I would like to report our progress to you. I was supposed to be hand-delivering the 1000+ signatures we’ve collected on our petition to William (Bill) Owens and the Coalition of African-American Pastors this weekend. Unfortunately, plans have changed. Over the last couple days, I have gotten some information that exposes Rev. Bill Owens and the Coalition of African-American Pastors as nothing more than a fraud.
First, we’ve discovered that Rev. Owens’ “Metropolitan Institutional Church” does not exist. He isn’t a pastor. There’s no church to where we can deliver the petitions.
His claim to have been a civil rights leader is false. There is no evidence nor personal remembrances from long term Nashville residents that he participated in any civil rights demonstration in Nashville from 1958 – 1961.
Rev. Owens’ claim that CAAP has 3800+ members can not be substantiated. Research has shown that there are only 20 members of this so-called organization. Most of the members are independent churches that aren’t affiliated with any reputable denomination.
Rev. Owens’ reported ties with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church are false. The AME church disclaimed any knowledge of Rev. William Owens, and alluded he was not a real pastor by publicly stating, “Contrary to the report, neither the AME Church nor its leadership is involved with or partnering with the Coalition of African-American Pastors.”
CAAP’s claim that they aren’t affiliated with any political group is false. Not only is CAAP funded through such organizations as the National Organization for Marriage, but they are also tied to The Arlington Group, who describes themselves as “a coalition of leaders from the pro-family community, that develops and executes national and grassroots strategies to: protect the traditional institution of marriage, increase respect for every human life, limit judicial activism, and act on other moral issues of concern.”
Other questionable information given by Bill Owens is whether or not he truly earned his degrees in education and theology, and if so, from where? Lastly, exactly how much money DID he and other black pastors get paid to LIE to the American people in effort to split the vote?
This new information does not change our goal to continue reaching out to refocus our collaborative energies toward healing the divide in the community and not allowing our diversity to be used as a wedge issue. Operation: REBIRTH will be sending a letter to all the ministers involved with CAAP with every signature on the petition attached. This letter will ask all of them to participate in a meeting with LGBT leaders from across the country. We will also be sending a hard copy of the petition to the post office box listed on the CAAP website via Certified Mail, requiring signature confirmation. That way we’ll know they have received all the signatures. We will keep you updated on our progress.
Tuan N’Gai is Co-Founder of the Operation: REBIRTH Movement. He’s the author of “Will I Go To Heaven? The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma,” “Little Brown Boy’s Blues,” and a contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living.” He lives in Chicago, Illinois.