Posted by: Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals | February 7, 2008

Greater Mt. Calvary Email


37 days into the New Year and we already have found ourselves at the brink of yet another major scandal in a prominent African American church by the name of Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church which is located in Washington, DC. A few nights ago a friend of mine told me about it but I really did not understand what was going on until I myself opened up my email and found this horrendous email concerning members of the Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church.

Saints, when are we going to learn? Granted right is right and wrong is wrong, but if this person who initiated this email had any Holy Ghost sense, they should have never put this in writing. Aside from the numerous grammatical errors in this email, it names First and Last names of Choir Members, Deacons, Praise Team Leaders and Ministers who actively participate in the homosexual lifestyle.

My question to you is this, WHO MADE YOU GOD? When do we get to decide to scandalize our brothers and sisters name all in the Name of whats Holy and Good? Did not Jesus Himself say in John 8:7 “John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stoneat her.” On top of that, this email was based solely on hearsay and conversations that other people were saying. To top all of this off, the sister names brothers in the church who are “heterosexual” and whom supposedly really love the Lord as if to spare them from the wrath of God. I am so saddened that we have to stoop this low to leave a “paper trail” of gossip. This is just plane ole MESSY in my book. What if the 100 or so souls decide to leave the church, the hospital for the sin sick soul, and never come back and die in their mess and go straight to hell. Their blood is going to be on the hand of those that allowed such ignorance to permeate God’s house.

Granny always said, there are 3 sides to every story, Your side, Their side and THE TRUTH! It is this TRUTH that is going to make you free indeed. Granted, we are never to tolerate the Spirit of Jezebel in our local assemblies, but it is God who does the sifting. Jesus Himself said that the wheat and the tare must grow up together because if we start pulling up the tare, some of the wheat might be pulled up with it.

It would be different if Mt. Calvary did not have a program that helps homosexuals become free from their sexual sin. It would be different if Mt. Calvary did not help people with AIDS and when they cant afford money for medicine, the church comes to their rescue. It would be different if after an individual dies from AIDS and has no money to be buried that Mt. Calvary is the one who comes and bury’s you! Stop the madness saints.

If you have a problem with a certain person or group of persons in the church, go to your pastor and express your concern, don’t be a messy individual and email the pastor and 300 of your closest friends whats going on. Enough is enough! It is my prayer that everyone who reads this stays out of church mess, shut your mouth, and pray!

Outing campaign roils D.C. black Pentecostal Church
More than 100 members named as gay in e-mails to pastor, congregation
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Jan 30, 2:14 PM

One of Washington’s largest black Baptist churches was rocked by a female member of its choir who sent separate e-mail messages to the pastor in December and January outing more than 100 church members as gay, mostly male choir members.

The outings added to the inner turmoil experienced by a large number of gays who attend services at the 7,000-member Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church, located on Rhode Island Ave., N.E., according to a gay former member who provided copies of the e-mails to the Blade.

“I will be leaving the choir at the top of the year because 80 percent of the tenors are homosexuals and act more like a female in choir rehearsal than I do,” the church choir member said in one of her e-mails to Bishop Alfred Owens Jr., the church pastor.

The e-mail, sent in December, identifies about 45 fellow church members as gay. She sent a second e-mail to Owens on Jan. 2 identifying another 62 church members as gay.

“The following people I am asking you to monitor very closely and my prayer is that you will sit them down from their ministries,” she told Owens in the December e-mail. “Because they are ushering in the presence of sin, lies, a spirit of homosexuality and sexual spirits.”

She sent a copy of her e-mails to a Yahoo list group that goes to more than 300 church members, the gay former church member said.

The gay former church member redacted all of the names from the copies of the e-mails he sent to the Blade, including the name of the choir member who orchestrated the outings.

Officials with the National Black Justice Coalition, a Washington-based group that advocates for African-American gays, and the D.C. Coalition of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Men & Women, said they have seen or spoken with people who have seen un-redacted copies of the e-mails.

“There’s no doubt that these e-mails included all those names and they were read by a lot of people,” said Brian Watson, president of the D.C. Coalition.
Owens and Greater Mount Calvary Associate Pastor T. Cedric Brown did not return calls seeking comment by press time.

Owens became the subject of media attention in April 2006 when he used the word “fag” in a sermon on Palm Sunday.

“It takes real men to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior,” Owens said in the sermon, which was recorded by the church. “I’m not talking about no faggot or no sissy,” he said. “Let the real men come down here and take a bow — all the real men. I’m talking about straight men … praise God that you’re straight.”

