Housekeeper sues Pastor Marvin Winans for “Church Slavery”

Marvin Winans is accused of requiring a worker to donate money towards birthday gifts and pay 10% of her income as a “tithe” as a condition to maintain employment


Her job was to clean the church. But the church tried to clean her out instead, she claims.

Perfecting Church

In a blistering lawsuit against the Grammy-winning Rev. Marvin Winans and his Perfecting Church, a housekeeper named Lakaiya Harris claims the gospel music star and church officials shook her down for money. They required her to donate money toward birthday gifts for supervisors and managers and to tithe 10% of her salary to the church, the lawsuit claims.

When she refused to pony up, Harris says, she was fired.

According to the 18-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, it was Winans who demanded that Harris donate 10 percent of her $18,000-a-year housekeeper’s salary to the church. Winans allegedly did this during a meeting in a conference room in 2017, telling Harris  “that it had come to his attention” that she earned $18,000 the year before.

” ‘So you owe us $1,800,’ ” Winans allegedly told Harris, the suit states. “When she stated that she didn’t have the money, he offered to deduct the $1,800 directly from her biweekly paychecks.”

Harris refused, stating she was not going to let the church deduct $1,800 from her paycheck and “complained that her job had already been threatened for not giving ‘birthday money,’ ” the suit states.

According to the lawsuit, supervisors repeatedly required Harris to give $10-$25 to buy birthday presents for managers and once offered to deduct the money from her paycheck “if need be.” One supervisor allegedly pestered Harris when she refused to donate to the birthday fund, telling her “Well, you’re going to have to give this $10. … I know you have $10 floating around in your little world, you just don’t want to give it up. Everybody has to give this,” the suit states.

Marvin Winans 2
 Marvin Winans

 At issue for Harris is that she is both a member of Perfecting Church, and an employee. In her lawsuit, she claims that other employees who work for the church but don’t belong to it aren’t required to tithe as a condition of employment.

But she is. And forcing only church-member-employees to give back 10 percent of their earnings violates employment and civil rights laws, Harris claims.

As of late Wednesday, Winans could not be reached for comment. It is not clear whether he knows about the civil suit as such lawsuits typically take longer than a day to get served on defendants.

According to the lawsuit, the church not only demanded money from Harris, but also cheated her out of overtime pay by manipulating her time clock records “in order to avoid paying her for overtime hours worked.”

“Perfecting also implemented an unlawful time-docking policy to penalize employees who arrived late,” states the lawsuit, which cited the church’s Tardiness Policy.

“Each time an employee is late he or she will be docked according to the following schedule,” states the policy, as cited in the suit. For example, if an employee is tardy 1-15 minutes, they get 15 minutes of pay docked from their check.   

offering plate

According to the lawsuit, this is what prompted Harris to sue:

Harris was employed by Perfecting from March 2012 through January 2017. She worked as a housekeeper and spent the first several weeks of her employment cleaning the Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts, an elementary and middle school headed by Winans. After several weeks, she was transferred to Perfecting’s main church on East Nevada, on the city’s east side.

Winans is the founder and president of Perfecting Church, which owns at least 90 commercial and residential properties in Detroit and employs about 40 workers to clean and maintain them. Among them was Harris.

At a staff meeting in 2016, Harris openly stated to Winans that she was not happy about not being paid for work she was doing. In October of that year, Winans directed Harris to meet with him in his office, where he asked her why she hadn’t attended church recently. According to the suit, Harris said that she was exhausted from working long hours and not being paid, and complained that her job was being threatened for refusing to donate toward birthday gifts to supervisors.

Three months later, Harris was summoned to another meeting with Winans and another church official. It was at this meeting that Winans mentioned the tithing issue, and deducting $1,800 from Harris’ check.

Harris wouldn’t hear of it.

So Winans responded: ” ‘Well, that pretty much terminates your employment with us. … You can go ahead and proceed with the exit interview.’ “

Harris was fired that day. 

Editors Note: This is what “the church” has reduced itself to! A money hungry, non God fearing, unholy business organization! Today’s Christianity is a man made kingdom that has every spirit present in it except the Spirit of God! 

Click this link to read what CeCe Winans did for money



Deacons ‘Cuss’ Congregants Who Left Offering Bucket Empty Amid Pastor Dispute

“They [church leaders] do a lot of shady stuff in there. I’ve been talking to the police department about misrepresented funds…

Several members of the 131-year-old Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Newnan, Georgia, are now asking for help with mediation after they allege that a number of their deacons snapped and “cussed” at them, then had local police oust them from their church. The dispute occurred on Sunday when members withheld their offering during an attempt to find out why their pastor was removed without explanation.

empty offering plate

Up until two weeks ago, Pastor Stafford Dudley Sr. led the mid-size congregation that one member estimates has approximately 500 members. 

Two Sundays ago, however, according to church member and Newnan resident Pamela Hunter, Dudley was axed by the church’s Board of Deacons and the members were not informed.

“From Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, the deacons that fired our pastor never got in touch with none of the members to let us know what’s going on. And they think that they was gonna have church [as usual] on Sunday,” Hunter said.

