Pentecostal Preacher Sherman Allen Turns Out to Be Reverend Spanky

The Fort Worth preacher is accused of beating, threatening and assaulting women for more than 20 years

Soon enough, Veronica would run smack against Sherman Allen's concept of spiritual control.

At first, she says, she wasn't attracted to Allen, though many other women were. "The reality is, Allen has thousands of women running after him," Veronica says. "But if he were in the club, he'd probably still be standing there. At the end of the day, he is all of about 4 feet tall." Veronica had a steady man in her life—her children's father—and he told her he didn't appreciate how this pint-size preacher "looks at your behind." When Allen declared one day that God had told him she would be his wife, Veronica says she yelled and cried in pain. But she also believed this revelation came from God. She dutifully pushed away her boyfriend, "the man I loved."

Though she had been living in Allen's home, it took a while for the relationship to turn sexual. Veronica says Allen took pains to conceal this from his members and associates in ministry. After all, by this time—around 1983—Allen had joined the Memphis-based Church of God in Christ. COGIC was a "Holiness" church, demanding that its members abstain from sexual immorality.

Shiloh has dropped "Church of God in Christ" from its name on its web site, but the church's sign still bears the old denominational affiliation. Allen's biological father, Sherman Clifton Gee, was a COGIC pastor.
Morrey Taylor
Shiloh has dropped "Church of God in Christ" from its name on its web site, but the church's sign still bears the old denominational affiliation. Allen's biological father, Sherman Clifton Gee, was a COGIC pastor.
Davina Kelly claims Sherman Allen beat her with a paddle and sexually abused her during "counseling" sessions. "There were times it would cross my mind—just don't go," Kelly says. "I would think, 'I'm having a rebellious moment.'"
Morrey Taylor
Davina Kelly claims Sherman Allen beat her with a paddle and sexually abused her during "counseling" sessions. "There were times it would cross my mind—just don't go," Kelly says. "I would think, 'I'm having a rebellious moment.'"

How Allen managed to get into COGIC is a mystery in itself. He came out of the Spiritualist church, a sect that Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, the revered founder of COGIC, railed against and fought vigorously in his time because of its involvement in the occult. Bishop Chandler D. Owens of Marietta, Georgia, a former presiding bishop of COGIC, says that for Allen to enter the COGIC fold, he would have had to renounce and repent from his Spiritualist past. Whether he did or didn't, Allen, who'd been ordained as a minister when he was 12, now had an avenue for his ambitions in ministry: one of the oldest, most respected Pentecostal denominations in the world, where the title of bishop really meant something.

Pretty soon all of the voodoo trappings would be shoved in a back room.

———

Veronica stepped into a side door at the church and heard Clarice Allen screaming at the top of her lungs. "You better keep your hands off these women," she screeched at Sherman Allen. "You whipping these women is gonna be the death of you!"

It was either 1982 or 1983; Veronica isn't sure. She didn't know what Clarice was talking about; a physical whipping never crossed her mind.

Oh, but it would later. There were Sherman Allen's strange sexual appetites to contend with. Veronica is reluctant to talk about it, but when she heard Davina Kelly's account of a relationship with Allen many years later—paddling, anal sex, enemas, a weird exercise regimen—she says she instantly judged it all to be true. (Veronica says she has never met or spoken with Kelly.) "I always felt his sexuality was a question mark," Veronica says. "It was past freaky." Some things Allen demanded were so degrading, she says, she will never talk about it, but she claims that he beat her with a range of paddles, including some inscribed with "KA," for Kappa Alpha, the college fraternity. Sex for him always involved control, she says. When she didn't do as he asked, she claims, he would punish her by refusing to speak to her. The freakiest thing, she says, was when "he wanted me to defecate in a toilet, and he wanted me to drink the water," Veronica says. "And I was like, you have got to be kidding me. I think more than anything it's the control factor—like, can I make you do something? I said no, and he didn't speak to me for maybe three weeks."

Veronica noted something else that seemed highly unusual to her. She spent a lot of time at Allen's church—by this time, in the mid-1980s, renamed Shiloh Institutional Church of God in Christ, located on Rosedale Street—and throughout the week she would observe young women trooping in and out of Allen's private office for counseling. Afterward, she would often see the woman slumped at the altar in the sanctuary, crying out to God in a despairing voice.

Allen and Shiloh were fixated on demons and darkness, Veronica says. Allen was always casting out demons, and it seemed like everyone had them. Jesus cast out demons to set the captives free, Veronica says, but at Shiloh no one ever seemed to get free. One layer of demons would be peeled back to reveal another layer.

Elder Bill Thompson, a pastor who used to attend Shiloh in the mid-1980s, described an atmosphere of pandemonium during services, with Allen in hot pursuit of demons. "They'd just be up there dancing, dancing," Thompson says of Shiloh's congregation. "He's speaking in tongues and screaming out loud—he screams. Sometimes he would just literally stand there and scream. And scream. And scream. Then he'd take his glasses and throw 'em. He'd just throw 'em in the sanctuary. He finally stopped throwing his glasses when they started costing him more."

The demon expulsions often were accompanied by vomiting, Thompson says. "Some people just go crazy during the service. Convulsing. Headaches. I have literally seen people go through vomiting spells. Stuff you wouldn't believe. You'd have to look at Discovery Channel to find this stuff overseas somewhere."

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1 comments
jimmiespriggs
jimmiespriggs

Well well my Lord what's been done in the dark will surely come to the light and if that's so about he wasing offical registered under COGIC well thank God that the headquarters their don't have to be tied up in his ligation all I want to say is to pray earnestly for

 
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