are being drowned out by the popularity and performances of the Pharisees of today.
A former Tennessee lawmaker has been sentenced in Memphis to 21 years in prison for running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi coin scheme related to end-of-the-world predictions.
Bates encouraged listeners on his Christian broadcast programs to buy gold and silver coins, which supposedly would give them financial protection against a religious and economic collapse termed “Mystery Babylon,” The Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors said that Bates, a Democrat who served in the Tennessee House from 1971 to 1976, defrauded more than 400 people from 2002 through 2013.
U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman has ordered the 73-year-old ex-lawmaker to repay more than $21 million to victims.
Bates’ two sons and daughter-in-law were also convicted back in May at Memphis federal court of wire and mail fraud, and they currently await sentencing.
As The Christian Post reported back in 2015, the FBI and the DOJ accused Bates and his sons of using their broadcast company, Information Radio Network, “as a means of advertising, promoting, and soliciting the sale or purchase of gold and silver to and from individuals nationwide.”
Bates would tell listeners about an upcoming biblical “mystery Babylon” period that would bring economic, political and religious upheaval, convincing them to buy the coins.
The “mystery Babylon” phrase is found in Revelation 17:5, which reads: “And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: ‘Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.'”
“While there are numerous theories as to the identity of mystery Babylon — whether the Bible text is describing a person, place or system, for example — Larry Bates taught his viewers, listeners and readers that it was a ‘demonic blend of the world system of economics, politics and religion,'” CP noted at the time.
Bates apparently convinced victims that gold and silver can offer protection from volatile money markets, because they always will be exchangeable, even in “end times,” he said.
AP reported that a number of the victims were elderly Americans who lost their life savings and the ability to pay for health care.
One of the victims, Judith Ponder, from Kerrville, Texas, said at the trial that she and her mother gave Bates more than $1.8 million dollars.
Christian pastor Charles Grimsley from Mesa, Colorado, said that he and his wife sent Bates more than $200,000 of their retirement money, but got little in return.
Lipman explained that there were customers who received the coins for which they paid for, but positioned that “that is how Ponzi schemes work.”
Bates said in his defense that business competitors and private and government lawyers had conspired against him, claiming that he is “very sad for these clients of ours.”
“God is my defender,” he insisted. “He knows the truth. He will expose the lies.”
Lipman slammed Bates for the way he used his views, stating: “Your use of religion to gain trust is appalling.”