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

Many more women would allege that Allen abused them before COGIC's presiding bishop finally suspended the pastor in 2007.

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"Chris" was furious. He jumped in his truck and drove from Fort Worth to Dallas to confront Sherman Allen, who was attending a COGIC function at Bishop Haynes' Saintsville Church of God in Christ in South Oak Cliff. Chris (not his real name) found the diminutive preacher in the church hallway and got right up in his face, nose to nose.

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.'"

"Leave the young lady alone!" Chris shouted. "If you want to threaten somebody, here I am."

Allen backed away. "He was scared," Chris says. "Like a little girl."

Two musicians—Elder Bill Thompson and a bass player—ended up restraining Chris. "Bill stopped me, matter of fact, from putting my foot in Sherman Allen's brain," Chris says of the incident in 1987 or 1988. "Bill told me not to hit him in church."

Chris pauses a moment. "I should have hit him."

Chris was one of the many men and women who personally knew one of Allen's alleged victims and tried to do something about it. A teenage girl—a Shiloh member—had confided to Chris and his wife that Allen allegedly was beating and sexually abusing her. The teenager's father wanted to kill Allen, Chris says. "I said man, look, it's not worth it," Chris says. "Don't go to jail for this guy."

The teenager and a young woman would end up voicing their accusations in a private meeting attended by Chris and his wife, from whom he's now divorced; Bishop Haynes; Allen; a parent of one of the alleged victims and three other COGIC officials, including Superintendent Battles. (District superintendents, who rank above pastors, report to a bishop in COGIC.)

"They told the same story everyone else is telling," Chris says of the two girls. "[Allen] started off counseling them about 'you should read your Bible,' then the mother took the child to him a couple times for spanking, because of grades. Then it turned into a more deviant-type thing, a sexual thing...just unthinkable."

After hearing the girls' stories, Chris says Haynes asked, "Can't y'all just forgive him?"

Chris says he sat back in his chair in disbelief.

Allen, he says, was "arrogant, combative" throughout the meeting. He denied everything. But one comment is etched in Chris' memory. "If I go down," Chris says Allen told his bishop, "you all go down with me."

Nothing became of the meeting, Chris says, though the proceedings were recorded on audiotape. Superintendent Battles, who set up the meeting, was extremely discouraged by the outcome, Chris says. "Oh, man, Battles was brokenhearted," he says. "He couldn't believe that Bishop Haynes did nothing." (Battles is no longer alive.)

Chris claims that Allen continued to harass the teenager, and that's why he drove to Dallas to confront him. Disgusted with Haynes' seeming inaction, Chris would eventually leave the Church of God in Christ. "All of these women that followed them, they didn't have to be hurt," Chris says. "Because it could have been stopped."

A prominent COGIC pastor tells about another secret meeting in the mid-1990s that sounds remarkably similar. Allen, the pastor says, was cocky and sat in a chair wiggling a leg constantly; Haynes tried to be conciliatory. Several other COGIC sources confirmed that this meeting took place. A single woman and a married woman, who came with her husband, accused Allen of paddling them. The single woman, the pastor says, alleged that she was forced to undress and was beaten so hard she was left with scars. She claimed Allen sexually assaulted her, and she tumbled down a flight of stairs trying to get away from him.

The pastor says he sat right next to Allen, who showed no emotion as the women spoke. After hearing the women's stories, the pastor says, Haynes commented that he hadn't heard anything "concrete." He left the meeting for another engagement. A district superintendent took over, and he asked Allen if the allegations were true.

Allen's response, according to the pastor: "Some of the charges are true, and some charges are not."

The pastor turned to Allen and pressed: "Which are true, and which are not true?"

"I don't have to answer to you," Allen replied.

"You are a disgrace," the pastor responded. And sooner or later, he added, "You're going to be brought to justice."

Elder Thompson told the Observer that he has counseled dozens of women who claimed Allen had paddled them. "There are a lot of people that have been destroyed," he says. "I noticed he preyed on weak people. Anybody in a weaker state is looking for somebody strong. And the weaker state you're in, you're more vulnerable to deception.

"A lot of people were excited over what they thought was a very strong sense of spirituality. 'He's so spiritual.' And yes, he's spiritual. Because he comes out of the Spiritualist church. When they see this wild stuff [he engages in], they think he's cool. He's on the cutting edge."

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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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