Yet another high-ranking official in the Church of God in Christ—the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States and the second largest African-American denomination—is accused of sexual misconduct. Bishop Peter Wren Sr., who is the head of the Third Alabama Jurisdictional and pastors the East Birmingham COGIC, has been accused by at least two women in his jurisdiction of being a sexual predator.
The allegations surfaced on social networking sites. Wren, who is married with children, denies the accusations and claims the woman is trying to "slander" him:
"She befriended my family and eventually moved into our home. For a period of (2) two years she stayed with my family, providing her a roof over her head and food to eat; worked at my place of business, providing her with revenue to support herself. In just a little while she would show a forming motive, after consumptions of alcohol, she would make advances at me. After rebukes and repeat attempts, I put her out of my home. She became angry and left the church and now is seeking ways to destroy my character by spreading these horrible lies. Tiffany_____, it is my recommendation that you seek some type of Psychiatric help and if these lies continue it leaves me no choice but to take legal actions against you because of Slander and Deformation[sic] of Character.
But another woman also comes forward and says there are many other cases.
“I also come as a victim of Bishop Peter Wren Sr. You confide in him some of your intimate secrets seeking spiritual guidance and he then takes those same secrets and guide you into unwarranted sexual advances and also his bed. I was too young and naïve to see through the deceit because like most innocent souls, we seek love and acceptance no matter what form."
Officials at the Memphis-based COGIC, which claims to have a "zero-tolerance" policy on sexual abuse, have refused comment and will not say if there is an official investigation.
This becomes only the latest charge of sexual misconduct within the rabidly anti-gay
Church of God in Christ, which is well known for attracting so many closeted black
gay men and rivals the Catholic Church for the many sexual predators within its leadership. COGIC is embroiled in numerous lawsuits and criminal
investigations around clergy sexual
abuse—there is a micro-site on the Church website—and has been accused of covering up sexual misconduct cases for decades. On January 30, a former COGIC pastor was sentenced to 20 years on charges he raped a teenage girl some 25 years ago. One
church reportedly has four convicted pedophiles on its payroll.
BTW: The Church of God in Christ was the denomination that hosted Donnie McClurkin for his now-infamous rant against gay youth when he compared gay men to "vampires". Glass houses much?
In 2008, Ronald Paige, an Arkansas COCIC pastor, was killed by a young man who accused him of rape and molestation. Numerous male victims and their families have stepped forward with similar claims. One woman says she spoke to COGIC bishops about Paige molesting her son in the early 1980s and nothing was done. Watch a news report AFTER THE JUMP ...