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In Defense of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake: Refuting Charles Carter’s Defamation of His Character!

Readers, I received the following email yesterday but have just now gotten around to reading and posting it. According to the email, it looks like Earl W. Carter is coming for Bishop Blakes reputation and legacy.
Church of God in Christ, Inc. World Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee USA Chambers of the General Board Bishop C. E. Blake, Sr. Presiding Bishop Chairman Bishop P. A. Brooks, II First Assistant Presiding Bishop First Vice Chairman Bishop J. W. Macklin Second Assistant Presiding Bishop Second Vice Chairman Bishop R. L. H. Winbush Secretary of Board Bishop F. O. White Assistant Secretary Bishop G. D. McKinney Bishop N. W. Wells Bishop S. Daniels Bishop J. D. Sheard Bishop B. B. Porter Bishop T. G. Thomas Bishop L. Wooten 

September 8, 2015
Dear Members of the General Board and Board of Bishops, As First Assistant Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ it is my pastoral responsibility to unmask false allegations against men in positions of God-given authority. I am personally acquainted with Elder Eugene F. Rivers; III who was intimately involved in Presiding Bishop Charles Blake’s receiving the Harvard Humanitarian Award from the Harvard Foundation in 2003.

I present to the church his testimony of what actually transpired on that occasion. It is my considered opinion that the leaders of the church should repudiate the efforts of Earl W. Carter to dishonor and impugn the integrity of the occupant of the church’s highest office, Bishop Blake. The directive of the Word of God applies to Bishop Blake in this situation: "Give double honor to spiritual leaders who handle their duties well. This is especially true if they work hard at teaching God’s word" (I Timothy 5:17). Let us, as men of God, stand strong with our godly leader. In His service, Bishop P. A. Brooks Bishop P. A. Brooks First Assistant Presiding Bishop ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In Defense of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake: Refuting Carter’s Defamation of His Character Elder Eugene F. Rivers, III A Special Advisor to the Presiding Bishop

I write this statement in response to Elder Earl W. Carter’s multiple attempts to blemish and stain the excellent character and reputation of our Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake Sr.

Though Elder Carter’s recent letter is filled with many groundless and irrelevant assertions, I must respond to one sinister and evil allegation that I know to be a lie. That is, his report of a claim by an Elder Thomas Cross that Harvard Professor Peter J. Gomes (now deceased) had claimed to have had an inappropriate encounter with Bishop Blake. As a board member of Save Africa’s Children and an active ex-student of Harvard University, I was personally involved when Bishop Blake received the Harvard Humanitarian Award in 2003.

It has been my privilege to host and accompany Bishop Blake on all of his visits to Harvard and Boston. It is the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations that selects the recipient each year, and that invited Bishop Blake to address the university at Memorial Church in 2003. As is their custom, the Foundation arranged for Bishop Blake, accompanied by his son, Charles E. Blake, II, and a group of COGIC pastors, to stay at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge.

 As a part of the process of honoring award recipients the Foundation arranges for them to meet with several distinguished Harvard faculty members. During Bishop Blake’s very brief visit he met with Harvard Divinity School Dean William A. Graham, Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, Harvey Cox, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Divinity, Ben Wikler '03, founder of the Harvard AIDS Coalition, Robert M. Franklin, visiting professor of African American Religious Studies. As an honored guest Bishop Blake spoke at Harvard’s Memorial Church and was hosted for dinner along with his son, Charles, and several other COGIC ministers by the Minister of Memorial Church, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, the Reverend Peter J. Gomes. At a later time, Bishop and Lady Blake returned the professional courtesy by allowing Professor Gomes to speak at West Angeles.

This was the extent of Bishop Blake’s brief encounter with Professor Peter Gomes. It was only at a later time that Bishop Blake learned more about his reputation. Contrary to Carter’s allegations there was no friendship, not even a prior acquaintance, between Bishop Blake and Professor Gomes. Bishop Blake was never a "personal friend" of Professor Gomes. Bishop Blake NEVER stayed at Professor Gomes’ residence. Unfortunately, I am also, as a clergyman in the Boston area, acquainted with Thomas Cross. Carter quotes Cross’ allegations which are indisputably false. It is ludicrous to even imagine that Professor Peter J. Gomes of Harvard University even knew Thomas Cross.

