Bishop Joseph Walker III Accused Of 4 Sexual Assaults & Tax Crimes

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Bishop Joseph Walker III is facing charges of sexual assaults and tax cheating.

Four women have accused popular Nashville pastor Bishop Joseph Walker III of Mount Zion Baptist Church and five other church leaders of sexual misconduct and violating their trust over the past 10 years. The women allege contact with Walker led to sexual assault, and in one case, a forced abortion.

Read: Dallas Pastor Tyron Gordon Faces Second Sex Misconduct Suit!

Four former female parishioners sued the pastor and five other leaders for “clerical malpractice” and a “conspiracy [to] recruit young women for purposes of sexual, psychological and spiritual exploitation,” local media reported. The women are suing for $5 million, according to local news station WTVF-TV.

The women allege they were sexually exploited and abused during counseling sessions sponsored by Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and that church leaders recruited women for exploitation and sex for nearly 10 years.

Mount Zion is one of Nashville’s largest churches with some 25,000 members and growing at a phenomenal rate of over 1,800 members per year, according to the church’s website. Walker started his ministry at the church in 1992.

Only one of the accusers has revealed herself, while the others have chosen to remain anonymous. The name of one of the accused church leaders, other than Walker, was also revealed.

Walker’s nonprofit organization, J W. Walker Ministries Inc., lost its federal tax exemption last month for failing to file tax returns for three years. The charity’s records also show Walker donating funds from the sale of tapes of his sermons to the charity, which then paid a private production company he owns without disclosing his involvement.
The church denies any wrongdoing on Walker’s part. Church spokesman John Van Mol said that not filing tax returns was a mistake the charity is trying to rectify, and he issued a statement saying the sexual exploitation lawsuit is an attempt to make money.

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