Tag Archive: Domestic Violence

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Wives Commanded to Submit to Abusive Husbands

lori-alexander

If a husband physically abuses his wife, he is either a very troubled man or an evil man. Not one woman that I have mentored who has been physically abused by her husband has told me that their husband is evil. They all say their husband is very troubled and needs help. I encourage them to call the authorities if they are being physically abused and even separate for a time until he gets help. BUT this doesn’t make void God’s commands for wives to submit to their husband’s leadership and that women who are married to disobedient husbands are to win their husbands without the word by their godly behavior (1 Peter 3:1). God’s ways are “good, and acceptable, and perfect” (Romans 12:2) so we must trust and obey Him! There are TWELVE verses that clearly states a wife’s position under her husband. There’s no guessing game here.

— Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife, Why Women Are More Easily Deceived, October 1, 2018

Chuck

pabst blue ribbon

In April of 1972, my parents divorced. I was fourteen years old. In the fall of that year, my dad married a nineteen-year-old girl with a baby and my mom married her first cousin — a recent parolee from Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville. In early 1973, Dad auctioned off our household goods, and in the dark of night — hoping to avoid debt collectors — moved us across country from Findlay, Ohio to Tucson, Arizona. Five months later, I moved back to Findlay so I could attend eleventh grade at Findlay High School. In late May 1974, I returned home to Bryan, Ohio to live with my mom. By then, Mom’s second husband had committed suicide and she had a new man. Mom always had a new man. Her new beau was a man by the name of Chuck Jones.

Chuck was a lifelong resident of Bryan, Ohio. I don’t know how he and Mom met, but by the time I moved back to Bryan, he was Mom’s boyfriend. She would spend days on end at Chuck’s father’s rundown shack on the north side of town, leaving her children to fend for themselves. Chuck’s father was one of the town drunks, and as you shall learn in this story, so was his son. In November of 1974, Mom had another nervous breakdown. She spent the next six months or so at the Toledo State Mental Hospital. While there she would receive electroshock therapy (now known as electroconvulsive therapy — ECT).

After finding out his children had been living without parental supervision — as if we had any such supervision since their divorce — Dad came from Arizona, picked us up, and returned us to his home in Sierra Vista.  I would live there until fall of 1975. After breaking up with my girlfriend — my first serious, I want to marry you, relationship — I left my car for Dad to sell (which he quickly did and pocketed the money), packed up my meager belongings, and rode a Greyhound bus back to Bryan. By then, Mom had married Chuck, and they had bought a new mobile home, putting it in a trailer park on US 6, between Bryan and Edgerton (where Manufactured Housing Enterprises’ manufacturing facility sits today.)

Chuck had a split personality, as is common among alcoholics. When somewhat sober, he was a decent enough man. He was a union journeyman meat cutter for Kroger in Fort Wayne. He and I weren’t close, but when he wasn’t drunk we got along well enough to make Mom happy. I wasn’t home much. I spent my daytime hours working as the dairy manager for Food Giant in Bryan. Evenings and weekends, I was either attending church or running around with my friends. On a few occasions, Chuck and I would go fishing for catfish in the St. Joe, a nearby river.

Chuck drank from the time he got up until he went to bed. He was a Pabst Blue Ribbon man. He was what you would call a functional drunk. There were times, however, when Chuck went from a tolerable drunk to a mean, nasty, violent boozer. Chuck abused my mom (physically and psychologically), and there were times she feared for her life.

One day, Chuck went on a rampage, verbally and physically abusing my mom. I was home at the time, and having had enough of his bullshit, I told him to stop. I thought at the time, that if I needed to — all 160 pounds of me — I would kick his ass and put an end to the abuse of my mother. I was angry — I mean redheaded, can’t-see-straight angry. While I blamed Mom for allowing such a degenerate like Chuck in her life, I wasn’t going to stand by and do nothing while he abused her.

Chuck briefly stumbled out of the living room down the hallway to their bedroom. When he returned he was brandishing a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver. He continued his screaming fit, pointing the gun at Mom and me. By this time, Mom was crying, worried that Chuck was going to kill us. Not me. I was beyond fear. Chuck cocked the hammer on the revolver, hoping to strike fear in my heart. Instead, I said to him, Go ahead!  Stupid, I know, but I was eighteen and filled with righteous indignation. Fortunately, calling Chuck’s bluff was enough to back him up and he soon retreated to the bedroom.