It is an absolute lie that Bishop Blake had any kind of inappropriate physical relations with Professor Gomes. It is clearly just as untrue that Professor Gomes would confide any intimate details about any aspect of his life to Thomas Cross. Anyone remotely familiar with the world of Harvard or Peter J. Gomes would immediately recognize how completely mendacious any such claims are. I have confronted Thomas Cross and told him this to his face. And here an obvious question logically follows. If, as Cross has alleged, he had actually met with Professor Gomes in the presence of other COGIC clergy in a restaurant, why did he not produce the names of these individuals as corroborating evidence when directly challenged to do so?

 How convenient to attribute this story to a person who is not alive to confirm or deny it, but not name those who could. Bishop Blake has been uncompromising both publicly and privately in maintaining the biblical position on all matters related to human sexuality. He is on record for having done so in a number of COGIC statements on marriage. His pastoral ministry to members of his congregation unwaveringly reflects the integrity of that position. I have dealt in detail with obvious lies and slander.

However, the allegations based on hearsay, gossip and guilt by association are too unworthy to be dignified by a response. In conclusion, this entire episode is part of a larger back story that few will articulate publicly. It must now be clearly outlined for the rising generation in the church. Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. has been the victim of jealousy, envy and hatred for the crime, in large measure, of excellence and success. The truth is that lesser men have resented him and are now conspiring to undermine his efforts to reform areas of the church’s spiritual life that have been ignored as the church played ecclesiastical politics.

 As for Mr. Carter, it seems that he is nothing more than a political mercenary on retainer to the highest bidding enemy of the Church of God in Christ and her leader, Bishop Blake. Bishop Blake has burnished and enhanced the witness and image of the church before the larger world. I call upon all of the men and leaders of integrity and courage in COGIC to reject the morally disgraceful conduct of Carter and his co-conspirators and support the office of the Presiding Bishop.

September 8, 2015. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ *Whitehead Memorial* CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST 2069 Tyler Road, P. O. BOX 972240, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48198 * 734.484.0331 Bishop James L. Whitehead Jr., Pastor ______________________________________________________________________________
My Dear Fellow Workers in the Ministry, I have been blessed to serve you as Editor-and-chief of the YPWW topics for the past forty-three years. I have written, or caused to be published during that time a total of 6,240 bible lessons covering almost every area of ministry and doctrine. Never could I have imagined I would one day have to write a letter like this.

 The disciples of Jesus were happy supporters until the crowd turned against him. Please be mindful of the ability of a few jealous men to turn public opinion so successfully against Jesus until many of the people who were blessed by him became a part of the crowd that shouted "crucify Him". What was worse was how the disciples abandoned their Savior for fear of their own safety. For this reason I write this letter.

 I have watched people make evil insinuations about the moral character of Bishop Charles Blake too long for me to sit idly by and not speak about what I have been an eye witness to for the past fifty-two years. I met Charles Blake in September, 1962 at the Hensley Temple Church of God In Christ, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was twenty two and I was twenty. He was beginning his first year at the Interdenominational Theological Center( I. T. C.), and I was starting my first year at Morehouse. We became immediately very close friends and that friendship has lasted until this day. I was appointed by Bishop Hensley to be Youth Minister at his church in Atlanta, and Charles was appointed assistant pastor at his church in Marietta, Georgia. He was never Bishop Husbands Youth Pastor. During the 52 years he has uth minister to his Church in Atlanta and Charles Blake to take Charge of his Church in Marietta 52 years I have known Bishop Blake, I have never, never, never, seen the slightest indication that he had any inclinations other than being 100% male.

While we were students in Atlanta, we both tried to make full use of our single status and date the most beautiful young ladies we could meet. After he met in 1963 the love of his life, he would come to Detroit and stay at my parents home so he could more conveniently court Mae Lawrence.

I, too believe the homosexual agenda we are facing today is a problem for the future of our nation. And any inference that our Presiding Bishop is not equally concerned is a serious misrepresentation of his character. I have considered Bishop Charles Blake my best and most trusted friend for over fifty years. And what has been one of the bonds that has kept that friendship strong is both our mutual and firm belief that sin, in whatever form, has no place among the clergy of the COGIC.

