Churches calling for husband's suspension

Associated Press
Thomas W. Weeks III turned himself in to face charges that he beat and choked his wife during an argument outside an Atlanta hotel on Aug. 21.

ATLANTA - A national group of black and Hispanic churches wants the minister husband of evangelist and gospel singer Juanita Bynum suspended from the ministry because of allegations that he beat his wife.

 

Thomas W. Weeks III, known to his followers as Bishop Weeks, faces charges of aggravated assault and terroristic threats after a confrontation last month that police say left his estranged wife badly bruised.

The Washington-based National Black Church Initiative said that Mr. Weeks' Global Destiny Ministries is not part of its network but that it considers the domestic violence charges against him harmful to the body of Christian believers as a whole.

The coalition, which works to address racial health disparities and problems in the black family, said it sees Mr. Weeks' alleged actions as "morally wrong and reprehensible."

Domestic violence, the group said, is a root cause of the failure of black families and marriages.

The coalition also said it wants Mr. Weeks to apologize to his wife, his church and the Christian family and to seek counseling.

Police say that during an Aug. 21 argument outside a hotel Mr. Weeks, 40, choked Ms. Bynum, pushed her to the ground and started to kick and stomp on her. A hotel employee intervened and pulled Mr. Weeks away, police said.

Ms. Bynum, 48, is a former hairdresser and flight attendant who became a Pentecostal evangelist, author and gospel singer. Her ministry blossomed after she preached at a singles event about breaking free of sexual promiscuity. Among her books are No More Sheets: The Truth About Sex and Matters of the Heart. Her album A Piece of My Passion had been listed in the top 10 gospel albums by Billboard magazine for several months.

The couple married in 2002.