24. September 2007 · 14 comments · Categories: Uncategorized

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!

14 Comments

  1. That’s right Father, keep exposing them!

    bria ;)

  2. There is so much clergy abuse going on and it seems to be covered up. I don’t know if the church officials do this to refrain from causing the church any embarassment, but to me it only causes even more harm and embarassement, when you have a case like this where the man has abused countless people for years. I personally think that many of these pedophiles and perverts flock to the ministry becasue it gives them the access to their prey and they know that they will be protected by the church officials who will simply bounce them from church to church allowing it to continue. Can someone please show me the scripture where it says we are to protect rapists and sexual abusers of children?

  3. @Andrea, your right is does not say that rapist should be protected! Sadly, the church is an easy target because some are still naive. We got so many people who genuinely love the Lord. Some are so deep and so spiritual that the enemy robs them of the truth right in front of their faces. I think what is an larger embarrassment is that if you come out and begin to attack these situations the church then attacks you for addressing so many painful issues that exist. What foundation are we really laying when you as a believer go keep quiet when you see about a tare among the wheat.

    That is why I pack light.I will speak the truth and keep stepping. Some churches will actually throw you out if they think that you are attacking there pastors,leaders etc… I keep saying on this post all the time. It is a frightening thing to see how naive some are and their focus is jacked up!

    The enemy has truly made a fool out of lot of them… the favorite scripture… keep your mouth off of God’s anointed one..another… Don’t judge. Wow , it blows me aways because scriptures are taken so far out of context. We need to just have a bible study 24/7 what good is knowledge and you have no idea how to apply it! smile

  4. I do not find this surprising. I was in the AME church for
    several years. In my ever so humble belief – they follow the
    church discipline (and then only when it suits the pastor)
    and not the Bible. In fact, I question whether many even
    actually read the bible. The church does not care about our
    youth. I had to leave when even my young son began to make comments about all of the ungodly things he observed every time we went to church (bi-weekly at least). And Lynn, I’m glad you have good things to say about Bryant. I have none, but can’t speak about certain things. Suffice it to say, my prayers are being answered. As I keep saying, the church needs to return to JESUS, JESUS, JESUS. I for one am tired of all the madness. How can we continue to instill in our children that they need to be in church when what’s going on there is the same that’s in the world. It’s time for a good housecleaning. We all need to cry loud and spare not when the
    church violates the people of God – spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally or otherwise. And if I hear “judge not” from one more so-called Christian, I might become unsaved just to do a beat down (just kidding).

  5. I forgot to mention, Denise6, if they don’t throw you out, they make sure to let everyone know you are an unwelcome soul in their congregation.

  6. I’m glad you have good things to say about Bryant. I have none, but can’t speak about certain things.

    Unfortunately, it’s this secretiveness that keeps so many people blind because people know things that they won’t reveal for reasons unknown. And then unsuspecting folks walk in areas where they could have been warned not to tread. It’s sad.

  7. @MVP You got that right! And when you arrive they look at you as if you are the 21st century leper. This is truly the ignorance of the people. You would think that they want the TRUTH. I guess that is why I am ever learning because if you deal with any kind of situations that requires truth and light you will be the “outcast” and here is another thing you are not that popular either! You know when you got to address issues that are not that easy God will toughen your skin.

  8. Ms. Lynn one day when I have the mental energy I will write something about the link between abuse,family breakdown, financial fleecing, lack of men in homes all within the context of the church.

    I will put it like this speaking from a male perspective(but its really a neutral view). So many women will trust any man of cloth with time money and resources including kids which is why so many are exposed; yet they will lash out and resist the God ordained order of things which is for everyones protection.. I agree there are some scumbag males out here. But overall if people would stop putting trust in these so called pastors and trust God while having wholesome respectful relationships these things would be avoided.

    In all my time as a child growing up I cannot ever recall one instance of me being left in the singular company of an adult male who was not a close relation. Its called common sense. I agree these things should not happen, but they do so parents need to exercise caution.

    Anyway people already know what the penalty will be if anyone touches my 2 girls.

  9. Lynn, regarding unknown reasons for not exposing things,
    my reasons are purely professional. I only wish that I
    could reveal more. Believe me, I would write a book
    myself if I could.

  10. I can’t say that I’m a Bynum Supporter. What I will say is ok Bynum has some problems. Now Deena Jones, has even more problems, because first she introducers herself as a woman of God. Then spends all of her time, chasing down Bynum. She has become obsessed with Bynum so much so, that she forgot she’s a so called Christian(despite the gutter mouth). Are you Ok Deena.

  11. The Rev. I. M. Gay, M.Div.

    It saddens us (followers of the way) to witness another scandalous situation that therapy, prayer and healing is necessary to address this matter. Upon the resolve of the criminal proceedings, the church should continue with the involuntary retiring of this individual. Although financial recovery will never ease the pain of the victims, long-term therapy should be at the expense of the perpatrator upon conviction/the court’s reccomendation. Once agian, it speaks volumes to the sexual depraviation of the black church and its denial of its sexuality. But, a pedophile needs Jesus to save their souls and we (the church) need to keep such from preying on children. In the end I believe all persons need deliverance but seperation of individuals from positions that will expose potiential victims from predatory acts is necessary.

  12. omg I’m flabergasted. How could someone so passionate about the lord who has the ability to reach out and touch another soul to pull them towards the Lord do something so horrific. Pastor Laudermill was the one who reached me with his teachings during some of my troubling times. I was in that choir. My heart is soooo hurt right now. I relocated from stl and lost touch. That goes to show the devil stays busy no one is exempt. I woke up this morning and I was reflecting on my faith and different preaching styles and I thought about the only man I truly called my pastor and my heart was elated. So I said I was going to see if I could locate him just to say hi and let him know thankful for him allowing
    God to use him to save me. And what do I see when I look him up. I hurt, I’m crying, and now I’m thinking and I’m thinking and I’m thinking. wow what I shame I felt something wasnt right with that marriage. Lord my heart goes out to those victims and I hope they get all they are asking for and more. But I mainly pray that they get a small piece of peace within their selves.

  13. ishtyme robinson

    I recently lost two children to the adverse effects of domestic violence . My and my deceased childrens abuser is a long standing ame minister who is currently pastoring an ame church . i cried out for help to several ame bishops before my two children passed no one within that system helpep me to stop him from emotionally abusng my children . tw of my children died no one cared .The ame church demonized me and my children and promoted my abuser.

  14. ishtyme robinson

    Two children in the ground at the hands of an ame minister who abused them to their grave .Praying for individuals to help me and other victims of domestic violence at the hands ministers to launch a major movement against abusive clergy. All interested persons interested in this cause can contact me via em ishtyme.robinson@yahoo.com blessings as we seek justice