The founder of a Texas advocacy organization that works to expose clergy abuse primarily in African American churches has called for an investigation into a 63-year-old Iowa Apostolic bishop’s marriage to a 19-year-old parishioner he counseled at his church’s school.
Bishop Demetrius Sinegal, a founder of Safehouse Unmuzzled and pastor of The Kingdom Church of Houston, Texas, has asked police and the Polk County attorney’s office to investigate the November 15 marriage of Bishop Dwight Reed of Christ Apostolic Temple in Des Moines to Jordan Goodlett.
Although the woman was over the age of consent when the couple married, Sinegal and others contend that Reed used his position of authority over her to facilitate a personal relationship.
Sinegal posted on the Safehouse Unmuzzled Facebook page April 13 a video of himself arriving at the Des Moines police department to file criminal complaints against Dwight Reed.
A press release posted on the Christ Apostolic Temple Facebook page the same day announced the Reeds were filing a civil suit against Sinegal for defamation and harassment, claiming his online posts about them to his more than 11,000 followers led to online and in-person harassment and a decline in temple membership and tithing.
The release said Reed and his wife “understand that some people will pass judgment on the marriage of Bishop Reed and Jordan given their age difference” but “no one is entitled to conduct a malicious attack based on outright lies.”
An April 18 post said that Reeds had tried to serve Sinegal with the lawsuit when he was in Des Moines but had been unable to find him.
“Demetrius Sinegal you have been evading service. That’s why you haven’t been served, but please see the attached affidavit filed in the court from the process server, which details your attempts to evade service while you were in the City of Des Moines,” the post says. “Grace and peace unto you.”
The press release also disputed the validity of Sinegal’s organization and church, and a later post said that, according to the Secretary of State’s Office in Texas, “neither The Kingdom Church nor Safehouse Unmuzzled has legally formed entities according to Texas law and therefore should not be soliciting funds.”
Sinegal claims that some of Jordan Reed’s family members, including her paternal grandfather, objected to the marriage and that she was pressured into it, although her father, a church employee, walked her down the aisle,. he said.
“This marriage tears at the very fiber of the social construct of the African American family,” Sinegal told the Press men “Children are taught to respect their grandparent contemporaries, not to marry them.”
Since we are Christians and are expected to do things according to the Holy Bible and teachings of christ, is there anywhere in the Bible against this act?
Kindly join the rest of the world in sharing your thoughts on this controversial issue.