House of Judah: Prophet's son denies father led a cult or enslaved children

Michigan Live/June 28, 2013

Allegan County, Michagan - Thirty years ago, self-proclaimed prophet William A. Lewis said that the beating death of a 12-year-old boy in his House of Judah camp was the will of God.

"We haven't done any wrong because God tells you to put the rod on the child's back, and that's what we were doing," he told the Associated Press after John Yarbough died on July 4, 1983.

"I believe what we're doing is exactly what God said."

Lewis led a group of "Black Israelites" in southwest Allegan County where the boy was fatally beaten as punishment for not doing his chores.

Lewis, who died 2004 in at 84, was cleared of state charges in the child's death, but he was later convicted in federal court of slavery.

He believed in a strict reading of the Old Testament, and convinced his roughly 100 followers they were the "real Jews," the "chosen ones" based on bloodlines and his biblical interpretations.

In a 1974 paper, he wrote: "The true God of our Father Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have made it very clear who the real Jews are. It is the so-called Negroes, and there are 12 tribes of us. The Black Israelite Kingdom was divided. This chapter gives us some of the best reasons why God destroyed us. After Black Solomon married all of these strange women, many of which were so-called white, which God did not want the so-called Negroes to do. God divided our kingdom and we became 2 kingdoms, one was Judah and the other kingdom was Israel. The kingdom of Israel consists of 10 tribes, and God scattered them into Assyria unto this day."

One of his sons, William L. Lewis, who also was convicted of enslaving children at the camp, said both he and his father were innocent men.

"I wasn't guilty. I don't care what nobody says. Was the Lord guilty?" asked the younger Lewis, 68, now of Montgomery, Alabama He served two years in prison on that charge.

He believed his father to be a true prophet. But many did not want to listen. The younger Lewis blamed troublemakers for bringing down the House of Judah in Allegan County.

"The problems with the House of Judah started within. They had a conspiracy going," he said recently in a phone interview. "The big problem is, they did anything they can do to destroy something. That's what it's all about. There were already told by the prophet. They came in, but they weren't interested in learning.

"They say, ‘Amen,' and ‘I'll help the prophet,' but they were men and women fighting against God. Prophet was a very good man. He was a real father, a very good man. The problem with the House of Judah was right within. They tear down. They weren't with God."

He said he and his father traveled the world, sharing his father's message. Once, they waited three days outside the White House before President Lyndon Johnson accepted his father's materials.

William L. Lewis said the federal government is "spiritually dead."

"They didn't take heed. The prophet went to them, and warned about what they were doing. ... That blood is on them."

The younger Lewis believes God spoke through his father, and said that "we were God's chosen ones. Now, they're too late. It's all in the Old Testament. The truth hurts."

Lewis said he was "well taught and learned" by his father. He said he and others were arrested only because they were House of Judah leaders.

"I had nothing to do with it. All the leaders got blamed."

He said the House of Judah was not a cult.

"The cult is religion – not the House of Judah. The cult is religion. That's your cult."

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.