Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Prayer for Juanita Bynum

When faith hides behind closed doors people get hurt. They’re hurt by the mendacity of their claims. They proudly stand before revering devotees in search of words of comfort. Masses of broken spirits assemble before them begging for something more. More beyond the humiliation. More beyond the damaged promises and bruised dreams. Something more than this life they’re forced to bear.

These contemporary faith seekers are inspired by the declarations of men and women once broken but now set free from the burden of their yesteryears. Juanita Bynum dares the incalculable women who trek the way to hear her preach and purchase her DVD’s and CD’s to remove the sheets in their lives. Her “No More Sheets” sermon on breaking free of sexual promiscuity made her the hottest African American female preacher within the prosperity theology movement.

Her gripping testimony inspired women because it resonated with their struggles to find meaning within the pain. Bynum’s toil for liberation continues. Police say she was assaulted by her preacher husband in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel early Wednesday, August 22.

Bynum and her estranged husband, Thomas W. Weeks III, the founder of Global Destiny churches, met at Renaissance Concourse Hotel near Atlanta's airport to try to reconcile, police said. About 4 a.m., they fought in the parking lot until a hotel bellman pulled Weeks off. "She was bruised up and battered," Officer Ronald Campbell said. "She had purple bruising around her neck and upper torso."

No charges had been filed by Wednesday night against Weeks, who left the scene according to police. Bynum, a Pentecostal evangelist who lives in Hempstead, N.Y., has administrative offices in Waycross. The former homemaker, hairdresser and flight attendant got a break when Bishop T.D. Jakes invited her to speak at one of his conferences several years ago.

Her 2002 wedding to Weeks, who started the Global Destiny churches nationwide, was televised and, according to media reports, featured a gown with a bodice covered in crystals and a 7.76-carat diamond ring. Her dream wedding led to a nightmarish marriage. Only God knows how many black eyes and bruised ribs preceded this recent torment.

The high praise and power messages of the mega-Church movement often conceal what happens behind the closed doors of those placed on thrones to be praised by the people deprived of examples of righteous living. In the midst of their declarations of what used to be; the truth underlying it all is things aren’t what they appear to be.

The gloom that comes with this sad story of a prominent religious spokesperson and her estranged husband, who leads a church, are the days spent before the people smiling, promoting faith, advocating the message of joy, granting comfort to those who come to listen, who come to purchase a CD or DVD- while hurting inside.

While presenting the mood of good spirits, beneath it all is a hurting woman-a woman battered by a man who walks the faith, who knows the message of transformation. How many tears dropped from her fragile, tattered face before offering hope to the myriad of women waiting for those inspired words? How many times did she feel like going home?

I can only conjecture the level of brokenness she carries with her each day. After coming so far, after seeing God transform her life and build a great ministry through her, she finds herself back again. Back at the place that led her to preach that powerful message-“No More Sheets”. For her, the sheets remain in her marriage, and she’s fighting to break free from him and the condemning glare of those who seek the façade of perfection.

Bynum’s ministry is not negated by the abuse of her husband. No, it’s solidified by his sin. The promise to her is God’s presence within every throbbing moment. This is not her fault. This she doesn’t deserve. My prayer is for her comfort as she heals again.

That which stays locked in the closet hurts the most. Her pain is exposed for the world to examine. What matters now is the response we give.

Be free Juanita Bynum. Be free. People of faith are praying for you.


  1. Man what is it with Preachers beating and killing women, and still being in the pulpit.. yeah I know we must forgive and not judge, but I dont have to judge for him to be out of the pulpit. This is ridiculous!!! And why havent they arrested him? they know who he is, where he is, and HOW MUCH MONEY HE GOT!!!!!! Thats why they havent arrested him yet.. But they should and will.....

  2. I believe in my heart both couples, forgot about deliverance,I don't mean in a negative way. BUSY, BUSY, BUSY, I also believe in my heart the husband had secret jealousy of his wife ministry, just a thought, A man of God, after the heart of God should never strike his wife. I also believe in my heart he was dishonest with her. But time will heal God will expose the truth.

  3. I think she must divorce him and keep on going alone with Jesus, like Kathryn Kuhlman did. This thing that happened is keeping her back. In heaven we will not be married. The only true love and unconditional love is Jesus agape love. Forgive him and let the world know she has forgiven him, but still continue alone. How can she be with a man that preaches the word that God commanded to LOVE your wife like God loved the church. I am broken for this and If I could go to heaven just to bring her a heavenly kleenex to wipe her tears away, I would.

    Curacao, Sharella JUANITA Coffie

  4. I thank God for Juanita and Thomas salvation. You both may not get to walk together in what God purposed in your marriage. However, you're both are wonderful saved and selected for the body of Christ we love you both for getting married and sharing your wedding. We will never ever say anything negative about Christ love, so we got both your back! My brother and my sister in Christ. Best of Prayers, Linda Bradley