Pastor Victor Couzens faces criminal charges, megachurch hit with foreclosure
'I don't regret trying to figure out who is going to be the best life partner for me. It's called dating,' the pastor said
Pastor Victor Couzens of the Inspirational Bible Church in Cincinnati, Ohio is starring in a real-life episode of Greenleaf. His megachurch is facing foreclosure after having dwindled from 5,000 members to just 200, cheating accusations and criminal charges.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Thursday that the Inspirational Baptist Church went into foreclosure two weeks ago, owing $4.6 million. Furthermore, the almost 60,000-square-foot building is listed for sale. In a phone interview with the newspaper, the 43-year-old pastor would not directly address the financial well-being of his covenant.
“Much of this is in-house stuff that I don’t have anything to say about publicly. But the people that are part of our ministry and, of course, the church as a whole will be fully abreast on this and will be made aware of the plan to remedy this,” Couzens said.
Couzens’ personal issues have also caused his church embarrassment. Bishop Paul S. Morton apologized for the multiple affairs Couzens had in 2018, according to the Christian Post. Those relationships, including one, are still a thorn in the pastor’s side.
Andrea Garrison, 31, alleged that she was in a years-long relationship with him. The two lived in Miami and Paris with the intention of settling down. However, to her shock, he was planning to put a ring on it with someone else.
“He had me give up my whole entire life to find out that it was a lie. He had me quit my job, put in my two-week notice, all of that,” the Bronx model told The Enquirer. “I have been around his kids, I have been around his mother, his father, I have done the laundry in the house.”
Garrison claimed he threatened her after going public in a Facebook Live post through texts, messages, and possible blackmail. Couzens allegedly had an explicit video that he would go public with if she didn’t recant her accusations. It resulted in a telecommunications harassment charge in October 2018 with the New York Police Department.
Couzens was scheduled for a court appearance Friday for a pretrial hearing in Hamilton Municipal Court. Next month, a jury trial on the first-degree misdemeanor is set. He denied any wrongdoing, insisting there was no crime in looking for a First Lady.
“I don’t regret trying to find a wife, and I don’t regret ending relationships with people that I know aren’t going to be good for me in the long run,” he said. “I don’t regret trying to figure out who is going to be the best life partner for me. It’s called dating.”
He also denied using money on his dating life.
“I have never in my life used the church’s money to fund any part of my personal life; under no circumstances,” he said.