Sponsor a Negro

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Hi, I’m Sally Struthers, the whiny white girl from All In The Family and those annoyingly manipulative Christian Children’s Fund Commercials with starving black babies. I know you haven’t heard from me in a minute but President Clinton and I, seeing the tepid response that his face saving lies to church Negroes about his unconscionable attempts to racially polarize the electorate and smear Obama as “The Black Candidate” has been getting as of late, we decided change course, join forces and buy as many Negroes for Hillary as we possibly can. To that end, we have created the Christian Negro Voter Fund.

While serving as the first Black President I’ve understood for many years how gullible the average church Negro is and the fact that they’ll follow any B.S. their pastor says because they really worship him instead of the God they profess to serve. How else can you explain Creflo “Gimme a damn” Dollar? We need you to help us buy as many of these jackleg preachers and their politician friends as possible so that Hillary can stop the menace of Barack Obama and his “false hopes.”

Will you help?

Sponsoring a Negro is easy and very necessary because so many of them and their crooked preachers and politicians have their damn hands out like hookers on a corner ready to prostitute themselves to support a bad habit. Being a bigger P.I.M.P. and playa than R.Kelly, I should know.

The following charity case is just another sad example of a Negro in need. Can y’all help a sistah out?

SPONSOR A NEGRO

Choose a Negro to sponsor


Say “yes” to Sheila, and you can transform her life. Sheila from Texas is one of the thousands of Negroes waiting for a sponsor. For just 5000 dollars a day, you can give her a chance to indulge her galactic ego by providing her with some of life’s basic needs – First Class Air Fare, lavish Four-star Hotels, and nutritious food-all on Hillary’s Dime.
Sponsor Sheila now »
Search for a Different Negro »
SUBMITTED BY THE CHRISTIAN NEGRO VOTER FUND

Name: SHEILA JACKSON LEE URGENT
Case #: 1234567
Sheila hails from an abjectly poor and desperately needy family. Her husband is just a lowly University Vice President. Her meager income of about $165,200 per year does not suffice to support her family or provide them with even one extravagant four-star meal a day. As a mother she is resourceful at trying to make the most of what is at hand but lately all her efforts are in vain. Desperate and dejected living beyond her means but eager to give herself the chance of better perks from a Hillary Administration; she sought aid from this Project. Sheila has been a shameless flack for Hillary and if she is to continue debasing herself like a happy darkie and embarrassing the entire African Diaspora she will need your help. Your sponsorship is a great blessing to this needy House Negro.

What’s Ahead

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This week, we are continuing our experiment of all Skeptical Brotha, all the time.  I may provide some links to some noteworthy news, but I shall no longer provide extended or complete news excerpts from other sources.  

I do have some questions for you to answer: Do you like the renewed emphasis on writing or did you prefer more news and less writing?

Have you heard of the controversy surrounding Obama’s Gospel outreach concerts and the LBGT community’s objection to the inclusion of Donnie McClurkin, the “ex-gay” gospel artist and mega church pastor, in the program.  Did Obama’s face saving attempt to repudiate McClurkin’s views and include a white gay minister on the program to lecture an audience of black people about tolerance, help or hurt his cause.?

Do you believe as I do that the campaign is over and the Democratic Nomination is already decided?   I’m gonna write about Obama one last time on Thursday or Friday.  He is doing an appearance at North Carolina Central University on Thursday and I intend to be there and will share my impressions with you. I am ready to “turn the page,” to borrow a phrase,  and focus more squarely on Hillary.

Bishop Weeks countersues Bynum

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Hat Tip: Errin Haines, Associated Press

ATLANTA – (AP) The husband of televangelist Juanita Bynum denies that he treated her cruelly and says they have not been continuously separated since June, as her divorce petition alleges.

Attorneys for Thomas W. Weeks III were expected to file his counterclaim for divorce later Wednesday. The four-page document goes beyond simply answering Bynum’s petition and makes a case for Weeks.

