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

Joy reported the attack to police but only after leaving town for several days to hide out in her grandmother's house. She was terrified that Allen would return. Police filed an aggravated rape charge against Allen, and Joy picked him out of a live lineup. Allen began lurking around her home and following her in his mint green Mercedes, she says. Fearing for her daughter, she abruptly stopped cooperating with prosecutors, and the charge was dropped.

Joy, now 45, called Kelly's lawyers soon after the suit became public. She is deciding whether to file suit on her own. "I've been living alive in hell," Joy says. "Couldn't even be married. My daughter became my mother."

Carrie Drake spent her teenage years in Allen's church, going all the way back to his Spiritualist days; she recalls seeing a statue of Mary "fade in and out" of view during a service, "crazy stuff," she says. Today, she claims she is shunned by the Shiloh faithful, including her mother. When she took her account of alleged abuse to COGIC leaders, Drake says, Allen booted her out of Shiloh "because of all the confusion" she'd caused. She remembers running into a Shiloh member at the supermarket who abruptly wheeled her cart around and went the other way.

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.'"

In the early days of Allen's ministry, mothers would sometimes cede discipline of their children to Allen, who assumed the role of a spiritual father, Drake says. She claims her mother gave Allen a permission slip allowing him to whip her. In counseling sessions for supposed problems such as bad grades, an ornery attitude or hanging with the wrong crowd, Allen would beat her with a wooden paddle to the point where her buttocks became hard as a callus, Drake says. The paddling allegations are raised in a lawsuit that Drake, now 42, filed in late November against Allen, Shiloh, the Church of God in Christ and unidentified church officials.

Drake was 13 when the beatings started, she says; Allen would have only been in his late teens, though he was already ministering. Allen, she says, always found some excuse to discipline her: Her mother often acted as informant.

She'd grab her ankles and bend over, she says, then hold down her dress and brace herself. Later on, he began ordering her to disrobe first, the lawsuit claims. "I would almost be sick," she says of the beatings, "but that didn't make any difference to him...It took forever and a day for me to be able to actually sit down."

In church, she says, Allen would sometimes sidle up to her and ask, "Is your bottom still sore?" He suggested she soak herself in Epsom salts.

In the lawsuit Drake says the beatings continued until she was in her 20s. The last time he paddled her in his office at the church, Drake says, she was three months' pregnant. Allen, she says, accused her of being rebellious. "He started this crying act—'I love you, I love you, I love you,'" Drake claims. "I was like, yeah, I love you too, but you're not gonna hit me. And we started wrestling and tussling."

Allen grabbed for a paddle, and Drake tried to shove him away and push toward the door, she says. Allen held onto her, she says, while she hollered "Let me go!" He managed to whack her one time on her rear end, then she bolted out the door and ran down the street.

Two hours later at home, she says, she miscarried.

Drake says she told police about the beatings. It was after that, she claims, that Allen showed up at her home and threatened her. "He told me if I ever tried to ruin him he would come back for me," she says.

In 1989 or 1990, Drake and two other young women who claimed they'd been beaten took their complaints about Allen to Superintendent Edward Battles, who presided over Allen's district in COGIC. Battles set up a meeting with Bishop J. Neaul Haynes and several other COGIC leaders, Drake says. While Haynes listened sympathetically to the allegations, she says, he didn't take any action against Allen, as far as she knows. One of the women spoke at the meeting of Allen's bad habit of paddling his young female members.

Haynes' response, according to Drake: "Old habits die hard."

Could Haynes have disciplined Allen? As his jurisdictional bishop, Haynes outranked Allen, a pastor. The Kelly and Drake lawsuits accuse COGIC of being negligent in their dealings with Allen, since church officials had known about the paddling allegations for many years. But several COGIC sources who spoke to the Observer said Haynes' authority, in reality, was limited. COGIC pastors have considerable autonomy in their own churches. The COGIC Official Manual allows Haynes to call a "trial" for Allen, but only if a majority of the members of his church document wrongdoing and "file charges" against him with his bishop. The meeting with Drake and two other meetings the Observer learned about appear to resemble the trial procedure outlined in the manual. If any action was taken against Allen, however, it did not involve removing him from the pulpit. Bishop Owens, the former COGIC presiding bishop, says Haynes never brought the allegations to the denomination's general board, of which Haynes is a member.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
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

 
Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

Loading...