The church’s web site includes a listing of twice-monthly sessions of a ministry called “Breaking the Chains of Homosexuality,” which it says helps gays change their sexual orientation through counseling and prayer. Minister Dennis Sawyers, an expert in “ex-gay” ministries, is listed as the leader of the church’s efforts to counsel gays.

The former gay member of Greater Mount Calvary who provided copies of the outing e-mails to the Blade, has withheld his own name. He used the pen name “Jeff Hammer” in his own e-mail correspondence with the Blade.

He said Owens responded to the first e-mail by calling a meeting of all members of the church’s numerous singing groups. The groups include the Alfred Owens Chorale, the Sanctuary Choir, the Celebration Choir, Voices of Calvary and the Male Chorus, among other groups.

“He said he only wanted to help people who wanted help to not be gay and that he was willing to help anybody change from being gay,” the former church member said.

The former member quoted Owens as telling people attending the meeting, “The Bible says that wheat and tares grow together but there are too many tares. When the tares outnumber the wheat I got to do something.”

According to the former church member, Owens said, “I’m going to meet with all the people mentioned in the e-mail and use my discernment to figure out who needs to be monitored or sat down from what they do …”

“My name was not on the list in any of these e-mails, but I think it is horrible,” the former church member said. “We give, pay tithes, dues and whatever, and this is how we are treated,” he said. “This is discrimination, humiliation and just mean.”

Sylvia Rhue, director of the National Black Justice Coalition’s religious affairs program and a licensed clinical therapist with a doctorate in human sexuality, said she was troubled but not surprised to hear that a large number of gays continue to join and worship at a church like Greater Mount Calvary.

“We know that many of the gays that go there like the traditional setting of a church like that,” she said. “It tears at your soul. It has the potential of causing depression, drug use and other harmful effects.”

Rhue said the NBJC recently released a publication called “Guide To Welcoming Congregations in the African-American Tradition,” which offers suggestions on how traditional black churches can be open and supportive of gays while remaining faithful to biblical teachings.

Watson of the D.C. Coalition said he knows a number of gays who remain members of Greater Mount Calvary, something Watson said he finds difficult to understand. As someone one who was raised in a church-going family in Oklahoma City, Watson said he attended services at Greater Mount Calvary when he moved to D.C.

“I did not join because the views there are clearly homophobic,” he said. “But it seems to be one of the more popular churches among black gays … I don’t know why these people keep going back there.”

Rick Rosendall, a spokesperson for the D.C. Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance, said he, too, was troubled over why so many gays would continue to attend and support a church that is less than welcoming to them.

“Our city has several welcoming and affirming congregations,” he said. “In the end, there is little that can be done for people who utterly refuse to respect themselves enough to stand up for themselves. If this particular incident wakes up some people and causes them to reevaluate their association with anti-gay churches and ministers, that could be the start of a salutary movement.”

The choir member who initiated the outing campaign at Greater Mount Calvary introduced herself to Bishop Owens as a deeply concerned member of the church.

“I am a female who has been a member of the Alfred A. Owens Chorale over five years,” she wrote in the first e-mail. “I have many friends in all of the choirs. However, people talk in my choir and I have overheard so many conversations, and pictures tell no lie.”

She added, “90.9 percent of the tenors in Sanctuary choir are homosexual. 99.9 percent of all the tenors in Celebration Choir are homosexual, including xxxxxx, but he is very undercover, aka, down low with his sex life.”

After naming more than a dozen men she claims are gay, she pointed to someone else she said was gay who “serves on the ushers board” and who “is always at gay parties drinking and drugging and is currently living with his boyfriend, Deacon xxxxx.”

She said another choir member “visits the gay clubs in the area weekly, i.e., the Bachelors Mill, the Delta, the Fireplace and Halo. He also attends private sex parties that male members of your choirs are having at their homes and

The gay former church member who sent the outing e-mails to the Blade also sent a copy of a separate e-mail from an outraged gay church member who was among those named in the first two e-mails as gay.

“I do not believe that someone would [have] the nerve to put my name to a list of known gays,” he wrote in an e-mail sent to Owens and members of the church Yahoo group. “This has gone too far, I am not going down by myself.”

He went on to name other gays, including some in high-level church positions.

“It is so bad that in the last e-mail we are turning on each other,” the gay former church member, who sent copies of the e-mails to the Blade, said. “Although I wanted to remain anonymous, someone has to do something.”

Leaders of two of D.C.’s largest gay churches, acting Pastor Mark Byrd of Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, and Bishop Kwabena Rainey Cheeks of Inner Light Ministries, did not respond to requests for comment on the Greater Mount Calvary outings by press time.


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