“Now they have each asked for a divorce,” said Randy Kessler, one of Weeks’ attorneys.

In the response, Weeks admits to most of the allegations in Bynum’s complaint, but denies her assertion that the two have been separated since June. Weeks said they spent one night together in August that boosted his hopes for reconciliation.

The next day, Aug. 22, Bynum claims her husband beat her. According to a police report, she told officers Weeks “choked her, pushed her down, kicked and stomped her … until a bellman pulled him off of her.”

Weeks faces charges of aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. He is free on $40,000 bond and is not allowed to have contact with Bynum.

Bynum’s divorce petitions cited “cruel treatment” and said the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Weeks told reporters their estrangement began June 3 when Bynum announced to the church that she was “planning to leave our church never to return.”

The couple wed in a million-dollar, televised ceremony in July 2002, and their marriage played a prominent role in their ministries. The couple co-wrote “Teach Me How to Love: The Beginnings.”

Weeks’ response to his wife’s divorce filing asks that the court equitably divide the couple’s debts and assets.

Bynum, 48, is head of a ministry that also includes a gospel record label and seminar tours. She has sold thousands of motivational books, CDs and DVDs related to empowerment and relationships.

Weeks, 40, is known to his followers as Bishop Weeks and is head of Global Destiny Ministries, based in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth.

Evangelist Bynum gets restraining order, seeks spousal support

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Hat Tip:  D. Aileen Dodd, Atlanta Journal Constitution 

National evangelist Juanita Bynum has filed for divorce in Gwinnett County and has been granted a restraining order as the proceedings move forward.

The petition for divorce and the mutual restraining order was received by the Gwinnett County Superior Court Thursday afternoon.

Bynum, who separated from her estranged husband Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III in June, is seeking a divorce based on the argument that her marriage has been “irretrievably broken,” and that she is a victim of “cruel treatment.”

Bynum, 48, told police in August that Weeks beat, choked and stomped her to the ground in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel. Weeks, also a pastor, has denied the alleged abuse.

He was charged with felony aggravated assault, felony terroristic threats and two counts of simple battery in connection with the alleged attack.

The wealthy evangelist is also asking the court for possible financial support “that the court may deem equitable or appropriate.”

The divorce petition in Gwinnett mirrors a petition Bynum had filed earlier this month in Ware County. That petition was dismissed because it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction. Lawyers for Weeks, 40, said the case had to move north to Gwinnett because that’s where Weeks resides. The couple have a $2.5 million home at a Duluth country club.

Attorneys for Weeks said Friday they will respond to the divorce petition, but said they question Bynum’s motives for her recent media appearances. In recent weeks Bynum has appeared on the front page of The New York Times and has been a guest on Christian radio and Good Morning America.

Bynum, who has declared herself the “face of domestic violence,” has said she plans to launch a ministry to help women who suffer partner abuse.

“She thinks she is going to get some benefit by going public with this,” said Randy Kessler, Weeks’ attorney. “It is not necessary for divorce purposes. We are going to take the high road.”

Bynum’s attorney Karla Walker also sought a restraining order in the divorce petition.

The protection order prohibits both Bynum and Weeks from “any act that injures, maltreats … intimidates or harasses” each other. It also prevents the couple from retaliating against each other by disconnecting the utilities or canceling insurance policies.

Bynum, who uses the married name Bynum-Weeks, is asking the court that her last name be restored to Bynum, which she uses for professional purposes on occasion.

Bynum and Weeks married in an elaborate ceremony in 2002. They moved to metro Atlanta in 2006 to start Global Destiny Church in Duluth.

I thought the Negro was broke and had been evicted from his place. How can you get support from a brotha with no endz.

Juanita Bynum on Good Morning America

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 Juanita Bynum

Hat Tip: Good Morning America

Evangelical preacher Juanita Bynum and her husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III, are superstars on the Christian circuit. But recently the Atlanta-based couple’s profile reached the stratosphere after Bynum accused her husband of domestic violence during the summer.

