Please note: We are not "picking" on Randy
and Paula or Juanita and Thomas. We would like nothing more than
to have the opportunity to bring a miracle to their marriages. We
are well aware that these couples are only the most recent public
ministries to be exposed for not living the life behind closed doors
that they were publicly proclaiming. Ted Haggard was a conservative,
white Christian leader who fought against homosexual marriages,
while being an active homosexual behind closed doors.
After writing this article, Todd Bentley joined the ranks. Another minister - known worldwide, who divorces his wife and immediately married his mistress, their children's nanny!
Clarence McClendon is a young black minister who
divorced his wife and married his secretary a short time later.
Roberts Lairdon is a young white minister who was secretly living
a homosexual affair with the youth pastor who was on staff at the
church Roberts founded and pastored.
"Bishop" Earl Paulk was a white man who
was exposed for having sexual liasons with underaged girls. (Update:
Five days after posting this, it turns out that the "Arch Bishop"
Earl Paulk slept with his brother's wife and has lived the lie for
over thirty years of calling his son that they produced his nephew!)
Go back a few more years to Jimmy Swaggart and his
prostitutes; Robert Tilton and his affair and Jim Bakker and his
sexual liasons and other improprieties. (Thank God that Jim Bakker
is restored and has had a real transformational experience with
the Lord Jesus Christ. This did not happen while still being in
the pulpit though. His transformation happened while in a secret
place. AFTER he was restored, he came back into the pulpit.)
Even the squeaky clean southern baptists were surprised
when Charles Stanley's wife left him. Yes, they got back together,
but sadly, Charles did not leave the ministry at all for a season
of marriage restoration.
These two recent couples are not the first, nor
will they be the last two national ministry couples to be exposed
for the failed lives they are living behind closed doors. In the
days, weeks and months to come, there will be many more leaders
exposed for the lives they are currently living behind their closed
doors. It is not that they are GOING to fall. They ARE fallen already.
They will simply be exposed publicly because they have been unwilling
to step out of their pulpits of their own volition. Sadly, many,
like Randy and Paula; and Juanita and Thomas, choose to stay in
their pulpits even AFTER their lives have been exposed for the failures
their lives have been behind closed doors.
At some point, it must stop. Listen to us Pastors,
Leaders and national "bishops" and Prophets: If your life
behind closed doors is not matching the life that you are preaching
and teaching about; if your life at home does not reflect the Glory
of God; then step down for a season of restoration.
If you are a husband and wife who is fighting regularly,
then stop getting into the pulpits of the world every week. Step
down. Work on your marriage. Come to one of our Weekend Marriage
Intensives. We know this is not an easy message; but the craziness
must stop. Yes, there may be fewer people in pulpits, but less is
more, if the pulpits are only filled with people who are living
Some support Paula,
some support Randy. Some support Juanita. Some support Thomas Weeks.
The facts are that all four are at fault. Their marriage issues
can be dealt with if they will reach out and ask us for help. The
marriage issues are individual and private. However, the hypocrisy
cuts a wide swath and all four are guilty. All four individuals
should have stepped out of ministry at least two years ago. Instead,
all four continued to present themselves as leaders, and still do.
Had they, all four, stepped out of ministry two years ago - to work
on their marriages, then they could have come back to their pulpits
at a later date with marriages and integrity intact. Instead, they
continued to let people believe that their marriages were happy
and they continued, all four of them, to receive millions of dollars
in offerings in order to keep themselves in the public eye - and
they stayed in the pulpits of churches, offering a "pastoral"
and "bishop" and "prophetess" ministry when
their lives were not reflective of the life of Christ. Don't take
sides. Demand that all four individuals step out of ministry to
focus on their private lives. If individuals continue to support
their work, enabling them to stay "in the ministry", then
God may NEVER be able to work a restoration in their lives.
The even more recent situation with Todd Bentley has taken this to further depths of "wrong" -as a team of nationally known ministers are working toward "restoring" Todd to ministry with his "new and improved" wife in coming along for the ride.
