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Pentecostal Preacher Sherman Allen Turns Out to Be Reverend Spanky

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"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.

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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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Julie Lyons
Contact: Julie Lyons