The episode surprised many of Bynum’s followers because the televangelist’s fan base is largely female and her sermons often center on female empowerment. The situation also served as an opportunity for them to challenge every word Bynum had ever preached.

So, when Bynum accused her husband of attacking her physically in a parking lot outside an Atlanta hotel, the incident seemed unimaginable for what many saw as picture-perfect couple.

The pair, who met in 2002 and were married a year later, separated earlier this year. On Aug. 21, the day the attack occurred, the couple met in an attempt at reconciliation.

Bynum showed police her bruises and claimed Weeks choked, kicked and stomped on her. She said he continued to do so until a bellman pulled him away.

A History of Violence

Bynum revealed on “Good Morning America” Wednesday that this was not her first encounter with domestic abuse.Her first marriage, which inspired her million-copy selling sermon “No More Sheets,” ended as a result of domestic abuse. At the time, Bynum quietly divorced her husband and chose to move on with her life.

“He repented for what he did. I made a vow that I would not talk about that situation,” she said.

Now, as her current husband faces charges of aggravated assault and making terroristic threats, according to The Associated Press, Bynum said she has decided to speak out. (Her husband is no longer is allowed to contact her.)

“You don’t call it abuse until it’s a parking lot situation,” she said. Often times people classify such behavior as marital issues, but it’s abuse when you’re getting yelled at, Bynum added.

Some critics have accused Bynum of using the situation to gain recognition and a larger following. Bynum shot down such allegations.

“The popularity that God had favored me with was already there,” she said.

Still, others questioned how a preacher who encouraged women to stay with their husbands regardless of their troubles can now change her tune. But Bynum said she still believes a wife should support her husband.

“It is the responsibility of every wife to make their husband feel loved and respected,” she said.

But, Bynum said, while people should live by the rules of their spirituality, they also should recognize danger signs.

“I think spiritually needs to be used in a proper manner,” Bynum said. “You need to pray, but you also need to take yourself out of harms way while you pray.”

The New Face of Domestic Violence

Since the incident with her husband, Bynum has christened herself the new face of domestic violence, and some of her followers believe it may have a lasting effect on Christians and their faith.

“It’s kind of like a black eye, you know, on Christianity,” said WTJH gospel DJ Reggie Gay. “We’re supposed to be able to get along with each other and live right and do all those kind of things. But it’s kind of tough. So I would encourage that congregation of people to be prayerful.”

Weeks has denied abusing his wife.

“I want to be clear in saying I do not condone in any way, shape or form violence of any kind towards woman,” he said. “My role has always been to operate as protector and not as an aggressor. I’ve walked away from many situations between the two of us just like I walked away that night.”

Bishop denies assaulting Bynum

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Just When I thought this was pretty much played out, another wrinkle develops in the melodrama that is the Weeks-Bynum divorce. 

Turns out that Bishop held a press conference today in which he denies beating her.   Amazing.  From what I can tell, he told a boldfaced lie.    This press conference is a naked PR ploy to cloud the issue of domestic violence and play on the sympathies of the weak minded.  You be the judge and read for yourself.

Hat Tip: by John Shriek, 11Alive News

“She said,” last week.
“He said” on Friday afternoon.

Ten days after Evangelist Juanita Bynum proclaimed herself “the face of domestic violence,” her estranged husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks, told reporters he wanted to speak out to try to set straight “the many discrepencies, dramatizations and untruths.” Weeks denied violence toward Bynum, and insisted he walked away from a confrontation with her on August 21, the night he’s accused of assaulting her.

I have always loved my wife and have been nothing but faithful to her,” Weeks said in a statement he read to reporters at his church, Global Destiny Ministries, in Duluth. “I want to be clear in saying I do not condone in any way, shape or form, violence of any kind towards women. My role has always been to operate as a protector and not as an aggressor. I have walked away from many situations between the two of us, just like I walked away that night.”

