Juanita Bynum, granted restraining order, seeks financial support from Weeks

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.

Money, Money, Money

Juanita Bynum is a leading proponent of the so-called prosperity gospel (you give money to God, via whichever person tells you about this scheme, and God is bound to bless you with a multiple return)

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.

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA
Sep. 28, 2007
D. Aileen Dodd
www.ajc.com

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This post was last updated: Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 10:35 AM, Central European Time (CET)