The following writings give more thoughts along
these lines. Remember, we are not picking on just these two couples.
These messages are applicable to ALL ministers who are not successfully
living a life in their home and marriage that is not representative
of the Glory and peace of the God we serve, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His!" directs men to free themselves
and, most importantly, their mates as Christ has freed us. I challenge
Christian men, Black and White, to resist living out the stereotype
assigned by popular culture of being clueless schmucks regarding
relationships. It is time to buck up and lead our marriages to the
blissful state Joel and Kathy now enjoy.
Author; The Moral State of Black America
August 27, 2007 we had just finished a Weekend Marriage Intensive.
Three couples, with extremely difficult marriage problems had just
received miracles in their marriage.
we turned our computer on, we discovered the shocking news: Randy
and Paula White had announced divorce.
Bynum had been attacked by her husband, Thomas Weeks. He had turned
himself in to the police.
reports stated that Thomas Weeks was applauded when he walked to
the pulpit on the first or second Sunday after the attack.
is a letter that we sent out on August 28th, (and it has been updated
a few times since then) followed by an updated commentary by J.
Lee Grady, Editor of Charisma Magazine:
DIVORCE ANNOUNCEMENT BY RANDY AND PAULA White,
Senior Pastors of a 26,000 person church, and HUGE TV personalities;
and the revelations of the separation and
physical abuse in the marriage of Juanita Bynum and Thomas Weeks,
are sending shockwaves through the entire Full Gospel portion
of the Body of Christ.
this is not a condemnation of Randy and Paula White, or
of Juanita Bynum and Thomas Weeks. If you are looking for an angry tirade, you
will not find it here. If you are looking for real answers, to real questions,
presented in a way that will help you make sense of things and get back in balance
concerning marriage, and YOUR marriage especially, then stay with us.
These events will
have devastating consequences in thousands of marriages. Thousands of couples
- who have been hanging onto dim hope in their own marriages - will plunge into
hopelessness in the face of the failures of these high level marriages.
Many couples have
been encouraged by the preaching of these four individuals: they preached about
a God of miracles: A God who offered hope to the hopeless, and hope for hurting
Now that the truth
is out: that these two leadership couples have had serious marriage problems
for a long time, complete discouragement will attempt to descend upon many.
After all, if these dynamic preachers were not willing to draw upon the Spirit
and Love of God to find answers for their troubled marriages, what hope is there
for that average couple who has looked at them as major heroes?
people are going to be searching for answers:
If Randy and Paula
cannot make it, how can WE ever make it?
If Juanita and
Thomas cannot make it, what makes US think we can be happy?
If THEY are getting
divorced, we might as well just give up.
If Juanita married
a man who turned out to be abusive, how can I ever hope to find a good man?
If Randy and Thomas
cannot be good enough husbands to hold their marriages together, what makes
me think that MY husband can?
If Bishop Weeks,
being a Bishop, and being married to Juanita, cannot figure out how to be a
great husband, what hope do I have?
If Randy White
cannot figure out how to keep his wife happy, I guess I should just give up
Why can't our
leaders have happy marriages?
Why do they put
their ministries above their marriages?
Who was counseling
these two couples?
Who let them stay
in the ministry when their marriages were falling apart?
Why didn't anyone
ask them to step out of ministry and focus on their marriages?
someone stop the craziness?
Yes, someone can
stop the craziness. It is not "pie in the sky" - "God is awesome
and will save your marriage" preaching that will stop the craziness. It
is real, genuine ministry, brought to you by people who are LIVING a successful
marriage, on a daily basis.
you are considering divorce
If you are considering
divorce - and you suddenly feel like you have "permission" to get
divorced and live "happily ever after" - because these leaders have
chosen this path, hold on! Don't do it - yet. Give yourself a chance that these
leaders did not give themselves. (Except, if you are abused physically, DO WHAT
JUANITA DID - HAVE HIM ARRESTED and GET A RESTRAINING ORDER! THAT IS THE FIRST
STEP IN HIS RECOVERY AS A MAN.)