We cannot always control who sits in the pew but we can try to control who stands behind the pulpit. It was Bishop Blake who instituted the new requirement that nobody will be given a credential without first passing a thorough background check. What more can a leader do? I have watched Bishop Blake prepare for this time in his life for fifty-two years. I observed him reading hundreds of books on management and administration as well as those books that prepared him theologically. We are blessed with the most productive leader this church has ever known.

I close with some of the words of the rich young ruler. If a man can build a church from 39 members to 26,000, lead his congregation in the purchase of 100 million dollars worth of property for kingdom work, successfully preside over 300 churches, sponsor and chair a ministry like Save Africa’s Children, preside over a denomination 6 million strong, and yet successfully raise three children and eight grandchildren with his wife, who respects him highly, to become outstanding servants of the gospel, "surely no man can do these things except God be with him".

It seems to be the price all great leaders pay is undue criticism and sometimes hatred. Moses missed out on the promise land because of the ingratitude of people. Let us pray that our Bishop doesn’t allow his critics to push him to a point of complete discouragement. Let us instead, stand by our leader like the disciples should have stood by Jesus during the time he needed them the most. Your servant in Christ, Bishop J. L. Whitehead, Jr. Editor- in- Chief of the YPWW Topics Chairman of the O. T. Jones Memorial Training Institute Jurisdictional Prelate Designee of the Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Southwest Michigan.
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  1. Umm...there is a dead cat on the line...all these folks in his court coming to his defense? Something smells fishy to me. Everyone knew Peter Gnomes was gay...I guess all except the speaking in tongue fasting and praying DISCERNING church leader who allowed Gnomes to preach in his pulpit. Cover letters going all over the place. Elder Carter doesn't strike me to be a jealous hearted individual. For him to attack the issues of homosexuality on a national forum in these days in time was awfully brave to me. I don't know...elder carter may be on to something....

    1. Anonymous something is taking place behind the scene.

  2. I agree something is going on behind the scene. Dr. Carter is truly a man of God that has a real heart for the souls and lives of the men and women of God. It breaks my heart to see how much the church has changed through the years because I grew up in COGIC when it was Right to Live Right! We could not live any kind of way and still be active participants in God’s house. God help your people in this hour because we need you like never before. It is one thing for the world to accept sin but the church must maintain a Standard of Holiness other wise where will people go to be delivered. I am sorry for the unfortunate situation that has occurred with Bishop Blake but I pray God will continue to strengthen him as he stand and hold up the blood stained banner.

  3. Granny used to say, when you stir in mess it stinks. This is ugly.

  4. I don't understand why this is being posted on the Internet. People should be seeking God and asking him for guidance not the people in the Internet. Church business should stay church business

  5. Thank God I Left The C.OG.I.C....

  6. The key word is "Had " the man without sin let him cast the first stone, We as Christian's love the sinner but hate the sin . I Will always love and respect Presiding Bishop Charles E Blake and I Will continue praying for him and anyone the Holy Spirit leads me to pray for. Amen.

  7. COGIC has been in trouble for a long time but PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE the Lord for this man of God who REFUSES TO CONFORM!

  8. People please read the letter. Dnt be persuaded by these obviously false accusations! If Bishop Blake says he didn't sleep with the gay man then I believe him. Elder Carter is on a smear campaign bc Bishop Blake had to repair put license relations damage that had been done that Saturday night of the convocation. The young man that testified to being "delivert" from homosexuality, I'm told makes the same spectacle of himself at other services with a large crowd. The main stream wad introduced to COGIC for the first time with one of it's ordained elders wishing that God would make the homosexual "bleed from the butt", since they want to be a female. This type of hatred and bashing is not a catalyst of true deliverance. In Fact it makes ppl with this struggle withdrawn and suicidaL. Others who rebel rather repent becoming more bold than ever. But what do we as saints do? We jump and shout to a sermon that does nothing but bash the person and not the sin. We are satisfied and go home and say Chile didn't he preach. But How many wld take the homosexual by the hand and pray deliverance over them right there in the service?? Jesus told the woman thst was caught in adultery "go and sin no more." He didn't sugar coat her sins but he didn't bash her either, and as a result, the woman's life was transformed by the live of God. Saints!!!! We must follow Jesus' example in the Bible who also ate with sinners. Let is shed this judgemental spirit and began to really reach out for the souls of men with the same love, grace and mercy that one day saved us from our ugly sins.

