Plaintiff: John Doe, a Minor and his guardian, Jane Doe
Defandants: The African Methodist Episcopal Church, Inc., Ward AME Church, Sylvester Laudermill (Pastor), John Richard Bryant (Bishop), Pamela Powell Laudermill (ex-wife and cover for Sly Laudermill)
Sly Laudermill—rumored to be afflicted with AIDS, is due in court in October, 2008 to answer to charges that he sexually molested a young man in his church. This is a sordid and ugly tale, ya’ll. Although the homosexual, Laudermill had been divorced from his wife for at least seven years, the two of them apparently pretended to still be married. And while pretending to be married, Sly Laudermill used his ex-wife as a cover while he engaged in homosexual relationships with men and with little boys.
I am holding in my hands the First Amended Complaint that was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 4, 2007. It’s a 45 page document so I will only share portions of it:
In recent months, the horrifying reality that a sexual predator within the African Methodist Episcopal Church organization has preyed upon the children within his churches has finally been brought to the surface. Perpetrator sexually molested children for many years while Defendants turned a blind eye to this despicable conduct, utterly failing to take the reasonable and necessary actions to make sure these children were safe and to prevent these children from acts of molestation in the future. Because of Defendants’ appalling and inexcusable conduct MINOR, other children who were molested by Perpetrator have experienced pain, humiliation, and emotional suffering. This suit seeks compensation for sexual abuse.
The complaint goes on to talk about how the child had attended the AME church all his life and how his mother had worked in various positions at the church. The child in question was involved in the choir there.
Pastor Sly Laudermill had a history of abusing children, but instead of being fired, he was transferred. Look how he wasted no time going after people’s children while a pastor at St. Peter’s church.
Within the first two (2) weeks of the new pastor’s arrival to St. Peter’s, in or about November 2004, he [Bishop Bryant] received at least four different allegations of sexual misconduct by Laudermill from a number of parishioners, family members and former parishioners. Plainiff is informed and believes thereon alleges that at about this time, the St. Louis victim also spoke directly with St. Peter’s new pastor revealing the sexual abuse he had been subjected to throughout the years, including his minority.
It get uglier! In December, 2005 the St. Louis victim filed formal charges, saying that as a teenager, he was abused by pervert Laudermill. Guess what? Laudermill was NOT removed from office.
…Nevertheless, and in spite of having such knowledge, Defendants and each of them did not remove and/or relieve the Perpetrator of his pastoral duties, but instead allowed him to continue his pastoral work as the senior pastor, thus affording the Perpetrator unrestrained access to minors like Plaintiff and continued to place the Perpetrator in a position of authority where he was regularly counseling, instructing and working with children.
Plaintiff is informed, believes and thereon alleges that the Defendant St. Peter’s sought to rid itself of the Perpetrator by sending him to California knowing he was a pedophile and that serious allegations with a criminal investigation were underway in Missouri for sexual perversion against a minor boy. Plaintiff is informed, believes and thereon further alleges that Defendants District, Bryant, St. Peter’s and PA AME engaged in intentional conduct expressly aimed at California and knew its conduct would cause harm in this State.
Okay, everyone. Bishop Bryant was once my pastor when he was here in Maryland. He was a great preacher with much integrity. I loved him dearly. I particularly loved his wife, Cecelia Williams Bryant whose preaching was out of this world! GREAT preacher, she is. Loves the Lord. My love of God was very much developed during my time at Bethel AME church.
Therefore, I am greatly disappointed to hear that Bishop Bryant transferred a pedophile from one church to another, instead of dealing with him and removing him from his position. I hate to say this, but Bishop Bryant needs to be removed from office. This is serious.
It was not until May, 2006 that the perverted pastor was finally “defrocked” but by then, the allegedly AIDS infested creep had already gotten hold of another child! The AME church did what the Catholic church did. Transferring perverts will only transfer the problem. FIRE the perverts. Don’t transfer them!
According to the complaint, the perverted pastor was sending text messages to the boy and his mother reported it to “Mrs.” Laudermill, not knowing that they were divorced. She turned a blind eye to it, of course, so that’s why she is named in the lawsuit.
My hope is that the child wins a HUGE amount of money in this lawsuit. This is indeed a horrific case that could have been avoided. The devil is busy!