We have the answers
that YOU need to live an Outrageously Happy Marriage.
Couples come to
us who are in the worst of the worst marriage situations.
and Susan* contacted us. Tom
and Susan had not made love for six years. After reading our two books, they
attended our Weekend Marriage Intensive. (*Names are changed, but these are
REAL people that came to us for help.) Tom and Susan not only had an astounding
marriage restoration, but they also made love THREE times in that first weekend
Jim and Lisa contacted us. Lisa
had given Jim an ultimatum. Shape up, or divorce! They read our books. They
came to our Intensive Weekend. We taught Jim to be a GREAT husband. After a
few months, Lisa decided that she DID want to stay with Jim, forever. She revealed
that she had been in a three year affair. They spent the weekend in our home
with us. They are now experiencing a joyful and COMPLETELY restored marriage.
and Sammi contacted us. He had been in an affair for 25 years. He "kept" both women in style,
buying the OW a $350,000 home and a Land Rover. He and his wife and son lived
in a million dollar home and she had whatever she wanted. When she discovered
the 25 year affair, she lowered the boom. Attorneys were contacted. All the
"cards" were stacked in her favor. She was going to come out of the
divorce with everything - he was going to be "taken to the cleaners".
They read only
the excerpts of our book, and HE called to come to our Weekend Intensive. SHE
was not interested, but only came to see him get his head handed to him on a
silver platter. Their life was changed. He committed to becoming a great and
ACCOUNTABLE husband, dropping all contact with the other woman. They are doing
great today. The divorce? It is canceled.
does not matter what your marriage problems are.
YOU can learn
how to have an OUTRAGEOUSLY HAPPY MARRIAGE - with your CURRENT spouse.
The time is NOW
for you to discover our two books. The books are creating miracles in marriages
everywhere they are read!
They SHOULD be
creating miracles everywhere they are read! After all, Joel was a pastor who
got into adultery in 1991 - after being emotionally, mentally, spiritually and
verbally abusive. We lived the WRONG way for ten years!
After the adultery,
we stayed together, and in 1994, (after surviving those ten years of a frustrating
marriage), God taught us a whole new approach to marriage.
This whole new
approach to marriage is built solidly on the Word of God.
This new approach
to marriage has given us 13 years of an Outrageously Happy Marriage.
It not only works
for us, but this approach has given hundreds of other couples a brand new beginning
in their marriages!
YOU may not need,
nor be interested in getting help in marriage.
HOWEVER, you are
going to find opportunities, in the immediate future, (because of this explosion
that has been leveled against marriages in the church) to help hurting couples,
by sending them to our website, or introducing them to these books.
books offer the answers.
Juanita cannot help that she married an abusive man. In truth, Thomas abused
her because of wounds and gaps in his character that are explainable, and fixable.
Thomas CAN learn to be an amazing husband, just like Joel became a great husband.
ANY husband can LEARN how to be a great husband!
We refer men who are severe physical abusers to Life Skills International,
and would not recommend any type of reconciliation for Juanita and
Thomas until Thomas has gone through their full program for violent
husbands. (Founded by Dr. Paul Hegstrom). After Thomas has completed
that program, then he would be a candidate for attempting to restore
the marriage. We can help with that - AFTER he has begun his recovery
as an individual.
and Paula bit off a big job: being successful in a second marriage.
There are skills that they can learn to be successful - just like
YOU can learn if YOU are in a second marriage. Juanita and Thomas,
as we mentioned, could also learn these skills; after Thomas has
addressed his abusive core being.
are many ministries that can help couples learn how to be happily
married. We are one couple who has discovered THE secrets to an
Outrageously Happy Marriage - we have discovered the secrets and
we are very good at communicating them. (Probably because we are
LIVING an outrageously happy marriage.) This is what our ministry
is dedicated to, 100%.
We teach what we LIVE, and it WORKS.
claims are not in fiery preaching about what God might do someday. We live this,
and those we teach; and who choose to live it; also experience the joy that
God intends in marriage.
