Faith

Revelations rock churches in Ohio and Alabama, including church of televangelist Ernest Angley

The Rev. Ernest Angley (front) is accused of inappropriate touching at his church in Ohio, a charge he denies.
The Rev. Ernest Angley (front) is accused of inappropriate touching at his church in Ohio, a charge he denies. Tribune News Service

Revelations are rocking Ohio and Alabama churches and their communities. Local newspapers are reporting allegations about their pastors that read like nightmares:

From the Akron Beacon Journal:

Depending whom you ask, one of two things is happening at the big Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, church run by legendary television evangelist Ernest Angley:

▪ The devil himself has infiltrated the church, and Angley, who is a prophet of God, has been working tirelessly to fight him off.

▪ Angley’s church is a dangerous cult where pregnant women are encouraged to have abortions, childless men are encouraged to have vasectomies and Angley — who preaches vehemently against the “sin” of homosexuality — is himself a gay man who personally examines the genitals of the male parishioners before and after their surgeries.

During the past few months, a tear has ripped through the 3,000-seat auditorium known as Grace Cathedral. One longtime associate pastor resigned, telling friends and family he felt he had been inappropriately touched by Angley for seven years.

The dispute exploded on July 13, when Angley and two others in his camp addressed the situation in a 21/2-hour open service. The service was recorded by one of the attendees and shared with the Beacon Journal.

In response to swirling accusations that he is a homosexual who has abused both his associates and members of the congregation, Angley, 93, had this to say to a large Sunday gathering:

“I’m not a homosexual. God wouldn’t use a homosexual like he uses me. He calls me his prophet, and indeed I am. …

“They called Jesus a homosexual, did you know that? And still do. Because he was with men. Oh, Mary Magdalene and a few women. But you can’t stop the people’s lies.”

Then he addressed his history of urging the males in his congregation to submit to vasectomies.

“I’ve helped so many of the boys down through the years,” he said in his slow, singsong cadence. “They had their misgivings. Sure, I’d have them uncover themselves, but I did not handle them at all.”

From the Montgomery Advertiser:

A pastor shocked his Montgomery, Ala., congregation and the entire community with the admission that he had sex with female church members while knowing that he had AIDS.

The Rev. Juan D. McFarland made the admission from the pulpit during a Sunday service in September, said Deacon Nathan Williams Jr., a 71-year member of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.

“He made it public. He shared it, and I’m just saying what he said,” Williams said, adding that McFarland said the sex did not occur in the church sanctuary.

Williams said McFarland also admitted to drug use and misusing church funds at conventions. The minister, however, did not speak to media.

After an 80-to-2 vote in favor of removal, Williams said, McFarland changed the locks on the church and changed the church’s bank account, leaving other church leaders without access.

Church deacons filed a lawsuit Tuesday to remove McFarland.

From The Washington Post:

A prominent modern Orthodox rabbi at a Georgetown synagogue was arrested by Washington, D.C., police on Tuesday and charged with voyeurism, according to a department spokeswoman.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, 62, allegedly placed video cameras in the Kesher Israel Synagogue’s mikvah area where ritual bathing takes place.

Police confirmed that the arrest came during a search of Freundel’s home about five blocks from the synagogue that he has led since 1989. Calls to his home were not answered.

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