Several days later, at the behest of my mother, Jack Smith, pastor of Eastland Baptist Church in Bryan, and an evangelist stopped by to “help” Chuck with his alcohol problem.  What Chuck needed, said these clueless preachers, was Jesus. If he would just ask Jesus to save him, all would be well. I have no idea if Chuck got “saved,” but the only salvation the rest of us found was to get away from Chuck. My younger sister, age fifteen, got pregnant and married her baby’s father. I left to train for the ministry at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan. By the time I returned home for the summer (1977), Mom had thrown Chuck out of the house and divorced him.

Chuck lived with his dad for a time and then moved into his late mother’s house in Bryan. On November 19, 2009 Chuck died at the age of seventy. His obituary stated:

Charles E. ‘Chuck” Jones, 70 years, of Bryan, died Thursday, November 19, 2009 at the University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio. Chuck was born February 22, 1939 to Ewell “Pete” and Zelma (Sanders) Jones in Cloverport, Kentucky. He was an Army veteran. Chuck was a meat cutter, working for several area stores, including Kroger Company while living in Indiana and Harger Meats in Bryan, Ohio. Chuck obtained his pilot’s license at the age of 17. He enjoyed building airplanes that he then sold. He was an avid fisherman, but he also enjoyed gardening and playing on the computer. Preceded in death by his parents, half-brother, Donald Heston and sister, Irene Jones, he is survived by his aunt Dorothy Carver of Bryan and numerous cousins. Graveside funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, November 21, 2009 at Farmer Cemetery with Pastor Gary Keisling officiating. There will be no public visitation.

Absent from this telling of his life was his addiction to alcohol and the great harm it caused to a woman who loved him. I shall never forget Chuck Jones. On the day I read his obituary in the local paper I said to myself, Good riddance, you piece of shit. Think I am being too harsh? Consider this: There are things Chuck did to my mom sexually, that to this day I am too ashamed to mention. Evil stuff. He was a violent, abusive man, and I have no problem saying that the world is better off without him in it. Now that I no longer have to love people because Jesus says I must, I am free to speak my mind on the people who have passed through my life.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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Black Collar Crime: Pastor Lorenzo Lawson Accused of Domestic Violence

lorenzo lawson

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Lorenzo Lawson, the executive director of the Youth Empowerment Zone in Columbia, Missouri and the pastor of Chosen Generation Ministries, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of domestic assault.

ABC-17 reports:

Boone County Sheriff’s Department arrested Lorenzo Lawson on Thursday shortly before 5:00 p.m. on suspicion of domestic assault.

His bond was $6,500 and he bonded out.

The arrest was stems from an assault on Halloween night in the 700 block of Demaret Drive. The Boone County Sheriff Department responded to Demaret around 10:30 p.m. to a woman who had blood on her lips and stated she was assaulted by Lorenzo Lawson outside of the home.

Lawson is a pastor and is a founding member of the Youth Empowerment Zone in Columbia. ABC 17 reached out to the organization, and recieved the statement below:

The allegations of assault levied against Lorenzo Lawson are very serious in nature, and such, the Board of Youth Empowerment Zone is giving them all due consideration in deciding a course of action until all material facts come to light. The Board was and has been made aware of an extramarital affair between Lorenzo and a former recipient of the services that the Youth Empowerment Zone provides. We acknowledge such relationship is inappropriate and unacceptable, and, as a group, are in the process of applying strict disciplinary action. Pending investigation of the recent charges, the Board of the Youth Empowerment Zone, has placed Lorenzo on  indefinite administrative leave. Furthermore, no concerns regarding misappropriation or misuse of financial resources has been addressed with the current Board by Mr. Prevo, or our independent accounting firm. Finally, there have been no Board resignations besides that of Mr. Prevo. We are going to take all necessary steps to discover the truth behind the allegations of financial misgivings, and why Mr. Prevo did not seem fit to be forthcoming with such information.

Sincerely,
The Board of Youth Empowerment Zone

The Columbia Daily Tribune adds:

A  local pastor and executive director of Youth Empowerment Zone was arrested Thursday afternoon on suspicion of attacking a 25-year-old woman who recently gave birth to his child, according to jail records and sources close to the investigation.