Juanita talk to Thomas's ex-wife?
made one huge mistake. She probably did NOT talk to Thomas Weeks' first wife.
If you are considering marrying a man, and he is a divorcee, TALK TO HIS WIFE
BEFORE MARRYING HIM! If he says that she is crazy, and she says that he was
a bad husband, RUN from this man. DO NOT MARRY HIM. Women make this mistake
SO OFTEN. They BELIEVE the man who is TRYING TO CONVINCE HER TO MARRY HIM. They
do not even bother to ASK the ex-wife, ex-girlfriends etc. what he is REALLY
like after she said, "I do."
takes responsibility for divorce?
is quoted as saying that he takes full responsibility for the divorce.
This is great, but it means nothing. Randy, if you are willing to
take responsibility, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR RESTORING YOUR MARRIAGE.
Take responsibility, NOW, for restoration. We can teach you what
you need to learn to heal Paula's heart and restore your relationship.
Thomas, take responsibility to get healed of your abusive core nature.
THEN take responsibility to work toward restoring your marriage.
START THIS PROCESS BY GETTING OUT OF THE PULPIT!
will doubt leaders even more.
Because of these
developments, many believers will doubt their leaders even more. As of now,
that may be a good thing. It is time for the superstar leaders to disappear.
If you want our help, you can COME TO OUR HOME. You can MEET US in the flesh.
(Yes, we will ask you for an offering, as we do ministry full time - we are
not just inviting thousands of people to come to our home for dinner for free!)
if you WANT OUR HELP, you can meet us. You can meet our kids. You
can spend a whole weekend at one of our Intensive Weekends. You
stay at a hotel, of course, but you are UP FRONT AND PERSONAL with
us for about 20 hours.
19 of "The Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His!
19 of our first book is titled, "It it doesn't work at home,
DON'T export it!" It is a direct word, calling Pastors and
leaders to get things right in their home, FIRST. (sorry, the following
repeats some previous thoughts as we have added to this letter over
the last thirty days)
If your home is
a mess, step out of ministry and FIX it. If you are high level, ask your core
supporters to continue supporting you so that you do not have to get a job at
7-11, but regardless, get out of the ministry for a couple years and create
a happy marriage!
Take a hard look
at the rest of your leaders. What is their marriage like? If someone is not
successful in their marriage, they need to step back, for a season to pursue
a happy marriage with their husband/wife.
This overemphasis on ministry, regardless of the life that is being
experienced behind closed doors, is the serious character error
that was displayed by all four involved. Marriage issues do not
necessarily reflect bad character. Staying in the pulpit, when you
have serious marriage issues reflects bad character.
is one other area that they all four failed in: They all should
have stepped out of ministry for a season, and they should have
stepped out of ministry many moons ago - when their marriage issues
first began to become serious. Incredulously, all four are STILL
in active ministry as of this moment (this letter is being updated
on October 1) Wow. This is truly like an episode of the "Twilight
Zone!" Paula, Randy, Juanita, Thomas; we beg you. Do SOMETHING
right. Step out of ministry for a season of recovery as individuals.
All four of you have lived a lie for the last couple years. You
have misled the body of Christ into donating hundreds of thousands
of dollars; in some cases, MILLIONS of dollars into your ministries-
by representing that you were experiencing the abundant life of
love that God offers us. All the while, you KNEW that you were not
experiencing a happy marriage behind closed doors.
