Angela Driver's Case Against Pastor Mark E. Fogarty





Note: Despite the imaginations of a poster on Apostolic Friends Forum, (AFF) an Apostolic discussion board, Angela Driver did not contact me to write an article on this case. I saw the online news report and have been looking into the matter myself, with no contact from Ms. Driver that started my actions. Her attorney was contacted, so she would be aware of this page. It would be good for some to not jump to conclusions regarding this case before having more knowledge. If this public bulletin board discussion, with all the accusations and insinuations made there against Ms. Driver, yet accusing her of being unfaithful in her marriage and more, is indicative at all of what happened with talk among members of Fogarty's church (& other churches) after the announcement was made by Pastor Fogarty, it shows the public the gossip and harm that can- and DOES- happen when such announcements are made over the pulpit. And this continued through page after page of discussion, despite the fact that it is quite evident Fogarty had no proof of physical fornication as such evidence would have been presented by his attorney in court as a means of his defense. Some on this discussion group should be ashamed of themselves. Your accusations get picked up by internet search engines, being displayed less than 24 hours after they were made, and Ms. Driver's reputation becomes further damaged. How insensitive, uncaring and so non-indicative of Christ-like behavior that some there would not even read the legal documents available before insinuating very nasty things and then think doing so is a laughable matter. Some fail to remember that the jury heard all the evidence that was presented and found that the pastor acted with specific intent. And to those who don't trust the spiritualabuse.org site, it is all a matter of public knowledge, so go see for yourself.


Background Information

As you read about this legal case against a United Pentecostal minister and pastor, please keep in mind the following dates that are found in the legal documents linked to near the bottom of this page:

  1. In April 2006, Angela C. and James E. Driver's divorce was finalized after having been married for nine years. According to Ms. Driver's attorney, James Driver filed for the divorce due to "irreconcilable differences." James Driver left on Mother's Day in 2005, when his now eight year old daughter was only three. At the writing of this article, Angela is 30 and James is 35. She married when she was 17. According to Angela Driver, she never committed adultery at any time during the marriage. This subject was never mentioned in the divorce proceedings. Angela has not remarried.
  2. Angela Driver had stopped attending the church pastored by Mark Fogarty before his statement and was not present at that service. This was in about March of 2005, according to her attorney. Within six weeks she was attending another United Pentecostal Church in Macon, The World of Faith, pastored by William E. Davis, Jr., where she is/was a member. The pastor and assistant pastor of the Macon church were called as defense witnesses during the trial. Trey Davis (William E. Davis III) testified that when he called Pastor Mark Fogarty to let him know Angela Driver had found a new church, her old pastor slandered her then, stating she was a "compulsive liar" with a "spirit of a Jezebel." This would have been at least a year before Fogarty's 22 minutes of comments in July 2006. How many times has something similar occurred, either regarding Ms. Driver or others?
  3. Pastor Mark Forgarty made his statement concerning Angela Driver during a regular church service on July 25, 2006. Right afterward, he announced the romantic involvement of his daughter, Karie Fogarty (spelled Carrie in the legal documentation, but Karie on the church website and this is the correct spelling), to James Driver, ex-husband of plaintiff Angela Driver. This was three months after the divorce of James Driver was finalized.
  4. James Driver and Karie Fogarty were married in November 2006. This was four months after their romantic involvement was announced in the church service and seven months after his divorce.

On a Tuesday evening church service, Mark Fogarty took 22 minutes to make some comments after his sermon to those in attendance at the First United Pentecostal Church of Warner Robins, Georgia. He said James Driver was a good person who had been good to the church but added, "Angela has not been a good person" or a good wife. He said, "So fornication covers such things as homosexuality, lesbianism, lust, exhibitionism, pornography, child abuse, harlotry, bestiality, prostitution, solicitation of sex and so forth; it covers all these things. ...I have personal knowledge, that I will not go into at this time; but I have personal knowledge that Angela has committed one of these acts (that constitutes fornication)." It is reported that he said not to make him tell which of these acts she had committed, but to trust him that she was a fornicator. In the lawsuit filed against Fogarty, it was stated that he made additional false, malicious and defamatory remarks during this service.

