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Minister husband of evangelist Juanita Bynum released on bond

AP, via, USA
Aug. 24, 2007 • Saturday August 25, 2007

The minister husband of evangelist and gospel singer Juanita Bynum was released on bond after turning himself in Friday morning to face charges that he beat her outside a hotel earlier this week.

Thomas W. Weeks III, known to his followers as Bishop Weeks, was accompanied by his lawyer when he surrendered at the Fulton County Jail, said Atlanta Police spokesman James Polite.

After a hearing at the jail, Weeks’ bond was set at $40,000 and his case was referred for grand jury action. He was released on bond Friday afternoon. One condition of his bond is that Weeks have no contact with his wife or her sister.

The minister faces charges of aggravated assault and terroristic threats following a confrontation in which he left his estranged wife badly bruised, police said.

Officer Ronald Campbell said earlier this week that during an argument outside a hotel, Weeks choked Bynum, then “pushed her down to the ground and started to kick her and also stomp on her.” A hotel employee intervened and pulled Weeks off of her, he said.

Bynum met with authorities Thursday to press the charges against Weeks. In a statement released by her publicist, Bynum said she was recovering from her injuries.

After the hearing, Weeks’ attorney, Ed Garland, told reporters, “The bishop is very hopeful that there can be a reconciliation in this case. He loves his wife and he regrets that the events have occurred.” The couple is separated but there has been no divorce filing, Garland said.

He said Weeks’ side of the story would be presented in court, not the media.

The charges leveled against Weeks are felonies, but Garland said, “We do not believe it rises to the level of a felony.”

He also said that after Weeks consults with other pastors, including his father, “We are very hopeful he may be able to continue to lead the ministry that he does at this time.”

He said Weeks himself would not issue a comment.

Bynum is a former hairdresser and flight attendant who became a Pentecostal evangelist, author and gospel singer. Her ministry blossomed after she preached at a singles event about breaking free of sexual promiscuity. Among her books are “No More Sheets: The Truth About Sex” and “Matters of the Heart.”

Her album “A Piece of My Passion” had been listed in the top 10 gospel albums by Billboard magazine for several months. She also preaches through televised sermons.

Weeks is the founder of Global Destiny churches. The couple married in 2002. Together, they wrote “Teach Me How to Love You: The Beginnings.”

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