Weeks did not answer questions from reporters, on the advice of his attorneys, and did not comment further on the criminal assault charges against him.Atlanta police say a hotel bellhop saw Weeks kicking, beating and choking Bynum in the parking lot of the hotel that night, and that the bellhop heard Weeks threatening to kill Bynum as the bellhop pulled Weeks off of Bynum.

“I want to share my heart with the people,” Weeks said Friday, “to inform all that will listen that there are two sides to every story.”

He asked people to keep an open mind while he fights the criminal charges against him.

“I am asking that everyone that has already judged me to take the time to consider other perspectives. I understand that my silence to date has given me the perception of guilt,” but he said he does not believe in speaking publicly about what he considers to be private matters between him and his estranged wife.

Weeks said their current troubles began on June 3, when, he said, Bynum suddenly announced to their congregation that she was quitting the church, the church that she and Weeks had founded together, never to return. “It was the first time I knew she felt this way about our church family,” Weeks said. Bynum has always maintained her own, separate ministry that she founded and led prior to their marriage in 2002.

“The shock to the congregation was the start of many rumors,” Weeks said of Bynums’ surprise announcement.

Two days later, he said, her office sent a fax to his staff, “cancelling a major, international event and noted the reason was due to our marital separation. I was then informed by my staff about the fax. It was the first time that I was made aware of our separation.”

Thenn on June 14th, Weeks said, Bynum’s attorney mailed him a “cease and desist” letter ordering him to stop using Bynum’s name, face image, sound or likeness in anything related to the church.

“We were not legally allowed to mention her name even in prayer,” Weeks said. “Many people were offended by my removal of her image, as it appeared that it was of my own doing…. I did not share her letter from her lawyers to the church family in an effort to cover and protect her from negativity and perceptions, as I have done countless times over the past five years.”

Weeks said he still hoped he and Bynum could work out a reconciliation, and on August 16 he said she showed up at his office saying she, too, wanted to reconcile. “It was that day that I first began to believe that our marriage was moving in a positive direction. It was my understanding that the relationship was salvageable,” Weeks said.

On August 20, he said, “I was with my wife the entire night… and felt that our love for each other was going to get us through these hard times.”

Weeks emphasized that, contrary to earlier statements and reports, the reason he met with his wife on August 21 was not that he was seeking a reconciliation. He thought that their previous night together meant that they were already reconciling.

On August 21, he said, she called him asking to meet with him at a hotel, saying to him that, as he described it Friday, “Juanita Bynum Ministries was in need of our church facility and members’ support in order to raise monies” for one of Bynum’s projects. “She shared her urgency that we meet that night,” Weeks said.

Weeks did not describe, in his statement Friday, his August 21 meeting with Bynum, what led to their confrontation or anything else about it, and he did not discuss the indictment against him. He has pleaded Not Guilty.

“I would like for Juanita to know that I respect but regret her decision for a divorce. My church family is fully aware that I have always supported her in every endeavor. I have never hindered her from pursuiing her ministry vision or personal goals in life…. I want her to know that I am praying God’s best for her.”

Weeks’ divorce attorney, Randy Kessler, told reporters after Weeks read his statement that “he can’t stop the divorce from happening.” Kessler said Weeks just wants it to be settled as soon as possible, in private.

“The Bishop is not interested in money, this is not a case about money,” Kessler said. “We’d like all offers to remain private” as the two negotiate a financial settlement.

“Everybody, all of us, have blemishes, have flaws, that we do not want exposed” in a public courtroom, Kessler said, and Weeks is hoping to settle both the divorce and the criminal charges against him out of court.

There was no pre-nuptual agreement, Kessler said.

“The truth will eventually be known by all,” Weeks said. “In the end, God will always get the glory.”
 

Bishop Weeks bows to inevitable and won’t contest divorce

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Televangelist Juanita Bynum’s husband, accused of assaulting her, will not contest her petition for divorce after all, his attorneys said Thursday.