    1. Why do you believe him and not the other man? And you and your supporters of Gay rights can continue to BASH elder Carter all you want to, but it won't change the facts about what we know on homosexuality. As for sugar coating and the woman at the well, Jesus told her: And the one whom you now have is not your husband: Jesus brought up this embarrassing issue because her sinful life had to be confronted. This woman had to decide what she loved more: her sin or the Messiah. You and the other Carter bashers need decided the same - and that includes your so called Presiding Bishop. If he wants the church to heal, he won't stand for reelection!!!!!!!!!

    2. I know nothing of the Blake allegations. Have you know how prevalent the gay representation has been since the move to St. Louis? Not saying St. Louis has anything to do with thing. In fact, when AIM was in Baltimore, I was sickened because I had to explain to my sons why so many men are carrying themselves like women. Oil and Water don't mix. Everyone is invited, but there should be change, the world mocked us when someone claimed deliverance. Instead of our leader doubling-down and standing with Carter, he apologized. We have to just face it. When in sin, Holiness is offensive, but is deliverance. It's like cleansing alcohol on a wound. It's stings but delivers.

  9. I pray right now that Elder Carter wld forsake this course of action of smearing our Bishop. Hasn't the church gone through enough already?? Sir, plz apologize to Bishop Blake and move on.

    1. I believe Dr. Carter.

    2. I pray for a new Presiding Bishop! bishop Blake started this fight, now that it is too hot to handle he wants to hide behind the ungodly courts. That is cowardly!

  10. I believe Dr Carter

  11. I don't believe Carter... and this is a mess... http://cottonpatchcontemplations.blogspot.com/2015/11/in-defense-of-bishop-blake.html

  12. Supt. Carter had the right to preach his convictions. Bishop Blake has the authority and the right to discipline Cogic clergy (even if we agree or disagree with it). It is all of the backlash and the messy public allegations that are wrong. Supt. Carter should have taken the matter to the General Board. Then if there was no satisfaction. He should have left the Cogic and continued to preach his convictions. When we are saved and represent God we are compelled to do things in order even when we have been wronged.

  13. Bro. Carter(because I can not call you Elder) I pray you recognize the error of your ways.The Bible is right somebody else is wrong. The sermon you recited is absolutely Biblical and that I say Preach the unadulterated word to this dying world but the methodology,Jehovah is not pleased. The smear campaign against our leader speaks volume as to your true salvation. You not only affect The COGIC but mainly all of Christiandom. Use your time wisely by preaching repentance to this sun sick world that has never been introduced to Christ.The Bible says The Kingdom would be added to daily?
    Since all of this transpired how many souls have you added in your position as a Shepherd? Please don't loose focus of the calling you have exclaimed He has called you to be his ambassador. In love I make this request my Brother.

  14. Mr. Carter has forgotten the Bible of FIRST "praying, leaving gifts at alter, and seeking the elder." For whose bebefit did you make such accusations? There are too many elders Carter you should and could have consulted BEFORE going public with this allegation. Carter, all allegations require evidence. Is a dead man who left no proof your only substanciation? Carter, it is YOUR soul and reputation that are at stake! From having observed Bishop Blake's ministry since he began in Los Angeles, CA in 1969 and expanded internationalky, I am proud of a such a man of God whose life is dedicated to God and humanmind. He is truly a servant of God whose faith and works speak for him.

  15. Dead men, and Dead women tells no tells. The great State of California a quote from Mr. Warren Jefferson, I am praying like never before.

  16. I think we should start a go fund me page to support Elder Carter Defense fund against these tired yes - men and women who signed the list in support of bishop blake. I believe Elder Carter should counter sue for the same reasons - defamation of character on the ground that bishop blake went national on Elder Carter apologizing against a man who spoke from his convictions. If we had a real presiding bishop, one, he would follow the scripture that says Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? But why should we be surprised by bishop blake's desperate action. Some spiritual leader of our denomination. Second it is time for a change in leadership in COGIC. Since this man became the presiding bishop things are not good for the church.

    1. I agree. The man sounds sincere. He has love for the COGIC church and the doctrine. Although I can't speak for the charges against Bishop Blake, I can say he is right about allegations he's made about 1 pastor in particular. I know personally about a blackmail sex tape that had to be dealt with by the son of a preacher he mentions regularly.


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