if you are not having a happy marriage, behind closed doors, do
the right thing: Work on your marriage. You can contact us, read
our books, and come to a Weekend Marriage Intensive. We will help
you to have an Outrageously Happy Marriage - but if you are not
willing to do this, quit playing the same charade that Paula, Randy,
Juanita and Thomas were playing. If YOU are not experiencing the
love of God in you home, QUIT exporting your dysfunction! Quit misleading
the body of Christ by preaching about a God who can heal marriages
when you yourself are not experiencing the miracle that God DOES
offer for marriages. Your MARRIAGE is important. Your ministry is
acknowledge regularly, that sometimes one person in a marriage is
completely unwilling to work on the marriage. This fact does not
necessarily mean that the innocent party should step out of ministry
- IF they are being transparent about their marriage troubles with
the people they are ministering to, and IF they are doing everything
in their power to try and get the uncooperative spouse to agree
to working on the marriage. However, when a couple is in national
ministry, then they should step out of the pulpit for a season,
regardless. In addition, when a couple has lived a charade, and
has been on national TV, or pastors a large church, (as the White's
and Bynum/Weeks have done) then they should step out of ministry
to get their personal walk of integrity with the Lord healed. Be
very, very careful though, if it is a man claiming that he is the
innocent party. The list is endless of men who have stood in pulpits;
claiming that their wive's were crazy for divorcing them; when in
reality, the man had been abusive, or been a serial adulterer for
years! Our position is this: if a man cannot keep ONE LITTLE 'OL
WIFE happy, and she leaves him, or divorces him, then he has no
business being in the pulpit, regardless of his excuses. Yes, Charles
Stanley, you should have gotten out of the pulpit for a season when
your wife left you.)
is a good sign, that a ministry leadership team is doing the right
thing? They would say and live something along these lines: "We
are having marriage troubles. We are doing our absolute best to
find the solutions and we WILL find solutions. We are not trying
to mislead you by making you think we have a great marriage. All
is NOT well. We are teachable before the Lord, and we want to read
any book that has ever made a real difference in your life and we
are willing to attend any marriage restoration weekend that has
made a difference in your life. (This means we want you to share
things with us that have helped you.) We are going to be ministering
the Word on things that will help our marriage over the next months.
We hope those things help you. Our priority right now is to get
our marriage healed. The ministry is secondary to that. Some of
you are strong. You can be patient and stand with us while we are
seeking our healing. Some of you may decide that you should not
sit under our ministry for this season. We accept that. We want
what is best for you. Don't hurt yourself by sitting under us if
you are not strong enough for that."
a ministry couple presents things as stated in this last paragraph,
then that is integrity.
would follow this up with ministering as "real" people,
with gut level honesty, speaking through their pain; they would
not "compartmentalize" their dysfunction and continue
preaching a bunch of hype about how God is going to do a miracle
for you today. Get the miracle in your own life, leaders, THEN you
can get happy and preach about the God of miracles. (And your preaching
will be from strength, NOT from fantasy.)
should YOUR response be to these tragedies?
Pull into your
marriage, even stronger. In athletics, they call this "staying within yourself."
Focus on your marriage. Focus on your spouse, focus on your children.
Make special efforts
to improve your marriage, NOW. Read our two books. Order our DVD seminar, or
register for an intensive. Order a book by Ken Nair or Paul Hegstrom. Consider
yourself in "school" to learn how to be happily married. Minister
to one another in your marriage relationship.
within yourself. Focus on your marriage. Focus, focus, focus. Decide
that you WILL have a stronger marriage as a result of this. Consider these public
marriage failures your wake up call. Realize that you have an enemy who roams
about, seeking whom he MAY devour. If you stay in love, in your marriage, he
cannot devour you. Focus. Focus. Focus.
You CAN have an
Outrageously Happy Marriage -
the marriage issues, and REGARDLESS of what ANYONE ELSE EXPERIENCES. The Word
of God says, "Though a thousand fall at your left hand and 10,000 at your
right, it shall not come near you."
YOUR MARRIAGE CAN BE HAPPY.
MARRIAGE CAN BE SUCCESSFUL.
You need to get
very real, and get very serious with your marriage issues. Randy White gave
verbal play to being responsible for the divorce. That is not even close to
what a man needs to do. A man needs to take responsibility for RESTORATION.
Read the books. Get to an Intensive.
YOU have to do the right things that will create a successful marriage.
It is NOW.
It is TODAY.
It is TIME to GET REAL.
Having a happy
marriage is WORTH the effort to get there!
We are living
an Outrageously Happy Marriage now.
It is very easy, NOW.
It was hard work for a season, but for the last twelve years, it has been VERY
Take it from us.