Pastor Fogarty told the church that since Angela Driver was a fornicator, he was allowing her ex-husband to date and also remarry. Pastor Fogarty then announced the "romantic involvement" of his daughter, Karie Fogarty, with James Driver and gave him permission to date his daughter. Karie is the oldest of his three children and is several years younger than James. He also urged the congregation to support the relationship. A question to ask in all of this is the timing and why the pastor would have waited to proclaim this months after the divorce was finalized and more than a year after Ms. Driver had stopped attending that church?

Since Angela Driver was not in attendance and had stopped going to the church, she later heard about the statements. Members of the congregation confirmed what the pastor said and during discovery, Angela and her attorney obtained an audio copy of the service. (Services were regularly recorded.) It appears she may not have discovered what was said until November 2006, though I am not yet certain. People who were in attendance told her of the remarks. I might add that since the services were regularly recorded and most likely have been made available to people, that would mean that those not present at this particular church service would also have been able to hear the accusations made and possibly even pass the recording along to others. During trial, the remarks were played for the jury and they were given a transcript of this part of the service.

According to legal documents, because of what was stated by Mark Fogarty, Angela Driver's "good name, reputation and credit have been significantly injured, and she has been exposed to public contempt and ridicule." By the time of the lawsuit, she had incurred medical expenses for counseling and prescription medication as a result of what happened. The defense called as an expert witness, Ann P. Hazzard, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at Emory University School of Medicine. She was asked to analyze what happened and explain to the jury the effect this had on the plaintiff. Ms. Hazzard diagnosed her with depression and adjustment disorder, but did not treat her. John Kennedy, the plaintiff's attorney, presented evidence in court that showed how devastated Angela was after the remarks and her subsequent treatment for depression.

It should be noted that in the lawsuit, the plaintiff did not seek any particular amount of money. This was left in the hands of the jury.



The World of Faith Church

I applaud the leadership of The World of Faith Church, where Angela is/was a member, for standing with her during this most difficult time. William E. Davis, Jr. is the founder and senior pastor, having served as such for 35 years. He is an author and previously served as a District Presbyter in Georgia for 22 years. He was not a member of the District Board when these events occurred, as the last year he held the office was 2003. The church website states in part that they are "striving to become the kind of church you read about in the Bible - ....[having] compassion for others in need." Pastor Davis has proven it to be true in this situation.

In my eyes, this UPC ordained minister took a stand when there was the possibility that doing so could have difficult consequences for himself and the church in Macon. He doesn't hold the high positions in the organization as Pastor Fogarty, locally or nationally. He welcomed Ms. Driver into the church when she needed a change. He stood by her later when she was falsely accused and testified on her behalf in civil court. I am happy for Angela, that she has what appears to be a loving church environment. Surely she needs such with what has transpired. Indeed, Pastor Davis has shown by his actions, as the church website states, that "there are no "big" or "little" people in the kingdom of God." Thank you for being there for Angela and for not fearing to tell the truth and for having the integrity to take a stand for what is right.

Basic Information on Mark Fogarty

Mark Fogarty

Mark E. Fogarty, born in 1960 and a former Trinitarian minister, is an ordained minister in the United Pentecostal Church International. He holds the highest level of licensing available that this organization issues. In 2010 he served as:

**Pastor at the First United Pentecostal Church of Warner Robins, Georgia, where he has pastored since 1998

**The United Pentecostal Church District Secretary of Georgia

**An Executive Board member of the United Pentecostal Church, of which there are 15 members

**The Southeast General Executive Presbyter for the United Pentecostal Church, of which there are nine members

NOTE: As of at least 2012, Mark Fogarty no longer serves on the Executive Board or as the Southeast General Executive Presbyter. He remains the District Secretary for Georgia and the pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church of Warner Robins. H.E. Wheatly is still the District Superintendent.

NOTE: Sometime during July 15, 2010, two links stopped working: the one to Pastor Fogarty's church and the one for the Georgia District Board. They are being left on this page in case they are later functioning. It appears both are hosted on the same servers operated by someone in the UPC, with their headquarters address being given as the administration contact. They are back up as of July 16.

