A.M.E. Today Discussion Group Victim of A Scam

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Bogus Campaign Launched To Smear Elder Tate

For the past couple of weeks, there has been an intense discussion going on in the A.M.E. Today discussion area on the topic of whether women should be preachers.

The discussion began with a post supposedly submitted by Presiding Elder Tate of Ohio. There really is a Presiding Elder Tate, I have talked to him and my caller ID confirms he is who he says he is, however he was not the person claiming to be Elder Tate and who initiated the fire storm that swept through this discussion area.

The person who perpetuated the scam on this discussion area used the email address of prtate@messagez.com That is not the email address of the real Elder Tate. The views the bogus "Elder Tate" expressed in the discussion area did not even come close to the inclusive views on ministry espoused by the REAL Elder Tate.

I have come to realize that the Internet can both be a blessing and a curse. The fact that you can operate in relative anonymity allows unscrupulous people to perpetuate the type of scam and fraud that has tried to besmirch the good name of Elder Tate.

Why this scandulous attempt to harm Elder Tate was made, I can not persume to know. Nor would I, or could I, venture a guess at who was responsible for this.

God will be the final judge on the guilty. But the innocent deserve to be lifted up from the quagmire this discussion has deposited them in.

Elder Tate was in no form or fashion involved in the misogynous declaration which lead to an onslaught of indignatious wrath and criticism from many people, who in all fairness, probably believed it really was said by Elder Tate. But it was not his statement, he only has had to stand in the fiery furnace stoked by the flames of passion.

But like the three young men, who also had a furnace experience, Elder Tate has come through untouched, despite a flame war designed to melt him to his very soul. God stands by the blameless and this indeed was a situation not perpetuated by the person, Elder Tate, whose name was used to create it.

There also was another Presiding Elder pulled into the mess and again, it is way too easy for any one to make anonymous charges about anyone.

I ask all of you, who regularly read the postings in the A.M.E. Today discussion area, to quickly notify me when any one is suffering a personal attack in the discussion area be it Bishop, Elder, Pastor, Preacher or layman. Personal attacks and unfounded charges will not be tolerated and that type of discussion thread will be eliminated as quickly as I am notified of its existance.

This discussion area was set up so we may foster fellowships, and discuss issues not assasinate the character of those whom God has called and crucify workers in the vineyard.

I deeply regret any pain and suffering that may have been inflicted on Elder Tate and his family due to this upsurping of his good name and its use in a highly passionate discussion.

I would hope that this will teach each and everyone of us to look before we leap to a conclusion and to realize that every posting may not be from the person that appears in print as the author. Everything on the Internet is not always as it may seem to be and sometimes we need to use our Godly discernment to get past the snares Satan has set before us.

Elder Tate, may God continue to keep you and strengthen you and whoever it may be that is perpetuating the attack against you on the outside, pales before the Jesus that is within you.

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2001


Reverend Fisher,

Although I personally don't know Reverend Tate, two weeks ago I listed a post in which I stated that I thought both the person claiming to be Rev. Tate and the one claiming to be Bishop Henning were bogus. I further stated that I believed someone had simply used their names in order to re-post a disagreeable counter statement and initiate a smear campaign against them. I believe that Reverend Paris made a similar claim in regards to Reverend Tate.

For some reason most of the readers chose to ignore what we said and the evidence we presented. Two readers however, asked me to clarify my statement and therefore refused to further involve themselves in this issue when it was posted again under slightly different heading.

I should hope this would serve as a valuable lesson that, especially in modern media, seeing is not always believing. I pray that those of us who make regular entries on this site will be on guard to see that this sort of thing, as much as is humanly possible, be prevented in the future. Bless you Reverend Fisher for not tolerating debates such as these and bringing them to a speedy end.

Additionally, I hope we will all revisit with renewed interest the New Testament Epistles. For, they speak as never before to the church of today; and they bid us--even in the church-- to be ever on guard and of discerning minds and spirits.

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001

The joy of serving the Lord is always my strength. The AME Today and especially the Discussion Board is a God-given tool. Those of us outside in Africa and elsewhere learn firsthand about what is happening inside the USA. We love this medium and I believe people all over the world appreciate this medium. I want to appeal to all the children of Richard and Sarah Allen, please let us use this tool to build God's Kingdom here on earth.

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001

I am sorry that someone out there felt the need to "inpersonate" anyone on this discussion group. That is unfortunate. I am glad that you are encouraging people to "not" engage in this sort of thing. I knew that the topic "should women be preachers" or something to that effect, would lead to a very, very heated discussion, one that I felt was unnecessary from the beginning, but is a currently a very heated discussion among men and women alike in the church. The bottom line is that women are and will always be preachers, so whether they "should be" is a mute point. The point of this discussion board is for people to speak their minds freely with a certain level of anonymity. Let us not "censor" that part of the discussion group. Also, this discussion group merely reflects and is just a microcosm of the truth of what goes on behind closed doors, on the telephones and in the hotel suites of conferences during "AMEdom" (i.e. Annual Conferences, etc). I know that is a hard concept to grasp, but I think that the sooner we accept it the better off we will be. Let us pray that God will bring peace to our vineyard. God Bless.

