The Sins Of The Pastor

His church may be willing to forgive, but the law demands Henry Lyons answer several stunning criminal charges

The Bible is full of men falsely accused and persecuted, and the Rev. Henry Lyons, minister of St. Petersburg's Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church and head of the powerful National Baptist Convention, USA, says he is one of them. While he admits moral lapses, he says the 82-page arrest affidavit served on him on Ash Wednesday, full of charges of racketeering and grand theft, is the devil's work. In the only interview since then, Lyons, 56, told TIME he was a man at peace--"I can sleep comfortably again"--and ready to fight. "My daddy was a strong Baptist deacon and he gave me...

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