A document reviewed by CP shows the church’s board consists of: Willie Walton, chairman; Clifford Durrah, assistant chairman; Walter Carter, treasurer; and Vernon Strickland, assistant clerk.

Hunter explained that on Sunday, before service, they met with Dudley who told them he had a heated dispute with the deacon board and he walked out of the meeting, advising them that he would rather continue the conversation with them in a calmer atmosphere. One unidentified member said, however, that Dudley told them he quit and walked out.

In an incident report from the Newnan Police Department shared with The Christian Post Friday, the church’s current pastor, who was not named, also stated that Dudley “had quit his position some time ago.”

“The current Pastor stated the Church had asked Dudley not to come back, via certified letter. The Church stated they had not heard anything from Dudley and was not able to reach him via phone to confirm receipt of letter. He stated Dudley had not made any threatening statements in regards to coming back and doing harm, they were just worried that Dudley and his family might cause some trouble and make a scene,” the report said.

Dudley declined a request for comment and the church’s phone rang without answer over two days.

Hunter said during the meeting with Dudley he urged them to be peaceful.

“So we had a prayer vigil with our pastor in a parking lot up the street from the church so he wouldn’t go to jail. Before we left the prayer service, the pastor asked us to go in there and be decent and in order and be peaceful and go praise the Lord,” she said.

Hunter explained that the members who met with Dudley prior to the 11 a.m. service elected one member of the group to ask the deacons about Dudley’s removal from the pulpit and they went to worship.

During the offering portion of the service, however, the deacons allegedly noticed no one was giving any money and mayhem ensued.

“It wasn’t tithe time because the church pick up money twice. It was offering time so that’s when everything got crazy … wasn’t nobody putting nothing in the offering bucket because we don’t have any answers and we already don’t know where our money been going,” Hunter recalled.

“So that’s when they noticed that there wasn’t anything being put in the bucket and I don’t know what was on their minds. The bucket didn’t make it all the way through the church … before everything blew up,” she said. “The one that we appointed to speak went up to the microphone and that’s when they cut his mic and tried to sing over him and that’s when the people got upset.”

Church member Rosa Slaughter told CP the unholy fracas which broke out in the church was “wrong.”

“It was wrong, it was real wrong, so I’m gonna let God handle it,” she said.  

“The police shouldn’t have been there,” Slaughter lamented. “It’s them three deacons. They need to get up out that church, they need to get a closer walk with God. They need to turn from their evil wicked ways and go on about their business.”

The dispute, which was broadcast live on Facebook and went viral, got so intense police had to be called three times.

“On the first trip, there were a couple of members across the street having a prayer ceremony because of a dissention in the church over the leadership,” Deputy Chief Mark Cooper of the Newnan Police Department told The Newnan Times-Herald.

“The second time he was speaking to people at their cars. I think he just wanted them to know his side of things. The third time there was an argument between two female members.” 

Cooper said the deacons asked the police to remove members from the church so they could have a calm meeting.

“This is just like if we go to your house and you ask us to have everybody leave, we will assist you in helping you get them out,” Cooper said. “It was not our decision to ask them to leave.”

The police said the members were eventually allowed to return to the church. Cooper also noted that this is not the first time the police had been called to church because of a dispute. 

“We try to stay neutral and let them handle their business,” he said. “We are just there to keep the peace.”

Members, however, are still furious. Evangelist Louise Parks, who said she tried to calm the members during the fracas on Sunday, showed CP a letter from the deacon board banning her from the church effective Monday. She said Dudley was banished with a similar letter along with several other members.

“It is with great sadness that we are writing you today, to clearly inform you that your privilege to attend the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, 6 Lovelace Street, Newnan, Ga. 30263 has been revoked,” the deacons wrote, rebuking her for “unacceptable” behavior which “posed a potential threat to the safety of church members.”

Parks said she attempted to use the mic at the church to share some calming words to the congregation but one of the deacons snatched it from her hand before she could speak. 

Despite banning Parks from the church, the deacons said they would continue to pray for her.

“This action does not remove you from our prayers and concerns so, we will continue to pray for God’s strength to lead you to a place where you can worship,” the letter ended.

Hunter said she is working to get the church to resolve the dispute but argued that if it isn’t solved, Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church could be empty on Sunday.

“Right now what I am doing, I’m trying to figure out how we can have a meeting as the body of the church because deacons don’t have the right to do us like that,” she said. “We need somebody to help us, not hurt us.”

She explained that while some people have criticized the members for challenging the church leaders, she said they felt like they had no other choice.

“A lot of people are saying y’all should be ashamed of y’all selves acting like that in the church but where else are we gonna get it right if it’s the church that’s doing us wrong?” she said.

“They threw us out of church because we demanded answers about what happened to our pastor. We don’t know anything about it,” Hunter said.

“They [church leaders] do a lot of shady stuff in there. I’ve been talking to the police department about misrepresented funds. It’s a lot going on and we just been sitting there and hoping that God would work it out but it blew up,” she continued.

“We had the proper people in place to do it calmly but once the deacons started acting a fool that made everybody else act a fool.”