Benjamin O. Jimerson-Phillips
I created this website not to tear down or ridicule The Church of God In Christ, but so the truth will be known and that the church will return to true Holiness and the shepherds will show compassion and love, not greed, lust and brutality to their sheep.
If my father were alive now, I know he would not be happy to see how the Church Leadership is treating my Sister & I. You can not love the man Bishop J.O. Patterson Sr., and at the same time hate or mistreat his seed! Some have said what good is it to expose these things other than for me to profit from the book; others have said my dad likely didn't make it into the Kingdom. But I have found that many who look down on my speaking out, tend to be people who benefit in some way from it remaining in silence, or those who lack any real compassion and can not understand the pain involved when those who profess to be men of God (whom we turn to for justice and leadership are the very ones doing the harm).
God's Word says that these thing done in darkness would be exposed, It also allows others who are in pain from going through these same situations to know they are not alone and should NOT accept this behavior from men who claim to be Leaders from God. Next, as much as my dad did, not man has a Heaven or Hell to put him in, so it is best that we allow God to decide that, because no one knows what went on between him & God in his final hours.
Church Family: "How can we expect the World to deal justly with us, when we won't even deal justly with one another?".
Black men need to stop making babies they won’t be fathers too. Be man enough to stand up and be responsible for whatever actions you have done! I say this because my father (Bishop J.O. Patterson Sr.) was a man admired by millions, but his personal life was very conflicted. It is sad for a Bishop & man of God to have that lifestyle, cover it up, and have church officials help him cover up his lies. How many people have been hurt and gone astray from the lies that have been told. I have come to learn that my father may have at least three other male children (one of which is possibly in a California prison for murder), and one other female child, aside from my sister Annette.
I thank Bishop Blake for what he has done to help comfort my sister & I, and I pray his heart will be touched to do more. Because truly when something like this sits unresolved in the Church, it is like a sore that grows into a cancer.
When Janet Patterson's only surviving son, John Patterson-Wheeler (who publicly acknowledges me as his Uncle), came to California two years ago for Christmas, he met my Sister Annette Jimerson (his Aunt) for the first time. He stood in the middle of the floor for a few seconds with his mouth open. When they were leaving later that day, he broke down and cried for almost ten minutes. When I asked him why he was crying, he said because my sister looked like & reminded him so much of his mother, that he felt he was seeing his mom alive again after all these years.
How many innocent lives have been destroyed because of my Dad's uncontrolled lust? I cannot claim perfection, because I struggle with those same issues, but I have come to realize that by doing so, I only continue a cycle of pain upon others. I have made a commitment to myself that I will not continue to be a part of the problem; I hope to become a small spark to ignite the solution.
My brother, J.O. Patterson Jr., was as much a victim in this as the many other children were. He gained a lot of success, becoming a two-term Senator and a Congressman. He was also the first black mayor of Memphis. However, I didn't consider until recently how he should never have had to deal with the mess our dad left behind. He felt the burden of having to cover up for the lies of our dad, but no lie can remain hidden forever!
There is no reason why my brother’s children; James, Aaron, Jennifer & Charles, should continue to deny their uncle (me). James, Aaron & I were children together and were raised by the same lady: Lucinda Terrell. Jennifer and Charles were just babies when I would come spend time at their dad's home. Years ago, James was in school to be a doctor, but wanted to be a musician. At that time, I was working closely with The Bar-Kays, and I took James into the studio to record playing bass on a gospel song by Faye Coleman. It was his first recording studio experience. During the recording session, James was talking about leaving school to pursue music, but I encouraged him to stay in school and become a doctor. I’ve acted like an uncle and advisor to my brother’s children, but they refuse to identify me as their uncle because they feel reputations have been tarnished because I told the truth publicly. They don't even realize God is going to judge them for their mistreatment of my Sister and me.
There has been so much heartache, deception and pain, placed on so many individuals. Some people feel my going public tarnished innocent reputations, because they haven't had to endure the things I have:
- Called a liar all my life simply for being born and declaring my Birthright.
- Having my Mom called mentally ill for saying J.O. Sr was my Dad, because he would never do something like that.
- As a teen having my girlfriend's Mom break us up, because she said I was lying on the Sainted Bishop & my Mom had to be crazy for telling me something like that.
- Having some of your closest childhood friends call you a liar over your true identity.
- Having no lights, only candles because your Mom was unable to pay a $70 light bill, when your Dad was a Millionaire.
- Being despised and hated because people believed you were lying on a saint (when you were telling the truth & the one they called a Saint was lying)...that was the TARNISH, and it was to my Mother, Sister & Me.
I talked to my Mother long before I ever went public, and when she said she understood, I moved forward. So forgive my urge to speak out against the injustice.
Should I have remained silent? Should it be ok for us to be spit upon & dishonored, just for the truth? I NEVER lied on anyone! Every word I spoke was true and we ALL know it is!
My Mother deserves the day she is exonerated from the years of being called a liar!
This isn't just my family issue, it's not just a C.O.G.I.C. issue, it's not even just a black issue - It's a societal issue. Too many men of all races are failing to consider the consequences of our actions, how one indiscretion can ripple to cause generational issues on descendants not even born yet. Now is the time to start to get it right! I forgive, now it's time for restoration. Thank God for some members of the Wigley & Bishop C.H. Mason's Family contacting me and having the courage to acknowledge my identity and seek healing and reconciliation for our families. I can only pray members of the Patterson Family can come to realize the same, because right now it is obvious the children of J.O. Patterson Jr. could care less if I was alive or dead. That is not the place where those who call themselves Christian should be.
We are required as followers of Christ to show love and compassion to everyone. The Scriptures say that love should start with the household of faith. If you cannot and will not show love to your own bloodline who has done everything possible to reach out to you in love, then how can you say you love God? The Bible says, if a man says he loves God yet hates his brother, he is a liar. It is only through the truth and healing that this chapter of the book of sorrows be closed.
The revised version of my book is available on the homepage of this website. Please order from this website to ensure you get it as quickly as possible. This revised version will not hold back much of anything. Healing will never take place if the truth remains hidden behind secrecy. The Church of God In Christ has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle lawsuits from people against: homosexual & sexually immoral bishops and preachers, their lovers, prostitutes, etc. Yet they won't even offer a word of kindness to the son of its first elected Presiding Bishop J.O. Patterson Sr., for using his office of power and having members of the General Board help him cover up his immoral behavior and out-of-wedlock children.
I have an audio recording of the former Presiding Bishop Louis H. Ford telling me he was sorry for his part in helping to cover up for my dad, and that he had a blind loyalty to him. That was an honorable thing to do by him, but it does not need to be done in the dark because that simply says you are still covering up! Why can't our Presiding Bishop address this with eyes of compassion, so it can end once and for all! If these men of the church don't do what is right, they will face a vengeful God.
I was told that my dad, on his death bed, sent for Billy Graham to come and pray for him. He reportedly told Rev. Graham, "Please pray for me. I've done so much I don't know if I'm gonna make it in". How sad it is to have had millions come to Christ under you as a Pastor, yet you end up in hell.
I pray that my dad made it in. I don't hate him. I simply want the truth acknowledged so my family and I can finally be vindicated from years of being called liars.