Investigators believe Lorenzo Lawson, 64, attacked the woman at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday outside of her home just north of Columbia, according to information about the incident provided by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. The address of the assault is the address of the 25-year-old woman who gave birth to Lawson’s son in June, multiple sources said. The woman previously received services from the Youth Empowerment Zone, a youth and young adult service organization, and was a member of the Chosen Generation Ministries where Lawson was a pastor, according to former members of the church.

Deputies found the woman with blood on her lips and in her mouth, bruising on her forehead and right cheek and what was later discovered at the hospital to be a broken jaw, said Boone County Sheriff’s Detective Tom O’Sullivan. She told detectives Lawson approached her and a friend as they were walking outside and attacked her, O’Sullivan said. The woman’s companion corroborated her version of events, he said.

Lawson “wasn’t there when we got out there, so it took us a couple days to catch up with him,” O’Sullivan said about the arrest. Lawson was arrested at about 6 p.m. Thursday and bonded out of the Boone County Jail.

Lawson was arrested on suspicion of second-degree domestic assault, a class D felony carrying a potential fine of up to $10,000 and seven years in jail. Second-degree domestic assault happens when someone “knowingly causes physical injury” by choking or strangulation, or recklessly causes serious physical injury.

Lawson could not be reached for comment Friday. An individual at Lawson’s home refused to answer the door, and a “closed” sign hung in the window of the locked Youth Empowerment Zone building.

Some involved with the church and Youth Empowerment Zone were aware that Lawson was having or had an affair with a young woman who was receiving YEZ services.

Lawson and the woman are currently going through a custody battle over their child, who was born out of an affair that began in mid-2016 and ended sometime around the beginning of 2017, according to former members of Lawson’s church who wrote a letter to the Tribune. A record of a custody case involving Lawson appeared in online court filings Thursday.

….

Lawson’s bio states:

Keeping kids in school and out of trouble,” sums up the mission of Pastor Lorenzo Lawson, whose passionate commitment to youth must keep him looking youthful. Lawson is a founding director of the Youth Empowerment Zone. He’s been featured in nearly 400 news stories over the past decade, winning a number of leadership awards along the way. A Columbia native whose story has a familiar ring — drug addiction, 15 years in prison, and redemption. “When we were growing up, we couldn’t find jobs, so we had to make choices that now we regret, I can tell kids these things because they know I’m telling them for their own good.” After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Lawson went into action leading a city-wide recovery effort. He sought donations for relocation costs, utility deposits and rent, and helped families find housing through local landlords and other relief groups. Recognized for his efforts at the ninth annual Columbia Values Diversity Awards, Lawson explained his mission: “my whole purpose is to do what I can to solve some of these problems,” Lawson said. Columbia Daily Tribune columnist Bill Clark lauded Lawson for his vision: that every young person has unique talents and abilities and with a little help, every young person can create a successful future. Lorenzo Lawson is “living proof that all of these values work.

Update

ABC-17 reported on November 6, 2017:

Lawson told ABC 17 News in his first television interview after bonding out of jail that the accusations aren’t true.

“I would never touch her and no other woman or no other man,” Lawson said. “I’m totally against violence.”

Lawson told ABC 17 News he saw the woman briefly earlier in the day but never went to her home, and he said he never laid a hand on her. Lawson said on Halloween night he was at home watching the World Series and his wife would testify to him not being out that night.

“Deputies could come to my house that night and seen that my car was cold because I didn’t leave. They could have seen my car mileage meter. I didn’t go anywhere,” Lawson said.

The nonprofit organization said in a statement last week, “Pending investigation of the recent charges, the Board of the Youth Empowerment Zone, has placed Lorenzo on indefinite administrative leave.”

Lawson said if he doesn’t get charged for the allegations, it is uncertain if he would be able to return or even if he would go back.

“Youth Empowerment Zone is a baby of mine just like my son; I want to protect it,” Lawson said. “If that means I have to stay away from it ,that’s fine, because it’s very valuable to this community.”

Lawson hasn’t been charged with domestic assault. ABC 17 News called the prosecuting attorney’s office, which said it is still reviewing the case.