The Rev. Thomas W. Weeks III had held out hope that he and Bynum could reconcile even after she filed a petition for divorce Monday, but now “has come to the personal resolve, that if Juanita is insistent on a divorce, he will not stand in the way,” his attorneys said in a statement.

Bynum’s attorney Karla Walker said she is withdrawing a divorce petition filed in south Georgia’s Ware County, where Bynum has a home, and refiling the case in Gwinnett County, where Weeks lives.

Bynum, known for her message of female empowerment, claims Weeks choked, pushed and stomped on her in a hotel parking lot after an Aug. 21 meeting in which the couple failed to reconcile.

Weeks faces charges of aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. He is free on $40,000 bond and is not allowed to have contact with Bynum.

Bynum, 48, is head of a dynamic ministry that also includes a gospel record label and seminar tours. She has sold thousands of motivational books, CDs and DVDs related to empowerment and marriage.

She has now emerged as a self-appointed “face of domestic violence” and has said she wants to be seen as a survivor, not a victim, of abuse.

Weeks, 40, is known to his followers as Bishop Weeks and is head of Global Destiny Ministries, based in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth. He co-wrote “Teach Me How to Love: The Beginnings” with Bynum, and the two wed in a million-dollar, televised ceremony in 2002. They have been estranged since June.

The developments of the past few weeks may have put things in perspective for Weeks regarding the relationship, his attorney Randy Kessler said Thursday, who added that his client will speak out Friday.

“He put the word out there, said he was open for reconciliation,” Kessler said. “I guess he got no positive response. At this point he’s not going to fight whether or not there’s going to be a divorce.”

It ain’t like he had grounds to contest the divorce, noway.

“If you’re a prophetess, didn’t you see this coming?”

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Tom Joyner

Prophetess Bynum talked all around it and never answered the direct question posed by Tom Joyner, on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.    I wasn’t terribly impressed with the gist of her answer.  The only thing that mollified me was the clarity of her opinion that a woman is NEVER to stay in a physically abusive relationship.   She was honest and said that she filed for divorce in 2005 and pulled back because of who she was, I will give her that.   I hope that in her new ministry, after the divorce is over, that she can really come clean and lay it all out so that people can understand how this happens and how to keep it from happening.   ESSENCE magazine will be doing a December cover on the Prophetess, and she said that she will be at liberty to say more then.  I commend Tom for this interview and for asking the questions that needed to be asked.  Also discussed was her support for Barack Obama and that she has been asked to be a surrogate for the candidate and will do some traveling on his behalf.   

Bishop Weeks to contest divorce

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 Hat Tip: Black America’s Web, Associated Press

ATLANTA – (AP) A minister accused of attacking his televangelist wife in a hotel parking lot will contest her petition for divorce, his lawyers said Tuesday.

Randy Kessler, one of the attorneys representing Thomas W. Weeks III, said they are considering whether the counterclaim will accuse Juanita Bynum of cruel treatment, the charge her divorce petition levels at Weeks.

“Cruel treatment is a very vague legal term,” Kessler said. “There’s a possibility that there’s cruel treatment on both sides, but we’re not committed to that position.”

Kessler and Louis Tesser, who is also representing Weeks, are family law attorneys with the Atlanta-based firm Kessler, Schwarz and Solomiany, who have litigated high-profile cases against boxer Evander Holyfield, former Atlanta Falcon Andre Rison, Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys and attorney Willie Gary.

The divorce petition was filed Monday in Ware County, where Bynum has a home, less than three weeks after Bynum accused Weeks of choking, pushing and stomping her in a hotel parking lot in an incident that began the night of Aug. 21 and continued into the next morning. Weeks, known to his followers as Bishop Weeks, was charged with aggravated assault and making terroristic threats and is not allowed to have contact with Bynum.

Bynum loves husband but needs to move on

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Hat Tip: D. Aileen Dodd, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Evangelist Juanita Bynum’s lawyer said Monday the pastor is seeking to divorce her husband on the basis of cruel treatment and irreconcilable differences.