A happy marriage with your CURRENT spouse is worth WHATEVER it takes to get
If you both are wiling, you can GET THERE!
Joel and Kathy
Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His!" directs men to free themselves
and, most importantly, their mates as Christ has freed us. I challenge Christian
men, Black and White, to resist living out the stereotype assigned by popular
culture of being clueless schmucks regarding relationships. It is time to
buck up and lead our marriages to the blissful state Joel and Kathy now
Author; The Moral State of Black America
PS You may request free excerpts
of "The Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His!"
Beaters and Abusive Preachers: Let’s Arrest the Violence
J. Lee Grady, Editor: Charisma Magazine
article by J. Lee Grady, concerning Juanita Bynum and Thomas Weeks III was originally
published as a "Fire in My Bones" article on or near September 14,
What happened last month between Bishop Thomas Weeks III and Juanita Bynum raises
serious concerns about both domestic and spiritual abuse.
I’ve been holding my tongue for a few weeks since I learned that Bishop
Thomas Weeks III was arrested after being accused of kicking, choking and hitting
his wife, prominent preacher Juanita Bynum, in a hotel parking lot in Atlanta
on Aug. 22. We did not need another embarrassing display of religious hypocrisy
played out in the national media.
The incident gave the whole church a black eye and bruised our reputation. When
I first heard that Weeks excused his actions (the devil made him do it, he claims)
and that his congregation cheered his return to the pulpit (after he fled from
police and then posted $40,000 bail), I was riled. What was this guy thinking?
“We are not going to release God’s healing to a broken world with
threats, hateful speech and a loveless gospel.”
It’s outrageous. A Pentecostal bishop beat his wife so badly she had to
go to the hospital. Weeks, of course, says there is another side to the story.
I guess we’ll hear his version in the courtroom, where he will face the
possibility of jail time.
Meanwhile, Bynum has announced she will divorce her husband, whom she married
in 2003. The romance between Weeks and “Prophetess Bynum” was compared
to a fairy tale: A poor girl from the projects who was once on welfare becomes
one of the most popular—and wealthiest—women preachers in America.
When Bynum walked down the aisle with Weeks, she wore a 7.7-carat diamond ring
in a ceremony that cost more than $1 million. The couple then started Global
Destiny Church in suburban Atlanta and later hosted marriage conferences. Weeks
even wrote a book called Teach Me How to Love You, in which he offered advice
on sex and resolving conflicts.
It was not supposed to end like this.
At a press conference Bynum convened a few days after the assault, she announced
confidently that she is moving on. She said she would rebound and use her experience
to galvanize awareness of abuse. “Today, domestic violence has a face
and a name, and it is Juanita Bynum,” she said.
That probably means she’ll write a book about her ordeal, and perhaps
launch a speaking tour. No doubt this will appeal to the throngs of women who
share her pain.
There’s no question that we need more advocates for battered women. Domestic
violence is an ugly issue that has been ignored by the church, mostly because
so many pastors don’t know how to counsel abused women or how to confront
the men who hurt them.
But I have another concern. Before Bynum starts her campaign, I hope she will
examine her own spitfire preaching style. I’m all for rousing sermons,
but what Bynum often offers her audiences is downright mean.
Eleven days before the Atlanta incident, Bynum told women at a large conference
that they needed to learn to become harsh. Shocking clips of her comments were
then posted on YouTube. Bynum told of how she corrected an unnamed assistant
for being too nice when carrying out her orders. “I’m trying to
teach you to be a bulldog!” she declared with gritted teeth and a hateful
When women did not shout loud enough after her comments, Bynum threatened them
too. “If somebody don’t start praising God right here, I’m
gonna have to hit somebody with this microphone,” she said. She also implied
that women who treat others with polite restraint are “too suburb”
and need to learn the street-wise tactics of the ghetto.
Is this the new face of domestic violence? An angry woman preacher who threatens
to hit people? A “bulldog” who barks orders and treats subordinates
rudely? Please. I agree that people need to learn to be assertive, but Bynum
seems to think the fruit of the Holy Spirit is no longer necessary.
