By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Morally corrupt: You did a wonderful job on this article ("The Reverend Freak," by Andrea Grimes and Stephanie Morris, September 21). I was stunned that so many could sit in church and not question the antics and exploits of a morally corrupt ministry. "Your husband shouldn't allow you to travel alone"? Pay your tithes before you pay your rent? Your girlfriend AND your wife come to your legal proceedings? Come on now! When is enough enough?
I believe we (black folks) are a forgiving people...we forgave Jesse Jackson for having a love child, we forgave Marion Barry for smoking crack in a hotel room with a woman NOT his wife and we forgave Ray Nagin for his horrific leadership pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina. Sadly, I believe the Reverend Freak will be back again in a position of prominence.
Harsh judges: I miss the days when the media reported the news with a neutral tone. I miss the days when there was less manipulation in the tone of the writing--when it was left to the reader to form his or her own opinions instead of this pseudo-news writing where we have the opinions of the writer shoved down our throat. I miss the days when there was less joy over another person's misery. At least that is the tone of "The Reverend Freak." I am a mother of two young girls. I attend church regularly (in Lewisville). I am ashamed and horrified by what this pastor has put the victims through. I am equally ashamed and horrified by the reporting of these events and your insincerity and slander in naming Pastor Hornbuckle a freak! Let's hope that no one judges you with the harshness that you seem to have judged him.
Nothing but a scam: Wow! There's a special place in hell for Hornybuckle! This whole soap opera enrages me, because my little sister went through something similar when she visited a church my brother belonged to. And the man also called himself a "bishop." Church members couldn't even make purchases for their homes without church approval. I'm still on estranged terms with my brother for not shielding our sister, and that was many years ago. Ol' Horny had quite a scam going. The scariest thing is that people couldn't see through his scam. Why on earth the whole congregation didn't get up and walk out when he advised fathers to bathe their daughters is beyond me. And even though he was found guilty, he probably still has loyal followers or "blind lemmings," as I like to call them. And I won't name names, but some of those lemmings are prominent, high-profile people.
It's sad and tragic when a person does terrible things under the guise of religion (Catholic priests, too!). In my opinion he didn't get a stiff enough sentence.
Judgment Day: Perhaps Terry Hornbuckle got off too easy. It is my thought that he should have gotten life. Not because he is black, but because he was preaching "doctrines of devils." What he preached is not biblical but worldly. But at Judgment Day, the proper sentence will be pronounced; so be it until then.
Repent: Based on the stories regarding "The Fighting Bishop" and his conviction on rape charges, Agape Fellowship is an apostate church peopled by baby Christians who are being duped and misled by people who simply want to merchandise them. This prosperity racket in the church has misled these people to the point that they have left all spiritual discernment at the front door. It is a church of money, money and more money. It is not the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. If he was there, he would drive out the "money changers." That church needs to repent and return to their first love...if not, God will come and remove their candlestick.
Chilling visit: Stephanie, this story is amazing ("A Visit to Agape," by Stephanie Morris, September 21). I cannot imagine this experience. Very well-written; I was on the edge of my seat! Keep up the good work!
Awesome story: Andrea Grimes, you outdid yourself with this article on Hornbuckle. It's a shame that he and others like him are just messing up the church. We need more people like you--and I can't forget Stephanie Morris--to stay on top of it. I have gone to every little food shop I could find to make sure all of my close co-workers and family members got their copy. GREAT JOB!!!
Speak of the devil: It's funny how we oftentimes see something is not right and turn the other cheek. Many times we as a people see the red flags and will look the other way or make excuses as to why it doesn't apply to us. Well, the Bishop was a bomb waiting to explode. He is a wannabe showoff drughead. It's preachers like him who give the prominent black churches a bad rap. All churches have problems in them but usually not as pronounced as this preacher/bishop's devilish ways. Hornbuckle makes me sick. I look at him and I see horns.