The United Pentecostal Church sells books and CDs from this minister. They are also offered for sale on the church website. The church site states that one of the books authored by Fogarty, "The One True God," is used as a text book in some Bible colleges (these would only be UPC or possibly other Apostolic Bible colleges).

According to the church website, Mark Fogarty was involved in full-time ministry in 1980 and founded Lighthouse Apostolic Church in Dublin, Georgia in 1983. It is currently pastored by Curtis A. Vincent. He later became pastor of Calvary Tabernacle UPC in Quincy, Illinois in 1987 and served as such until 1998. Calvary Tabernacle was founded in April 1959 by Charles Mitchell and is now pastored by K. Randall Pate. While in Illinois, he served on the District Board for eight years. In 1998, he accepted pastorate at First United Pentecostal Church, 603 Wellborn Road, in Warner Robins, Georgia, in Houston County. Pastor Fogarty lives in Jeffersonville in Twigg's County. He is touted on the church website as an "accomplished writer" with more than twenty published products and also claims that the church has grown "at a very rapid rate in the past few years." This is a very conservative church that upholds UPC outward standards and where adultery/fornication has been taught as the only grounds for divorce and remarriage.

Quotes found on the church website to consider while thinking about this incident:

"Our motto is "Where Needs Are Met" and this is the code that we operate by with each service being designed to follow this principle of meeting needs." This motto is also seen on the sign in front of the church.

"Our entire goal and reason for existing as a church is to get people saved and to keep people saved. Every ministry of the First United Pentecostal Church must meet this criteria in order to exist."



First United Pentecostal Church of Warner Robins, Georgia

Gary Wayne Hosch was the founder and long-time pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church of Warner Robins at its present location. I believe he pastored for 19 years until the winter of 1997. According to the website of the church, Mark Fogarty, the current pastor, accepted the pastorate on February 21, 1998 and moved his family to Georgia from Illinois. Gary Hosch remains listed in the UPC church directories through the 2008 issue. Since this is compiled near the end of the previous year, it would appear that Hosch left the organization in 2007 or no later than 2008.

In the beginning, this church was not affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church but later was. It appears this happened sometime between 1988 and 1990. When Pastor Fogarty took over, it was still affiliated. Starting in 2007, the UPC church directory has it listed as an unaffiliated church, so during his pastorate there, it appears Fogarty disaffiliated the church. I do not know the reason. For those unaware, the lack of affiliated status doesn't make a church not a UPC church. They have affiliated and non-affiliated churches. My understanding is that any UPC licensed minister, if they pastor a church, that church is considered a UPC church. They are supposed to mention this on their sign. However, this does not make them an affiliated church. If a church is affiliated, it's a legal thing, and the organization has some rights. An affiliated church must be pastored by a UPC licensed minister. In order to disaffiliate, they must arrange for a properly called business meeting and someone from the District Board must be in attendance to be able to speak. Then the church members vote whether to remain affiliated or not. Thus, an affiliated church can't just up and leave the organization without going through these steps while a non-affiliated one can. If anyone has a UPC church directory, these churches are noted with an asterisk.

One fact regarding this case that makes what happened even more hurtful is that Angela was very well known by the church members. Sometime after Gary Hosch was pastoring this church, he adopted Angela and raised her there under her his pastorate.

Angela's Attempt To Have Fogarty Retract His Statement & Apologize

Before filing suit, Angela Driver attempted to personally contact Pastor Mark Fogarty to have him retract his statement and apologize. According to legal documents, she sent him a certified letter on November 15, 2006. Fogarty failed to respond.

Mark Fogarty has still not retracted his statement, nor made an apology, and testified in court that he was not sorry he called Angela a fornicator. This site invites him to do so here for all to see and I will gladly publish it. I believe it would go a long way in helping to heal the hurt and damage. I also welcome similar from H.E. Wheatly and the Georgia District Board for not intervening when they were twice contacted by Ms. Driver and had been appraised of the situation. This has been an ongoing problem in the United Pentecostal Church when the actions of ministers have been in question and little or no action is taken by those higher in the organization. It is my understanding that as of May 2012, Mark Fogarty has not apologized and it appears the organization took no action against him.