We need to declare a timeout and demand some sanity before the American church
is hijacked by carnality. Bynum’s angry rhetoric is out of bounds. Her
behavior behind the pulpit is not a good example for women or men. Somebody
needs to lovingly but firmly challenge it before this turns into something even
I’m not defending Weeks, who should spend time behind bars and be removed
from church leadership if it is proven that he assaulted his wife. But before
Bynum launches her anti-violence crusade, she needs to cool her heels and adjust
her attitude. You can’t fight fire with fire, and you can’t heal
a battered woman by training her to become vindictive.
We should have zero tolerance of any form of domestic violence. But while we
learn to address this huge social problem, let’s also crack down on verbal
abuse in the pulpit. We are not going to release God’s healing to a broken
world with threats, hateful speech and a loveless gospel.
J. Lee Grady is the editor of Charisma.
You may request free excerpts
of "The Man of Her Dreams/The Woman of His!"
Now, you may want to go to our questions
and answers page that features Real Questions and Real Answers From Real
People, addressing the most difficult issues in marriages! Click here: Counseling
Or, You may prefer to read testimonies from all over the world - from couples who have received miracles in their marriages
from reading the two books featured on this website: Testimonies
Or, You may prefer to go to our order page and order these life changing books RIGHT NOW! If so,
click here: Order
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Marriage Intensives! If so, click here: Itinerary
We also offer Nationwide Group Marriage Mentoring. See Itinerary page for more information! Itinerary
We also offer a marriage mentoring forum where you can get help from us and other couples who have been helped in their marriages. www.JoelandKathy.com/boards/
Juanita Bynum, Thomas Weeks Finalize Divorce
Both Thomas W. Weeks III and evangelist Juanita Bynum say they are moving forward with their lives and ministries after their public marriage ended June 20.
[06.24.08] Thomas W. Weeks III and evangelist Juanita Bynum said they are moving on with their lives after their public and turbulent marriage ended June 20, roughly a month before the couple’s sixth wedding anniversary.
Bynum said the divorce is “not a sad thing,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “I always said that, ‘This too shall pass,’ and it just did.” (Note from J and K: Why didn't you reach out for help, Juanita. We can help Thomas to recover and see a marriage restoration, with God's help. And, please, wait a minute. A divorce is not a sad thing? What is it? A happy thing? Can someone say, "Their coming to take me away, ha ha! Their coming to take me away! To the funny farm - where the men in the white suits are coming to take me away hee hee, haw haw, to the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time." In case that dates us, the words are from a song that was popular in the early 70's. Juanita - get a grip. You spent how many millions of dollars getting married? How much did that ring cost? Not a sad thing? Yes it is. Get real. You two need a break from ministry, AND you need to give God a chance to change Thomas - and a chance to give a restoration. I am now a bit angry - yes, I am, - but the invitation is still official for you two, and for Randy and Paula - come to an Intensive. God can help you through the gift that he has put into us.
Weeks said he will always have a “special love” for Bynum but is moving on with his life and ministry. “It feels like a new day—a brand-new life, a brand-new time,” he told Atlanta media. (Note from J and K: This is on the level of being called "sick". Feels like a new day? Not until you step out of ministry and get healed of your core/abuse nature.)
According to a 14-page divorce settlement, neither party will receive alimony. Weeks will maintain ownership of his international ministry and Global Destiny Ministries, the church the couple founded in Duluth, Ga. Bynum requested some antiques she had collected and agreed to pay $40,000 in attorney fees for Weeks. Their bank accounts were divided, and each party will retain ownership of the debt and assets they had before marriage.
“It’s an even-handed agreement where they can move on with their lives and each keep what they have,” said Randy Kessler, Weeks’ attorney. (Move on with their lives? Sick, sick sentiment. I cannot come up with a better word.)
Bynum and Weeks married in July 2002, nine months prior to a ceremony televised on the Trinity Broadcasting Network that included an 80-member wedding party and 10-piece orchestra. They separated in June 2007, but their troubles burst into national headlines Aug. 21 after Weeks was arrested for attacking his estranged wife in the parking lot of Atlanta’s Renaissance Concourse Hotel.