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001

Dear Rev. John,

I commend you for being a true and sincere man of God. It is unfortunate that anyone would atilize the internet to hurt someone else. I would feel very sorry for Rev. Tate if that was true.

He was at our church last week and made the statement that he "wrote it to a friend and the friend was too stupid to keep it to himself". I am hurt because he has done many things to myself, and other ministers in the gospel of the Youngstown District.

He has only told you this because we know that the Bishop chastised him. Bishop Webster is in the Pittsburgh Annual Conference this week and he publicly spoke out against what Rev. Tate did. He also urged him privately to apologize, and that is when Rev. Tate took the stand to say he did not do it.

Is it not peculiar that the discussion would go on for two weeks before he said anything? I want to be sympathetic to those who deserve it but the Bible also says to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" Let us use our wisdom.

Over 10 people wrote about what he has done to them personally or their church. He has done many things to our church and pastor, and it hurts me to see someone parading as a servant of the Lord when their heart is in another place. But, I do not want to spend my time speaking about his faults, yet and still I want the connection to know the truth.

In our church, he made the same statement "The women in the AME Church are too loud". So, to hear him repeat it on email is no different. He wrote it, his email address is assigned to it, and worst of all, he expressed these same views publicly for the last few years.

Please pray for the YOUNGSTOWN District and the North Ohio Annual Conference, especially those who preach and teach the word of God. ANd of course, their spouses.

Once again, Rev. John, this is a beautiful site and I enjoy what you share with our connection. Please keep up the good work!

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001




-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001

Thank you Rev. Tate for starting the discussion. You sent it to me yourself, so I know you did write it. But, I do not believe you wanted to create discord; sometimes we talk about things we do not truly believe.

I received the email from rtate@neo.rr.com and from prtate@messagez.com , but the most important message I received was from the Lord.


Still your friend, Margaret

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001

Hello AME Family

I am a member of an AME Church in Cleveland. My pastor and his wife separated a few months back. And Elder Tate has enlightened the church on the pastor's private business. My girlfriend just sent me this link and asked, do I believe he wrote it.

YES. The writer of this site said some very nice things, but there is nothing HONORABLE or DIGNIFIED about this elder. I think he should do what the Lord asks him to do, but I also pray that at the Annual Conference the Bishop decides to do something else with him.

We overlooked the fact that he brought his boyfriend to the hotel, but can we overlook a man of God that openly speaks out about the word of God and the called of God? Church, there must be an end to this.

I love my pastor and I will continue to pray for him. But, I know pastoring has been hard since the elder stepped in. Church, we have to be about our father's business.

Let us not put him down, but let us lift him up - in prayer

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001

Thank you, Rev. John Fisher for your kind words. I am an elder, and unfortunately our words are often miscontrued and used to hurt others and ourselves. I believe this discussion page was to help others, not to put them down. I have shared my views with my friends, but not with the entire A.M.E. Church.

This email has caused some problems for me. I did not write it as it was posted; words were altered. But as I wrote before, God knows my heart. I want God's name to be lifted.

I do believe in the Bible and I do love some women. Unfortunately, some people would like to use this against me because they do not like me. That is not what the AME Church is about at all. It is about helping others.

Gender and/or sexual preference should not stop anyone from passing through the board of examiners.

I like this discussion board, but please dont use it to hurt anyone. Thank you Rev. John Fisher

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001

Satan still is at work

If you read through this thread you suddenly may have some thoughts that perhaps Presiding Elder Tate is at fault for all of this. After all, there is the testimony from five people that he is a problem.

There even is a note from "Elder Tate" that suggests that he reluctantly admits to saying what he said.

Now for the truth..I did not erase the notes below because I wanted one and all who read this to know that amepreacher@hotmail.com, jbaker@milford.edu, prayerpartners@aol.com and kalessha@yahoo.com all were written by the same person from the same computer. A trace has been placed on that computer to determine who is behind this campaign. There will be suits and prosecution once the culprit is determined.

You can pretend to be whoever you want to be on a computer...but you will be caught...every message leaves its trace and its point of origin. So please do not use this dhiscussion to try to instigate trouble you will be caught and in this case the ends will not justify the means.

Even the last message by Elder Tate is bogus....we have been in constant communication and the trace is close to revealing who has mounted this attack against him,

Rev. John

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2001

Mr. Matthews, Mr. FBI, you are getting dumber and dumber every day; do you have a wife; education; job? I see that you buy anything people sell that you think is beneficial for you and that would cause a Bishop to like you; we in Georgia know you very well. Stop pretending. Do you really wish to be exposed at this point? I dont think you can afford it.

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

As a member of the AME chruch, the daughter of a Presiding Elder and the 3rd Epsicopal District-North Ohio Conference, I am deeply upset with the way some members of our church have choosen to use the internet. Let me say that with all my heart I know that Rev. Tate did not write the many things that have been posted by a mean spirited person. Let me also say that one should be very carful when attacking men and women who God have called to spread his divine message. In a time when life is so very short, I am sure we can find better things to do with our time. Let's take this time to thank God for his many blessings and to thank him for giving us another day of life.

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2001

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