Wife of Late Bishop G.E. Patterson Sues her Nephew who Replaced Husband as Pastor of Church

September 4, 2008 at 6:46 am 5 comments

louise-patterson.jpgThe widow of COGIC Bishop G.E. Patterson is suing the pastor who replaced her husband at Temple of Deliverance, the Cathedral of the Bountiful Blessings.

Louise Patterson is suing Pastor Milton R. Hawkins, who is also her nephew, for access to the financial records of Bountiful Blessings Inc. and Temple of Deliverance Inc.

The church has no legal control over the ministry of Bountiful Blessings, the suit says, and the two are separate entities.

According to Allan Wade, Patterson’s attorney, the records will allow them to see if the church has been lumping finances of the two together.

As chairwoman of the ministry, Patterson typically draws a salary from Bountiful Blessings’ earnings, Wade said.

Additionally, she is receiving a retirement benefit from the church. Wade couldn’t recall the amount.

Because the IRS does not require the church or the ministry to file annual returns, there was no financial information available.

Bountiful Blessings, a nonprofit Church of God in Christ ministry started by the late Patterson three decades ago, has operated for most of that time under the roof of Temple of Deliverance, also founded by Patterson.

The ministry’s cassettes and videos that are for sale by the church are under Bountiful Blessings, which also owns Podium Records and WBBP radio station.

Appraised at nearly $500,000, both the building at 369 G.E. Patterson Ave. and the land the church sits on are listed as being owned by Bountiful Blessings, according to records at the Shelby County Assessor’s office.

Hawkins, a Detroit native who took over after Patterson’s death in March 2007, is the son of the late bishop’s sister.

Also named in the lawsuit is Temple of Deliverance Inc. and church secretary Betty Spight.

Tensions began to flare between Patterson and her nephew several months after the bishop’s death.

After being denied access to financial records from the past five years, Louise Patterson made requests through her lawyer and filed the lawsuit in June.

“A member (of the church), by law, is entitled to see those records,” Wade said.

But a letter from Hawkins’ attorney, Jef Feibelman, states those financial records show that both the church and the ministry were operated as a single entity under the former pastor.

“They simply reflect that Bishop Patterson operated Bountiful Blessings Inc. and Temple of Deliverance as one,” says the letter, which was included in the lawsuit.

Feibelman released a statement to a reporter Wednesday saying it would be inappropriate at this time to discuss the allegations.

He added, “I have had several discussions with Mrs. Patterson’s lawyer and I intend to continue the dialogue.”

Source: Commercial Appeal

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mrs. COGIC  |  September 4, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    It seems to me that Sister Patterson does own the Bountiful Blessings Ministry… and the land that the church sits on… therefore he should just show her the records and move on…its just that simple so someone must be hiding something…The worse thing they could have done was to get Bishop Maynard involved in the whole ‘church thing’ because we all know how he is…. hmmm

    Reply
  • 2. bro.COGIC  |  October 12, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    i think thats it sad here is a woman who’s life have been devastated by the death of her husband and now the nephew is trying to just take over its sad. she is the rightful owner of temple of deliverance and all that her and her late husband BISHOP G.E.PATTERSON owns. its sad that this would even be an issue knowing how much BISHOP PATTERSON loved his wife and what kind of life he made for her. im praying for the whole mess and MAY GOD’S WILL BE DONE

    Reply
  • 3. Tony  |  March 1, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    This is so sad that not only have this lady lost her husband, but the nephew is allowing this to go on. My understanding that this individual is who Bishop wanted to take over; for him to treat his wife like that is unreal. Keep in mind, she worked right along with him when that only had a few hundred members to where the church is now. This brother should realize what he is doing. It is not about one person, it is about all of us and that is God’s children

    Reply
  • 4. Tony  |  March 1, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    This is so sad, not only have this lady lost her husband, but the Bishop’s nephew is allowing this to go on. My understanding is, this is who Bishop wanted to take over the church; for him to treat Bishop’s wife like this is unreal. Keep in mind, she worked right along with him when they only had a few hundred members to where the church is now. This brother should realize what he is doing. It is not about one person, it is about all of us and that is, we are God’s children.

    Reply
  • 5. Brother E.  |  March 26, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?

    Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

    Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

    Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!

    I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?

    But instead, one brother goes to law against another–and this in front of unbelievers!

    The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

    Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

    (1 Corinthians 6:1-8)

    Reply

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