Charlotte Pastor Clavon Leonard Accused of Physical and Sexual Abuse of Armor Bearers
This is definitely a week where the church is airing out alleged dirt from the pulpits. Here we go again with some allegations on another pastor. Read them for yourself and tell us what you think.
Pastor Clavon Leonard of the Church of Philadelphia in Charlotte, NC may be a “charming and charismatic” disciple in some people’s eyes but there are some that tell a dark side of the pastor.
The I Team has reported that Pastor Clavon Leonard is being accused of ‘spiritual, physical and sexual abuse’ by six former church leaders. Two former church members gave their opinion the the man who calls himself ‘apostle’ in the report:
“I would describe him as barbaric,” said former minister of music Talitha Williams. Former church member Ayanna Armstrong described Leonard as a cult leader. “His whole being, that’s all he is, is mind control,” said Armstrong.
Pastor Leonard told reporters:
“…he is not a cult leader and not a controlling person, “I’m a strict person. Controlling? In this age we live in, I don’t think nobody can be controlled unless they want to be controlled.”
The I Team interviewed several of the members and here’s what the pastor is being accused of:
Pastor Leonard has a group of young adult male assistants called, “armor bearers”. Three former armor bearers tell the I-Team they were physically and sexual abused by Leonard. “It was a bloody experience,” said one armor bearer who asked us to conceal his identity.
“There was blood. There were like cuts in our flesh. Like our flesh was literally broken. I was just afraid for my life.”
The armor bearers say they lived with Leonard and say their duties ranged from basic to bizarre. From cleaning his house and cutting his lawn to massaging Leonard seven days a week and serving him grapes. “I didn’t control what time I woke up in the morning. I didn’t control what time I went to bed. I didn’t control what I ate,” said one former armor bearer. Leonard described their duties by saying, “They help, just like everybody else. There’s a family.”
The armor bearers claim if they failed at their assignments, they were beaten and tortured by Leonard. “Smacking the face, punching in the chest, whipping with a belt, whipping with the extension cord…” said one former armor bearer. One former armor bearer, who showed the I-Team his scars, maintains he received, “a hundred lashes” from Leonard for missing five o’clock prayer.
Leonard’s former wife Ayanna Stinson said she witnessed abuse. She stated her former husband grabbed the private parts of an armor bearer who was young and only in the house for three weeks or less. The pastor told him while the young man was screaming:
“‘shut your mouth, shut your mouth, don’t you make no noise’. And I looked at him and said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘you go back in the room.’”
Of course, the Pastor Clavon Leonard denies being abusive to the young people.
The armor bearers told the I-Team there was a code of silence and that is what allowed the pastor to have literally no limits to what he did to them.
Pastor Leonard questions why the armor bearers stayed: “If an allegation is true and you really believe that and you thought that was true, why didn’t you go to authorities? Let the law handle it. If you’ve been abused, if you’ve been mishandled, if you’ve been, go. That’s what I’d do,” said Leonard.
Unfortunately, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say there has not been an armor bearer that has come forward to file a police report. They maintained that they were silent because they were ashamed of the sexual abuse and being ostracized.
Since the young accusers have not filed an official police report, Leonard continues to preach and oversee eight other churches in the Carolinas, Florida, Texas and New Jersey. He has not been charged with a crime and life goes on for him.