KKK, House of Prayer Hold Rally

Demonstrators Want Controversial Pastor Released

WSB-TV Atlanta/November 3, 2003

Atlanta -- Members of a KKK splinter group joined Monday with worshipers of a predominantly black Atlanta church to rally for the release of the church's controversial minister, the second time the unlikely alliance has joined together for a protest.

The rally and march for the release of the Rev. Arthur Allen, who is minister of the House of Prayer, occurred in the streets of downtown Atlanta.

Allen, 71, was jailed in August in connection with charges that he violated the terms of his probation. In October 2002, a Fulton County jury convicted Allen, David and Sharon Duncan of cruelty to children after two boys who attended the church went to school with bruises. The church members argued at the time that it was their God given right to punish youngsters.

Allen was ordered to serve 90 days in prison and 10 years on probation while the Duncans were also ordered to serve 40 days in prison and eight years on probation and 20 days in prison and five years on probation, respectively.

An arrest warrant was issued for Allen in March after court officials said he missed a parole hearing to determine whether his probation should be rescinded. He was arrested five months later at a Cobb County park by a park ranger who noticed him sitting in a car.

At the rally, his wife said he is surviving despite his incarceration.

"He's blessed and doing very well," his wife said at the rally. "He's still holding up the name of the Lord even in jail."

Although Allen is serving time in jail, his church is continuing with its activist ways.

In September, the church members joined with the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan for a rally in Bartow County to protest the effort to remove a Ten Commandments display hanging in a county building.

Joseph J. Harper of Cordele, the self-described imperial wizard of the group, participated in the rally Monday for Allen.

"Rev. Allen is a true Christian as far as I can tell," Harper said. "He stands up for Jesus Christ just like I do and I'm here to support him."

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