The divorce filing states that the marriage has been “irretrievably broken,” said Bynum’s attorney Karla Walker of Valdosta, Ga.

by her husband Thomas W. Weeks III on Aug. 21 in a hotel parking lot near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

“She loved her husband,” Walker said. “But she does feel it is necessary to stop the domestic violence and go on with the divorce.”

The divorce paperwork was sent to the Ware County Courthouse early last week, but an error delayed the filing. The legal documents were officially filed on Monday.

Bynum, 48, spent the weekend in California where she attended a fund-raiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama. The party was held at Oprah Winfrey’s estate.

Bynum has said she is moving forward with plans to start a domestic violence ministry. Last week, she resurfaced in the spotlight, saying she had recovered from the alleged attack and would like to serve as an advocate against domestic violence.

Weeks, 40, was charged with felony aggravated assault, felony terroristic threats and two counts of simple battery in connection with the attack. He could face up to 27 years in jail if convicted.

Juanita Bynum’s ministry at a crossroads

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Juanita_Bynum_My_Spiritual_Inheritance_abridged_compact_discs.jpg

 Hat Tip: By Errin Haynes, Associated Press

Juanita Bynum is known and admired by thousands as a fiery evangelist whose no-nonsense, lead-by-less-than-perfect-example message of self-improvement was seemingly illustrated by her fairy-tale marriage to a man who also is a widely known minister.

The romance, which included a million-dollar wedding, became a nightmare last week when Thomas W. Weeks III was charged with choking his wife, pushing her to the ground in a hotel parking lot and stomping on her.

Her example, of living one’s life as an empowered Christian single woman-turned-spouse, now shifts to spouse-turned-survivor.

“The very thing she’s been preaching and proclaiming has now blown up in her own life,” said Duke University theology professor J. Kameron Carter. “She becomes Exhibit A for her own message.”

Since their marriage in an elaborate ceremony in 2002, Bynum and Weeks had both worked out of Global Destiny Church, but had their own independent and successful ministries, attracting tens of thousands to their conferences and selling thousands of books and CDs. She is the star preacher in the marriage, with her successful career as a media personality, gospel singer, author and playwright.

They had become estranged, and on Aug. 22 they met at a hotel to try to reconcile their differences. Within hours, police were called to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, where they found Bynum with bruises. According to the police report, she told officers Weeks “choked her, pushed her down, kicked and stomped her … until a bellman pulled him off of her.”

Two days later, Weeks turned himself in to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. He was released on $40,000 bail with the condition that he have no contact with his wife or her sister. On Friday, he was indicted on charges of aggravated assault and making terroristic threats.

Weeks’ attorney, Ed Garland, didn’t immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

A request to speak with Bynum through her publicist was declined.

Bynum’s MySpace page has a message for her followers: “I am currently recovering from all of my injuries and resting well. There are so many great things happening for me in my future, and so much to look forward to concerning my destiny, this too shall pass. The Bible says in Proverbs 4:25 ‘Let your eyes look right on with fixed purpose and let your gaze be straight before you.’”

Bynum, a former hairdresser and flight attendant, gained wide attention after she preached her breakout sermon, “No More Sheets,” at a Christian singles event in 1998 about breaking free of sexual promiscuity. An audience of thousands applauded her raw, no-nonsense delivery, peppered with first-person accounts of her struggle with her spirituality and secular ways.

“I find it very difficult to listen to anybody preach to me about being single when they got a pair of thighs in their bed every night … telling me to ‘Hold on,’” Bynum roared. “I wanna hear ‘Hold on’ from somebody who’s really holding on! I wanna hear ‘Hold on’ from somebody who knows about struggle!”

She admonished the women in the audience to improve themselves before seeking husbands.

“We ain’t got nothing,” she told them. “What are you bringing to the table? God is calling you to accountability today! Get yourself together!”

