ATLANTA—Internationally acclaimed televangelist and prophetess Juanita Bynum says the incident involving her minister husband two weeks ago has revealed God’s new purpose for her life: speaking out about domestic violence.
Bynum emerged from seclusion Tuesday to host the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Praise The Lord program, marking the first time she had appeared publicly since her estranged husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III, was arrested for allegedly choking, beating and stomping her in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel on August 21.
“I’m in warfare for every woman all over the world who has been through this,” said Bynum, who emphasized that she refuses to be “religiously political” about the alleged attack. The couple wed in a million dollar ceremony in 2002 before moving to Atlanta in 2006 to expand their international ministry, Global Destiny, which has branches in London, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
“If you’re waiting for me to say something negative about my husband, I won’t,” said Bynum during the show that also featured gospel artists DeWayne Woods, Byron Cage and Tarralyn Ramsey. “You cannot pay me any amount of money. As long as he’s my husband, I won’t break the covenant.”
She urged viewers to pray for Weeks, whom she described as a man of God, noting that she has already forgiven him. Her frilly black-and-white sheer blouse and long black skirt revealed no sign of the bruises she reportedly sustained during the incident. But the sporadic flow of tears that she occasionally dabbed away with a white tissue conveyed Bynum’s underlying emotional scars.
After “moanin’ and groanin’” on her couch and feeling sorry for herself overthe past two weeks, Bynum said, she finally decided one night that she would no longer view herself as a victim, a point she emphasized at an impromptu news conference held at an Atlanta hotel a few hours before she headed to the TBN show taping.
“When I thought about it, I said, who’s going to speak up for all the Jacquitas and all the people living in urban neighborhoods?” she told a handful of reporters. “Nobody ever knows their names. Today, domestic violence has a face and a name. It is Juanita Bynum.”