BY Stephen Nartey, 5:50pm March 26, 2024,

Self-styled Bishop sentenced to prison for deceiving at least 10 women into marrying him

Orlando Coleman/Photo credit: Facebook/Orlando Coleman

A Houston man, Orlando Coleman, 51, has been sentenced to prison for deceiving at least 10 women into marrying him by posing as a bishop.

Coleman visited black churches nationwide, presenting himself as a clergy member and on social media as the founder of various churches and a “Pentecostal preacher.”

However, prosecutors argue it was a ruse to gain the trust of religious women, leading to multiple marriages over two decades.

Coleman was sentenced to three years in prison last week for marrying a third woman shortly after being put on probation for bigamy involving two simultaneous marriages, according to Daily Mail.

In Texas, bigamy is a third-degree felony, with a potential sentence of up to 10 years. Prosecutors argue Coleman married for housing and financial benefits.

“At the heart of this repeat offender’s schemes was a plan to defraud women and take advantage of them for financial gain,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a news release. “This man used the church to camouflage his scams and hide from any accountability or responsibility.”

Investigators trace Coleman’s first marriage back to 2001. Over the years, he traveled to various states, targeting churchgoing women by posing as a Protestant pastor or bishop.

The self-styled bishop’s modus operandi involved proposing marriage to these women, moving in with them, and relying on them for housing and sustenance.

“That’s the only thing he had to offer and to validate his word – the proposal to marry – that was something big,” Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Goussen told The New York Times.

“Getting proposed to was a big gesture for these women, and that corroborated his guise that he’s a godly person.”

Several women filed for divorce after Coleman fled to another state. In 2021, his scheme was exposed when he married a Houston woman who later found out he was receiving funds from a woman in Virginia.

The Houston woman contacted the Virginia woman via Facebook and learned they had been married since 2019, providing evidence of their marriage. The Virginia woman revealed they separated in 2021 but never officially divorced.

The Virginia woman disclosed that she separated from Coleman when he relocated to Texas and married the Houston woman shortly thereafter.

The Texas woman reported the incident to the police, leading to bigamy charges filed by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Coleman pleaded guilty in July 2023 and received three years’ probation. In a letter before his sentencing, he claimed he believed he was eligible to marry the Texas woman because he thought his previous marriage had been annulled or ended in a divorce.

“If I knew getting married was not allowed, I would have waited,” he wrote.

He asserted he survived childhood sexual abuse and lacked love growing up. He also outlined his intentions to return to Kentucky as a pastor, “helping to feed & clothe people.” He signed off with credentials including “PhD, ThD, DD,” implying he held advanced degrees, although there is no evidence to support this claim.

Just two months after being sentenced, Coleman, still married to the Virginia woman, married a Kentucky woman. Prosecutors moved to revoke his probation upon discovering the new marriage, leading to sentencing on March 11.

Coleman inadvertently exposed his deception on Facebook, where multiple profiles list him as “married” and holding titles such as “Presiding Bishop, Senior Pastor at Word Of Faith Intl. Worship Center in Delaware.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 26, 2024

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