Although Weeks maintained his innocence of spousal abuse, in mid-March he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Weeks, who received three years’ probation and 200 hours of community service, said he wanted to protect his wife from further scrutiny. “I wanted to bring closure [to the trial] so that she wouldn’t feel that I was trying to make this just a public matter to publicize a whole lot of negative things that would have come out,” Weeks told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
During the criminal trial, Weeks hinted that the couple was discussing reconciliation. But when those discussions broke down, Weeks re-released a tell-all book about his marriage titled What Love Taught Me. In it he includes chapters with titles such as “I’d Rather Push You Now Than Punch You Later” and “She Wanted to Be the Next Oprah at Any Cost.” (I still cannot come up with a better word. Sick, sick, sick stuff. You two need to come to a Weekend Marriage Intensive and give God a chance.)
In late April, Bynum revealed in a Divorce Court interview that she had battled with depression and thoughts of suicide after separating from her husband. Speaking with Judge Lynn Toler, Bynum said embarrassment and the fear of ending her ministry career made her reluctant to talk about her struggles as a victim of domestic violence. “You are trained in the traditional sense of religion to be the person that is always fine,” Bynum said. “I found myself trying to live up to that. … I didn’t want to look stupid.” (The looking stupid comes when you don't reach out for help for your marriage - and then use this circumstance to further glorify yourself. Take a break Juanita. The world simply does not need you that bad. Get out of the spotlight for a few years. Sheesh.)
Bynum said she has been hired as a regular adviser on Divorce Court and was permanently added to the cast of the ABC Family series Lincoln Heights, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. (Just what you need, eh, Juanita?)
The case follows the split of another well-known pastoral couple, Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Fla. Last summer, the Whites announced they were ending their 18-year marriage. (And why didn't you two reach out for help? Come to a Weekend Marriage Intensive. God will meet you here. For that matter, since there must be a few other couples at least, get together with Juanitan and Thomas and a few other high level ministers with broken marriages - and let's have a weekend for you guys.)
Jimmy Evans, founder of the Dallas-based ministry Marriage Today, said both couples’ divorces are damaging to the body of Christ because people look to their leaders as examples and base a lot of their actions on what leaders do. “It’s just like what a parent does or does not [do] is a model for their child and gives them permission to do the same thing,” Evans said.
In Bynum’s case, he thinks there is a great deal of sympathy for her because she was abused. (Yes, we agree, it is not her fault that she was abused. However, it is her fault that she continued to stay in the pulpit, and hid her husband's sin. She preached about a God that she did not experience on a daily basis.) However, Evans doesn’t extend that to the Whites, saying he senses “outrage” among many Christians because they didn’t identify the reasons for their divorce.
“There’s a culture of this among high-profile, charismatic ministers, and they get away with it,” said Evans, former senior pastor and now senior elder of Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas. “They don’t stop in ministry and don’t submit themselves to counseling for reconciliation or restoration. It’s devastating to the institution of marriage and the ability of ministers to uphold a standard to their flock.”
Atlanta-area minister Cynthia Hale agreed high-profile divorces make her job tougher, but doesn’t expect these two to have much impact on churches there. The real blow came last August when both incidents made headlines the same week, she said.
Hale, senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga., told her congregation last August that they had to pray for all spiritual leaders who are on the front lines. “This is kind of an aftershock,” she said. “I’m not saying it will go by unnoticed, but I think people have pretty much moved on at this point.”
Any time there is a scandal involving a minister it makes her job more challenging because people outside the church question what is different about being in Christ, she said. It also forces introspection among pastors, who must examine themselves and ask how they can live out the gospel when they have feet of clay, Hale added.
“We just try to address it as openly and honestly as we can: Here are the realities and God’s power is still the greatest power—there’s nothing like it,” Hale said. “God can do anything and everything, but of course humans have free will and make choices.” —Ken Walker