Video of Bishop, 63, defending his marriage to 19-year-old congregant sparks controversy

Dollita Okine May 28, 2024
An image on social media shows the two smiling blissfully. Photo Credit: Instagram, reachjulieroys

Dwight Reed, an Iowa Christ Apostolic Temple Bishop, and his young wife, Jordan Goodlett, have once again become the topic of a heated controversy.

Reed, a three-time divorcee, and his bride announced that their union was God’s plan at the time of their marriage, when Reed was 63 and Goodlett was 19. An image on social media showed the two smiling blissfully.

In a video shared recently, Reed proclaimed, “And I wish some of ya’ll would mess with my wife, Jordan. Talking about, ‘what you gonna do if you see her?’ Well, you will see me on the news! You better walk by and say ‘praise the lord!’ that’s what you better do, because that’s my wife! And she grown! She didn’t need nobody to sign no paper work for her.”

“If this was out in the streets, ya’ll would be saying she made a come-up, but you a hypocrite,” he said, according to Vibe

Insisting that he and his spouse have no issues with their marriage, he cited scripture supporting the importance of marriage.

“And we sleeping good at night! Ain’t nobody up all night worried about these crooks.” 

In 2022, people close to the families suggested that Goodlett was pressured. Sources told the Des Moines Register that the teen expressed reservations and made efforts to call the wedding off on both the day before and the wedding day, which led them to believe that she ultimately succumbed to pressure from Reed and her father, a musician on the church payroll.

The couple’s marriage sparked an amount of suspicion from some members of the 53-year-old Christ Apostolic Temple, who criticized the union and called officials to report the incident. The outlet noted that seven calls to the police were made following the Bishop’s marriage to the girl to whom he had been offering special guidance as the dean of the church school.

While it is legal for a person to marry someone so much younger if they have reached the age of legal consent, critics of the Bishop’s actions have taken to social media to question his choices, claiming he used his position to facilitate a personal relationship with someone over whom he had authority.

The accusers pointed out that several years prior, Reed had informed the church that he would be taking Goodlett under his wing for extra support because she was having difficulty adjusting to her parents’ imminent divorce. They said that, starting at around age 16, Goodlet spent time in his house and on outings with him, and that, as a graduation present, he purchased her a car.

However, since Reed threatened in his Sunday church services that he would air the dirty laundry of those who talk poorly of him and have followed through on it, some people who oppose the union are hesitant to voice their opposition.

Although the wedding happened in November 2021, several church members were moved to speak out after a former church member, with the pseudo-name Jazmn Napier, came to Facebook and called Reed “a predator masking himself as a man of God.” She accused him of abusing his authority and privilege as a minister to groom a teenager for marriage.

Her post garnered national attention on Facebook and Clubhouse, drawing the attention of Demetrius Sinegal, presiding bishop of Kingdom Churches in Covenant and pastor of The Kingdom Church of Houston, Texas, which is also affiliated with the Apostolic denomination. He is also the founder of Safehouse Unmuzzled, an advocacy group for victims of clergy abuse.

Since seeing Napier’s post and conducting his research, Sinegal mobilized against Reed and established a Change.org petition demanding a criminal inquiry by police and the Polk County attorney.

In 2022, Christ Apostolic Temple, Reed’s church, filed a lawsuit against Sinegal after he launched the investigation.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 28, 2024

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