Charles Jenkins, pastor of the historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Ill., and writer of the popular worship song "Awesome," which has become an anthem in churches across the United States, is now at the center of an embarrassing scandal after a woman released a nude photo of him online in an alleged extortion plot.
A report from EEW Magazine News describes the unidentified woman as a disgruntled ex-employee who is trying to get Jenkins to pay money owed to her. The report, based on details revealed by ObnoxiousTV, alleges that the woman may have been more than just an employee to Jenkins.
"Allegedly, the woman attempted to blackmail God's called servant and demanded $20,000 in cash to keep his secrets secret (rumored she might actually be owed the money as compensation for her employment). However, according to conjecture, she was only paid half and the remaining balance was not delivered as planned," noted the ObnoxiousTV report.
"Sources close to the successor of the legendary Clay Evans, who pastored Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, will stagger releases on Charles Jenkins every week until she is paid in full," the report continued.
The Christian Post reached out Jenkins' church for comment Wednesday and was directed to Jenkins' public relations representative, Lissa Druss Christman, who discussed the matter but did not have a response to provide by Wednesday evening.
The issue has been the subject of much discussion online with some acquainted with the pastor encouraging him to stand strong.
"I send out prayers to my pastor @CharlesJenkins7 Who is an AMAZING leader and my friend @cjenk1. God is real and He will prevail!," noted Keitra on Twitter.
Others, however, were not so gracious.
"I neeeVer trusted @charlesjenkins7 when Rev. Clay Evans announced dude as his successor. I was totally against it ... now I see why. #bastard," tweeted DeAndrea MBA.
Fellowship Missionary's website describes Jenkins as "a man of balance" who is raising three children with his wife, Tara Rawls Jenkins.
"Jenkins loves Jesus, loves his family, loves serving and helping others and enjoys a good cup of decaf coffee. Charles Jenkins lives by his own personal mantra 'Don't Box Me In!'" says the description.
The Grammy-award winning songwriter, recording artist and music producer is also the founding CEO of Inspired People LLC, which produced his chart-topping "Awesome."
"In 2012, under his indie label, Jenkins spun the company's first project 'The Best of Both Worlds,' which debuted the No. 1 Christian album in America on iTunes and Amazon, while also becoming the No. 1 Gospel album on Billboard for three weeks. Additionally, from this highly acclaimed album came the global mega hit 'Awesome' penned by Jenkins, which remained No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel charts for over five amazing months becoming an international anthem for music lovers," noted the church on his accomplishments.
He has been the senior pastor of Fellowship Missionary for the last 13 years and does a lot of outreach in his community. He serves as founding president of Fellowship Educational and Economic Development Corporation, a nonprofit that focuses on education, community development, job creation, public safety, and urban renewal in Chicago inner-city neighborhoods. The nonprofit is leading a $26 million effort known as The Legacy Project expected to produce 400 new jobs on Chicago's Southside.