“I’ve been speaking against violence for 17 years. I was on the mayor’s task force against violence,” Lawson said. “These allegations attack me and my character and my organization that has helped over 1,000 young people turn their life around.”

A November 16, 2017 Columbia Daily Tribune news story states:

Lorenzo Lawson, a pastor and former executive director of Youth Empowerment Zone, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to second-degree domestic assault.

Lawson, 64, is charged in connection with an Oct. 31 incident involving the 25-year-old mother of his newborn son. The Boone County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of an assault that evening and found the young woman outside her home with facial injuries, including a broken jaw, according to a probable cause statement.

The woman and a witness identified Lawson as the assailant. Lawson has denied the allegations.

In October 2018, Lawson pleased guilty to a single charge of second-degree domestic assault.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Derek Jones Enters a Not Guilty Plea

michael derek jones

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Six weeks ago, I wrote a post detailing the domestic battery charges filed against Michael “Derek” Jones, pastor of Sold Out Church in Conway, Arkansas.  Jones was in court yesterday to enter a plea of not guilty. Also in attendance were Sold Out members who were there to support the previously convicted felon Jones (who is still listed as their pastor on the church’s website).

Marisa Hicks, a reporter for the Log Cabin Democrat reports:

Those who attend Sold Out Church and others who have worked alongside Lead Pastor Michael “Derek” Jones continue to support him despite criminal allegations against him.

Jones, 35, of Conway was charged with third-degree domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor, following an incident reported in the early morning hours of July 13. His charges were later upgraded to second-degree battery against certain persons, a Class D felony.

Olivia Smith, a member of Sold Out Church, said that while she doesn’t know a great deal pertaining the details surrounding Jones’ charge, she continues to support her pastor.

“This man, and his family, have [b]een there for me and my family through some of the most difficult times in my life and he did it all through grace, love, and compassion,” she said, noting she’s attended the church for the past three years.

Jones stood at the back of the courtroom Monday, opening and closing the door for those entering and exiting, as he awaited Circuit Judge Charles “Ed” Clawson Jr. to call his name.

Lee D. Short stood in for Jones’ attorney, David Cannon and accompanied Jones as he entered a not guilty plea Monday morning.

“We’d like to enter a plea of not guilty and request a jury trial,” Short said.

Clawson took note of the plea and set out a Jan. 3 pretrial in Jones’ case.

Smith said it was Jones’ persistence that inspired her to keep coming back to the church.

Jones reached out to Smith when she didn’t show for service one Sunday. Smith said the gesture touched her and continues to do so.

“I have grown up in church all my life and never has a pastor done that,” she said, noting she was surprised Jones wanted to check on her well-being. “He is sincere about his faith and his mission to make Jesus known to a hurting world and develop Sold Out followers of him. He has been a father figure to my boys, a spiritual leader for myself and a true friend. I genuinely love this man and his family and believe wholeheartedly in what he stands for.”

City of Conway Chief of Staff Jack Bell said he holds a good professional relationship with Jones, who has volunteered through the Ministry Center to perform tasks around the city.

Spring Hunter, the Ministry Center’s director, said she has also grown close to Jones after working alongside him the past four years.

Hunter said Jones’ character was represented by his love for God and his passion for his family and the community and said she, also, will continue to support him despite the criminal allegations against him.

“He does his best to practice what he preaches on Sunday morning,” she said. “He reaches out to love on people regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what hardships they face. When you strive to meet people right where they are, you sometimes find yourself in some very difficult situations. We know Derek’s heart, and we will stand with him as he goes through this process.”

….

After learning the victim suffered an orbital fracture, which is a traumatic injury to the bone of the eye socket, prosecutors determined the misdemeanor charge would be upgraded to a felony.

“I think these charges are justified, because Mr. Jones has a history of anger management.”

Jones, who once served the Air Force and was stationed in North Carolina from 2001 to 2002, was previously sentenced to prison after he shot two people during a drunken fight. He served seven years in prison.

Because Jones went to the victim’s house after it was made known he was not welcome at the time, McCoy said Jones’ self defense argument was not genuine.

“Derek Jones went to [the victim’s] house … if he felt like he was physically threatened he has a burden on himself to remove himself from the home,” McCoy told the Log Cabin. “His claim of self defense doesn’t hold water.”

