Open letter to Marvin Sapp (and “shepherds” everywhere)
By Eddie B. Allen Jr.
Dear Pastor Sapp:
I’ve never met your former congregation member, the missing Dr. Teleka Patrick or her family, but, like the veteran, she deserved spiritual support.The Bible makes it clear that, even the ‘wilderness’ – the prostitutes, the mentally ill – needs a voice,” says Rev. Bedford, now pastor of Aurora, Ill.’s Progressive Baptist Church. “Kicking them out is the equivalent of closing blinds on the hungry and shutting the door on the beggar.”
We’ve read the protection order and the letter excommunicating Dr. Patrick from Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids. We’ve heard that you were, perhaps reasonably, concerned that she crossed boundaries into your private life. What we’ve not read or heard is any sign that you fed this lamb in your flock with the bread of compassion.
Not only are all media denied interviews since the doctor’s Dec. 5 disappearance, but private investigator Jim Carlin says that you and your staff refuse to talk even with him as he works to find her; Carlin says that Dr. Patrick’s family hasn’t even been contacted for an offer of prayer.
Well, Christ warned: “What you did to the least of these, you also did to me.” A 30-year-old woman who, one lonely night on a highway, vanishes from loved ones and a prestigious job, certainly ranks among “the least.”
Please set a righteous example, Pastor Sapp.
Silence can speak volumes.
Eddie B. Allen Jr. is an author and filmmaker in Detroit.