Lauren Aqeel was 10 years old when she saw Bynum’s sermon and said it had a powerful effect on her.

“At the time, there were not many female preachers I had been exposed to,” said Aqeel, now 18, who added that she felt the call to preach a few years later. “She has been a mentor from afar to me.”

Pulpit power couples like Bynum and Weeks lead several successful black churches, with their marriages prominently factored into their ministries and serving as an example to their congregations. Often, the wives also run popular women’s ministries that extol the virtues of being a good Christian woman, spouse and parent.

These couples include Creflo and Taffi Dollar, who head World Changers Church International, based in College Park; Bishop T.D. Jakes and his wife, Serita, leaders of The Potter’s House, based in Dallas; and Bishop Eddie Long and his wife, Vanessa, who are the faces of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia.

But for Bynum and Weeks, the allegation of domestic violence could have meaning beyond their marriage.

“For all of the strides that have been made to overcome the male dominance that is associated with fundamental Christian expression, this throws light on the ways in which women have been overshadowed in problematic and troublesome ways in the charismatic movement,” Carter said.

At a forum Thursday at Spelman College, a historically black women’s college in Atlanta, many of the young women in the audience said they were shocked and saddened to hear of the alleged attack on Bynum.

“It just hit me like a wake-up call, that even the strongest can be victims,” said sophomore Elizabeth Alexander. “When he was hitting her, her husband had no respect for her role.”

Alexander said she sought the opinion of her own pastor, who is male, expecting him to condemn Weeks’ actions. Instead, he responded with scriptures, and said nothing of domestic violence being wrong.

“I was thinking ‘This is my spiritual leader. If I’m abused, what do you do for me?’”

Support for Weeks has been strong on his MySpace page. One message posted Aug. 28 reads: “Bishop Weeks, don’t be discouraged, but be encouraged. Stand firm and know that the Lord is mighty in battle.”

Kera Street, 20, said she is disturbed by such comments.

“She is a victim,” Street said. “It can’t be supported or condoned by the church.”

In an Aug. 31 e-mail to The Associated Press, Jakes said it is time for the faith community to come out of shock over the Bynum-Weeks controversy.

“Knowing the Bible may make you a strong Christian or a great speaker but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the only resource we can draw from or work with to help those in our pews who suffer in silence,” Jakes wrote. “Prayer is a good starting point but this is a problem where wise and fair action steps are needed.”

Aqeel said the incident brings Bynum closer to her followers.

“It got a point where you didn’t see her past anymore,” Aqeel said. “You were seeing a polished, well-groomed, woman of God. But now you see she’s still a work in progress. That’s going to create a deeper audience for her.”

Carter said it’s impossible to predict how Bynum’s ministry will rebound, but he said it’s possible she’ll resume with little loss.

“This in no way undermines her significance. If anything, it underscores the importance of that aspect of her message — the need for healthy relationships. It underscores that no preacher is bigger than their own message.”

___

Juanita Bynum domestic violence saga

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photo by psalm 11, courtesy of flickr

Hat Tip: D. Aileen Dodd, Mike Morris, Atlanta Journal Constitution  

Thomas Weeks, the 54-year-old bishop who shares an international ministry with estranged wife Juanita Bynum, was released on bond Friday after surrendering on charges that he assaulted his wife.

Weeks spent about six hours inside the Fulton County Jail before emerging at 1:40 p.m., holding a finger to his lips to signal that he had no comment. He climbed into the passenger seat of a silver, four-door Jaguar and rode away.

In a brief hearing at the jail, bond was set at $30,000 on a charge of aggravated assault and $10,000 on a charge of terroristic threats, and a magistrate ordered Weeks to have no contact with Bynum or her sister, Tina Culpepper. Weeks, dressed in a gray suit and bow tie, sat silently in the small jail courtroom, his cuffed hands in his lap.

His next hearing will be Sept. 7 in Fulton County Superior Court.