Many Sold Out Church members have openly supported Jones over Facebook.

….

Update

Prosecutors drop felony charges against Jones.

Black Collar Crime: Baptist Pastor Michael Baker Charged With Domestic Violence

pastor michael baker

Michael Baker, pastor of Greater St. Luke Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina was charged Wednesday with third-degree criminal domestic violence. The State reports:

The pastor of a Columbia church and a chaplain for local police has been charged with criminal domestic violence.

Michael Henry Baker, 55, was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on Wednesday and charged with third-degree criminal domestic violence.

Baker is the pastor of Greater St. Luke Baptist Church on Farrow Road. He served as a chaplain for both the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Columbia Police Department but, since his charge, has been relieved of his duties by both agencies, spokespeople said.

Baker’s charge comes after an officer responded to two incidents within the past week between Baker and his wife, according to incident reports provided by the sheriff’s department.

On March 16, a deputy responded to the couple’s home on Hunt Club Road just before 10 p.m. According to the report, Baker’s wife said he was keeping her phone from her. When his wife repeatedly asked him to give it to her, he pushed her to the floor twice, causing her to hit her head and injure her hand, she told the officer.

His wife went to a neighbor’s house to call 911 and later filled out a criminal domestic violence statement but “didn’t want Mr. Baker to go to jail,” the report said.

And on March 20, a deputy again arrived at the home, where Baker was sitting in his wife’s car preventing her from leaving, according to the incident report. His wife said she had come to pick up some of her belongings and leave but Baker wouldn’t let her. She also said that Baker had changed the locks on the doors and hadn’t given her a new key to the house, the report said.

Baker’s bio on Greater St. Luke Baptist’s website states:

Pastor Michael H. Baker delivers a profound impact to the Kingdom of God. He inherently inspires and insistently motivates others to operate in a spirit of excellence, while using their gifts and talents for the Glory of God.

Pastor Baker received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Florida Theological Seminary and has attended Oxford University in England in pursuit of obtaining a Masters of Divinity.

A true Man of God, Pastor Baker’s national ministry and international involvement are consistent in a community based work that reaches the heart of God’s people. Presently, he is the Senior Pastor of the Greater St. Luke Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina.  He is the Executive Director of the Light of The World Economic Community Development Corporation. This non-profit corporation assists in sponsoring and promoting religious, educational and community events.

Since advancing to South Carolina, this visionary leader is involved with a wide variety of organizations including, but not limited to, the NAACP, The South Carolina Baptist Congress of Christian Education, co-founder of The Midlands Baptist Ministerial Alliance, Richland County Sheriff’s Department Chaplains Division and former member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Columbia. He is the founder of the Annual Pastor’s Cup Golf Tournament and serves on the Executive Board of the National Action Network under the leadership of Reverend Al Sharpton and is a co-sponsor of the A&M Leadership Conference.

Pastor Baker has a zest and zeal for our youth and the community. He can be quoted in saying “My concern is for our children. Pastor Baker founded the Greater Columbia Holistic Enrichment Development Summer Program that offers academic, music and computer training. Pastor Baker also served as the Chairman for the first Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance City Wide Revival. This revival brought people of all denominations together as well as helped to eradicate the debt of two families victimized by gang violence. As a community leader, every year a portion of the proceeds from the Pastor’s Cup Golf Tournament are used to educate and empower the homeless in our community.

His passion for empowerment and education birthed numerous classes at Greater St. Luke Baptist Church. Various classes on Christian Education are offered in Greater St. Luke’s new state of the art 2.5 million dollar M. L. Smith Community Development Center.

Pastor Baker is a nationally known Evangelist and the renowned Author of “How to Build Without Borrowing”, which he presently teaches as a course of study during the National Baptist Convention’s Congress of Christian Education. Pastor Baker has served on the National Baptist Convention’s Late Night Service Staff. He is a lecturer and a former instructor in the Gethsemane Baptist Association.

Most importantly, Pastor Baker is a family man, a native of Jacksonville, Florida and the son of the late Reverend Dr. and Mrs. Henry L. Baker.  He is married to the former Min. Darlene Hunter, a devoted father to Michael and Michelle and a loving grandfather of two grandchildren.