LITTLE ROCK, AR – Jennifer Richardson doesn’t want to show her identity because of her young children but she is telling her story, loud and clear.

 “When you have a pastor who says he’s an apostolic minister and he’s getting messages from god and you’ve seen some of those things actually take place you have a lot of faith and trust in them,” she said 

That faith and trust  is now a lawsuit against Apostle Lawrence E. Braggs, the head of Awareness Center International Ministries in Little Rock also know as Trumpet of Zion Ministries.

The lawsuit alleges Braggs engaged Richardson in sexual encounters from 2007 to 2012 by manipulating her strong religious convictions.

“It was never presented as a sexual relationship. It was presented as an obligation and if you do these things then God will bless you,” Richardson said. 
Richardson said Braggs counseled her and her husband before they married. She was only 18 at the time, but counseling continued for years–allowing her pastor to learn sensitive spiritual information about her, leading to what she said was his manipulation.  

The suit alleges he told her God showed him that “she was chosen by God to help Braggs go to God,”  and the relationship they were building was a “covenant.”
“I was thinking I was doing what I had to do, what I was obligated to do. I felt like I was fulfilling an obligation or responsibility to God. It wasn’t about him, it was about my obedience to God,” 

Donna Terrell  reached out several time to Apostle Braggs, but never got a response.

As for Richardson, she believes there are other victims  and hopes through this lawsuit, “If there are other victims out there it will give them the courage to come forward and not be ashamed of their story and know that this type of behavior is not okay.”

(If you believe you are a victim of sexual assault you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673))