Angela Contacts H.E. Wheatly, Georgia District Superintendent, & The Georgia District Board

H.E. Wheatly

Having received no response from Mark Fogarty after her certified letter, Angela Driver met with H.E. Wheatly, the District Superintendent, on November 20, 2006. H.E. Wheatly became the District Superintendent in 2005 and is still serving in this position as of the writing of this article in 2010. Wheatly also pastors the United Pentecostal Church, 5608 New Jesup Highway in Brunswick, Georgia as well as a Spanish daughter work.

According to another website, he was called upon to testify in another UPC related lawsuit in the 1990s involving Rhonda Morrison. A letter he wrote regarding the division in the UPC over the affirmation statement ministers must now sign is mentioned in "Christianity Without The Cross," a book that deals with the history of the United Pentecostal Church. (Click here to read an article written by Thomas Fudge concerning why he wrote this book. This page contains links to reviews and an interview.) Both Wheatly and Fogarty serve on the Board of Directors of the Tupelo Children's Mansion of the UPC.

Mark Fogarty was, at the time of Wheatly's meeting with Ms. Driver, the Georgia District Secretary. He has continually served in this position since 2004 or 2005. Prior to this he was a District Presbyter for one year.

After waiting ample time for District Superintendent Wheatly and the Georgia District Board of the United Pentecostal Church to take action and receiving none, Ms. Driver's attorney, John Flanders Kennedy, sent a certified letter to Wheatly and the Board on March 27, 2007, again seeking an apology and retraction from Fogarty. It was then that a response was sent from Pastor Fogarty's attorney, Pamela Greenway, (now deceased), on March 28, 2007. The defamatory remarks were denied and no retraction or apology was made. When this failed to produce results, Ms. Driver's attorney filed suit. It was testified to in court that Angela proceeded with this suit to clear her name for the sake of her daughter. (It is my understanding that in Georgia, there is a one year statute of limitations for slander.)


United Pentecostal Church Judicial Procedure

The United Pentecostal Church has some policies in regard to complaints and grievances against a member of the ministry. The Georgia District Board should have followed these judicial procedures. Ms. Driver did things properly by first contacting Pastor Fogarty privately. When that was to no avail, she soon met with H.E. Wheatly, the District Superintendent, who had the authority to take action. When that also was to no avail, she later contacted the District Board through her attorney. If the District Superintendent felt her claims were baseless or frivolous, or if because of Fogarty being a member of the Board they may have been set it aside, they should have realized when contacted by an attorney that she felt it was a serious matter.

According to the Ministerial Manual, the UPC "does not approve of any minister in this organization resorting to the civil courts to seek resolutions of conflicts that arise within the structure of the organization" because "the Bible instructs us to resolve ministerial and church problems within the church." It furthermore states, "This judicial procedure is designed to be the instrument by which the organization resolves grievances between ministers and complaints about the conduct of ministers."

These questions then remain: Did the Georgia District Board follow any of the guidelines of the judicial procedure? Did they even at least obtain the audio copy of the service and listen to Pastor Fogarty's statements regarding Angela Driver? If not, why not? When they knew it had turned into a legal matter, and since they are supposed to not approve of these matters going to civil court, why were steps not taken which would have avoided court action? All Angela Driver wanted was a public retraction and apology so that her name would be cleared. Had this been given, that would have ended the matter. Instead, an organization said to disapprove of civil litigation allowed this matter to proceed to the point it did and now instead of it being confined to a smaller group of people, anyone in the world can now hear what happened. Furthermore, it was reported that the defense made a settlement offer at some point in the proceedings that was less than the verdict. In my eyes, that is an admission of guilt. Oh, how this all could have been avoided. It is a very sad thing for everyone concerned.

If H.E. Wheatly was involved in the Morrison case as a witness, as mentioned above, he should have been well aware of what constitutes slander and defamation of character in a court of law. The UPC minister involved in that case lost the suit brought against him and the plaintiffs were awarded $340,000.

