The African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest Black church in all of America; its history can be traced back to the city of Philadelphia in 1787, where Richard Allen and others offered an alternative for Africans in America to worship, when forbidden to do so alongside their fellow White Christians.
The 5th district is where I presently fellowship and in recent years it has been wrestling with issues of impropriety that threaten to tear asunder the very foundation of the church itself.
From allegations of sexual improprieties of bishops who have more than 10 illegitimate children and a number of corresponding paternity suits under gag order, to other bishops inexplicably riding around in Rolls Royces and Bentleys to even more recently, pastors who’ve allegedly stolen hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars from their congregations, it is…in a word…
One wonders if there is any limit to the amount of malfeasance in the AME church. In fact, rumors presently swirl as to whether an immensely popular, married AME pastor was recently moved due to allegedly impregnating a fellow preacher on his ministerial staff.
Somewhere in between the extremities of the rumors lay the truth and today, The Mo’Kelly Report is taking the first step to unearth just where it begins and ends in the 5th district of the AME church. Today I give you Part I of a three-part series, maybe even a four-part series.
In Part I today, I speak with longtime L.A. journalist, Betty Pleasant author of the immensely popular Soulvine column for the Los Angeles Wave and the genesis of much of the coverage of the ongoing battle in AME community. For months I’ve sought to get her on record as to the what, where, when, who and how. And to true to her audacious form, Betty Pleasant appears in The Mo’Kelly Report to give her side of how she chose to craft her coverage. Betty Pleasant did not back down and she is to be commended for it.
In Part II in the coming days, I’ll speak with none other than Dr. Frederick Murph himself; one of the central figures of the ongoing AME scandal and get him on record as to just what did or did not happen at his former church Brookins Community AME. In the interest of full disclosure I acknowledge that I am a good friend of Dr. Murph but in no way will I show him any favoritism. He will have to answer the tough and direct questions and you the listeners will form your own opinion. The quit claim deed of the parsonage, the alleged theft of millions of dollars…he will be on record. In fact, he will NOT have heard this conversation with Betty Pleasant before any of you. All of this is above board and evenhanded in nature.
In Part III, we’ll hear from another 5th district AME minister who is ready to go on the record as to what SHE has seen and her take of the ongoing madness.
(Uh oh…look out now. Hmm…who could it be?!)
And if there is a Part IV, we’ll hear from Bishop Kirkland himself. We’ll hopefully find out why Rev. John Hunter of First AME who admitted to running up a $122,000 personal bill on the church credit card, to this day sits on the committee adjudicating the case of Dr. Frederick Murph. He (Kirkland) too needs to be on record. As of this posting, Bishop Kirkland has been informed of my desire to interview him and have him on the record. All parties will have equal access and opportunity to go on the record. No excuses…folks need to be on the record.
And with that, I share with you Part I, my conversation with Betty Pleasant. Enjoy.
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at www.eurweb.com. It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://www.MrMoKelly.com. Mo’Kelly can be reached at Mo@MrMoKelly.com and he welcomes all commentary.
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