Coalition: Bishop Thomas Weeks should step down

A national coalition of African-American and Latino churches wants Bishop Thomas Weeks III suspended from the ministry for allegedly beating his wife, popular televangelist Juanita Bynum.

The Washington-based National Black Church Initiative acknowledges that Weeks’ Global Destiny Ministries is not part of its network, but considers the domestic violence charges leveled against him detrimental to the entire Christian church.

The coalition, which works to address racial health disparities and problems in the black family, views Weeks’ alleged actions as “morally wrong and reprehensible.”

Domestic violence, the group said, is a root cause in the failure of black families and marriages.

NBCI recommends that the ecclesiastical body that governs Weeks suspend him for three years and is urging its member churches and their congregates not to support Weeks’ ministry or recognize him as ordained clergy. NBCI claims 16,000 member churches.


“We’re just not going to tolerate this kind of behavior,” the Rev. Anthony Evans, NBCI president, said Sunday. “He has hurt the cause of Christ.”

The coalition also demands that Weeks apologize to his wife, his church and the Christian family as well as seek counseling.

Global Destiny Ministries, with locations in Duluth, Los Angeles, London and Washington, may operate independent of a governing body. Weeks and Bynum, 48, co-founded the church.

Efforts to reach Weeks via phone calls to his church or through e-mails for comment on NBCI’s stance were unsuccessful. Voice mail messages left Sunday at Bynum’s ministries’ executive offices in Waycross went unreturned.


Weeks, 40, is accused of beating, choking and stomping her in the parking lot of a hotel near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Aug. 21. They met at the hotel in an attempt to iron out their marital differences. The couple had been separated for several months.


He has been charged with felony aggravated assault and terroristic threats and two misdemeanor counts of simple battery listed in a Fulton County grand jury indictment handed down on Friday.

NBCI is one of the first in the black church to speak out so publicly. Its decision to call Weeks out, Evans said, was difficult and unusual.

“He is not mentally equipped to continue as neither pastor or bishop at this time,” Evans added. “Whether or not he is restorable, this will be left to Almighty God. … We cannot begin healing the black family without taking this action.”

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA
Sep. 3, 2007
S.A. Reid
www.ajc.com

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This post was last updated: Monday, September 3, 2007 at 10:03 AM, Central European Time (CET)