Bynum, a fiery national evangelist whose sermons empower women to walk away from dead-end relationships, was allegedly struck by her husband Tuesday in a hotel parking lot after the pair had dinner together to discuss a reconciliation.

Police said Bynum, 48, has been whisked away by family as they decide what to do next.

A lawyer for Weeks said he will continue his ministry and try to reconcile with his wife after the allegations are dealt with.

“He is extremely sad over the events that have taken place,” said Edward Garland, one of the two attorneys representing Weeks. “I think there is hope on his part that the relationship can get past these difficult moments.

“He has never had any accusation of any sort like this from her or anyone esle,” said Garland. “There are a lot of circumstances surrounding these events that will be explained at a later time. He is turning it over to the court system at this point.”

Weeks, Garland said, will meet with “a variety of pastors over which he presides, and with his father, who is a minister, and he’s going to make a prayerful decision as to how he proceeds. He’s dedicated his whole life to the ministry, and we’re very hopeful that he will be able to continue to lead the ministry.”

Bynum and Weeks are co-founders of Global Destiny Church in Duluth. They were married in 2002 in a lavish televised wedding that featured a 7.76-carat diamond ring. They separated three months ago, said Bynum’s sister, Tina Culpepper.

According to an Atlanta police incident report, Bynum said her husband “choked her, pushed her down, kicked and stomped her.”

She told police Weeks “continued stomping” her into the ground until a hotel bell man pulled him away. Police also said Weeks threatened Bynum’s life.

Culpepper said the couple was meeting for dinner at Concorde Grill in the Renaissance Concourse Hotel near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Tuesday night.

Police said the couple had met to work out their differences. Things soured, and Weeks walked out to the parking lot about 10:30 p.m., police said. He then turned back around and attacked her, said Officer Ron Campbell.

Weeks also threatened Bynum’s life during the attack, police said. “Anytime you tell a person, ‘I’m going to kill you,’ that moves it up to a felony,” Campbell said.

The bruises found on Bynum also were serious enough to bring felony aggravated assault charges against Weeks.

In a comment posted on her MySpace page, the Pentecostal evangelist said, “I am currently recovering from all of my injuries and resting well … this too shall pass.”

Her publicist, Amy Malone, said Bynum wants to keep the matter private.

“People are interpreting it to mean the two of them were fighting,” Malone said. “They were not fighting. She was assaulted.”

Clergy across metro Atlanta said they were saddened by the news of the public beating of Bynum, a respected “prophetess” whose star rose under the leadership of Bishop T.D. Jakes. Bynum is one of the leading speakers at Megafast, which has attracted hundreds of thousands of people to metro Atlanta in recent years.

Mixing love and ministerial work can take its toll on relationship for pastors with successful followings, clergy say.

“It is tremendously hard to balance a relationship,” said the Rev. Cynthia L. Hale, pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church. “If you happen to be more successful than your spouse or make more money or have greater prestige that is where the challenge comes in. There are many men who are secure in life, but there are also men who are insecure and they have struggled with having their wives [or girlfriends] excel in ways they don’t.”

Weeks has retained two lawyers: the well-known Garland, who in the past has represented NFL star Ray Lewis in his murder trial and millionaire James Sullivan, who ordered the murder of his socialite wife; and Louis Tesser.

The couple had a home in Duluth, Culpepper said. Upon their separation, Bynum moved to Waycross, where her administrative offices are located.

Members of a Georgia non-profit group, Love for All People, were working late Thursday to hire two bodyguards to protect Bynum. Culpepper said Bynum was appreciative but that it would not be necessary.

Word of the public fight spread to clergy across metro Atlanta who have either met the couple or know of them.

Once a homemaker, a hairdresser and a flight attendant, Bynum’s big break came when televangelist Bishop T.D. Jakes invited her to speak at one of his conferences several years ago.

Jakes, who has worked closely with Bynum, had no comment, his spokeswoman said.

Operators at Bynum’s ministry in Waycross, Juanita Bynum Ministries, asked the public “to be in prayer for her.”