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

"It's not for us to say or do anything about it," Kelly says. "God will take care of him...he'll punish him."

Kelly, however, would throw off that teaching after allegedly enduring months of abuse from Allen, her former pastor and employer, starting in 2001. Kelly, 34 and a married mother of three, claims in her lawsuit that Allen coerced her into a sexual relationship; paddled her repeatedly during private counseling sessions, causing severe bruising and even bleeding; and forcibly sodomized her. Allen has denied all of the allegations in a court filing and in statements from the pulpit, calling his accusers liars.

Kelly and her husband joined Shiloh in 2001, and not long afterward Kelly began cleaning the church and then Allen's home. She also sought marriage counseling from Allen, whom she admired as a man of God.

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.'"

The counseling sessions, most of which took place in Allen's private office at Shiloh, followed an unusual course. They began with Allen asking her to read several Scriptures about disciplining children. Allen would ask, "What does that mean to you?" If Kelly didn't get the drift, he'd steer her there.

"After reading all of the Scriptures, I saw that it wasn't about my children," Kelly says. It crossed her mind that he was talking about disciplining her, but she thought, no way. "I'd never heard of that—it sounded silly. Pastors don't spank their members. He's got to mean something else, something spiritual."

He didn't. He meant butt-whuppings, Kelly says.

Allen gave Kelly several assignments—reading and memorizing numerous Scriptures—and starting with the second meeting, he began paddling her for failing to complete her assignments, being late for work and other transgressions, according to the lawsuit. That first time, she says, Allen stood poised with a paddle and asked her, "What are you going to learn how to do? Are you gonna learn to obey?"

"I'm gonna learn to obey," she replied. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to break the rules."

The paddlings started out with her clothed; they progressed to where she'd be partially or completely disrobed. No actual counseling ever took place, she says.

Why did Kelly put up with it? "I really felt like he was doing what God told him," she says. "He was so spiritual, so he was really deep. The way he prophesies—God speaks to him and tells him things.

"I just trusted him," she says. "I never seriously stopped to question. I just believed him. I kind of went along with what he said."

Kelly claims her meetings with Allen took an overt sexual turn after he threatened her one day in 2005 while she was cleaning his home. "He put his hand on my throat," Kelly says, and he asked, "Did I know what he would do if I ever told or hurt him? And I said no. He said, 'You don't want to know.'" Kelly says she was "terrified."

From that point, she says, their meetings included sex. Sometimes, she claims, "The anal sex—that became part of the punishment."

Allen was already remarried, she says, when he allegedly forced himself on her at his home in August 2005. That's when Kelly says she planned her escape. She scooped up her kids, got on a plane and traveled to New York, where her sister lived. Though she feared what Allen would do to her, she'd had enough.

———

Two weeks ago, Sherman Allen and Shiloh hosted another Prophetic Summit like nothing had ever happened. This time, though, there weren't any preachers and prophets as renowned as names from the past such as Bynum and Jakes. Shiloh, located these days in a strip shopping center in the Woodhaven area of Fort Worth, has dwindled to about 200 attendees on a Sunday and is in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. Allen shows up to services hand-in-hand with his wife.

The preacher no longer hobnobs with national COGIC leaders. The new presiding bishop, Charles E. Blake, suspended him from all pastoral duties last year shortly after taking office. Allen didn't put up with the suspension for long; according to Charisma magazine, he produced documents showing that his church had never been officially chartered as a COGIC congregation. Therefore, he informed Blake, he is not subject to COGIC discipline.

Allen is dealing with two lawsuits, Kelly's and Drake's, as well as Shiloh's bankruptcy. Both suits are in the discovery stage.

In his heyday, Allen would often speak from the pulpit about the prophet's lonely calling. He would liken himself to David, Israel's prophet-king: David was chosen from among his brothers to receive a special anointing, and then they rejected him.

David would go on to slay Goliath and become Israel's greatest king.

But Davina Kelly had taken on a giant of her own. She had resolved to let a court of law decide what to do with God's "anointed."

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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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