Ministerial Confidentiality

Just as it is expected of the medical profession and others, it is supposed to be understood that when a person confides with a minister, that the information shared is to remain confidential. The United Pentecostal Church is in agreement with this. In the Manual regarding the ministry, in Article VII, section 7 and #35, it states: "When a minister receives information that is a privileged communication, the minister shall not divulge or repeat any part of such communication to any other person unless compelled to do so by law or if the communicant waives the privilege. Privileged communication shall be defined as any confession or communication made to a minister in confidence by a person seeking spiritual advice or consolation and who expects that such information will not be divulged by the minister to another person." In addition, the organization also has a position paper on ministerial ethics.

This brings us to some questions. At this time, I do not know who informed Pastor Fogarty about the pool. If it was anyone other than Mr. Driver, why would they feel the need to share this information with the pastor? It would be none of his business. If James Driver went to Pastor Fogarty to confide in him about his wife, then that was not to be shared with anyone else. If he did, then did James Driver give permission to share what he confided to the pastor regarding his wife at a swimming pool, dressed in a bathing suit, while with the husband of a mutual friend? If not, the pastor would be guilty of breaking ministerial confidence. And if so, wouldn't the nature of such an accusation, since it was seen as fornication by the pastor, cause him to privately confront the wife? Did this happen? Did Pastor Fogarty ever privately go to Angela Driver and speak to her about any alleged fornication, either prior to or after the divorce? Did he ever privately say to her that he believed she had committed fornication and that this could be grounds for a divorce? Or did Angela Driver listen to the audio recording of the service and for the first time hear he believed she had committed fornication? It appears the latter is the case and it has been shared by her attorney that Pastor Fogarty never spoke to her about fornication.

Marriage, Divorce and The Ministry: Fornication

The church website states in regard to Pastor Fogarty's family that, "Each of their children are married and their spouses are actively involved in a ministry within the Apostolic Church." If James Driver or Karie Driver have aspirations to be licensed as a minister in the UPC, and since he has been divorced, he would have to be the innocent party in the divorce and it would need to be on the grounds of adultery. His testimony alone would be insufficient for the District Board to consider. I believe that James did have aspirations for the ministry.

In the Ministerial Manual in the section regarding the ministry, section 8 speaks of marriage and divorce for the innocent party. It plainly states that "no person shall be eligible as a minister if after having been filled with the Holy Ghost said person has been divorced for any cause save fornication or adultery on the part of the one from whom he or she has been divorced, and has remarried, or if after having been filled with the Holy Ghost said person has married a person who has been divorced for any cause save fornication or adultery on the part of the one from whom he or she has been divorced." In other words, if Angela and James Driver divorced for any cause other than fornication or adultery, James Driver and Karie Fogarty would be forever ineligible to obtain ministerial license with the United Pentecostal Church.

Two other things to note from this section of the Manual are that if the innocent party wishes to remarry, "he or she should wait at least one (1) year." Immoral conduct is defined as "adultery, fornication, homosexuality, incest, and/or any other sexual acts determined by the District Board to be perverted or immoral." Keeping this in mind, I personally know of no minister who would define fornication as appearing in the presence of the opposite sex at a swimming pool while wearing a bikini. (Ms. Driver's attorney states it was not a bikini, but rather a ladies swimsuit.) I know many that would believe this to be inappropriate and wrong to do, but never have the thought that it was fornication. This was part of Pastor Fogarty's defense for his statements. If the Georgia District Board considers this fornication, then it is something they should make very clear and known to all members of United Pentecostal churches in that district. However, I know of no definition of fornication that would include this.

Mixed bathing is spoken against in the Articles of Faith of the UPC. They do not consider it conducive to "good Christianity and godly living." Furthermore, as pertaining to ministers, they require "all of its members to avoid mixed bathing or swimming in public places or other times when there are those of the opposite sex present outside of immediate family."

Mark Fogarty's Defense

Pastor Fogarty's attorney hasn't responded to my inquiry and offer to share evidence, so at present we are limited to news reports as to his defense. If the reports are true, then the following was presented while he was defending his statements of July 25, 2006, which were not denied in court:

  1. He testified that Angela Driver wore dresses that were a little short, blouses that were tight and sleeves that were above the elbow. He also shared that she was not properly submissive.
  2. He testified that one of the reasons he gave James Driver permission to remarry was that Angela was wearing a bikini at a swimming pool while with the husband of a friend. He viewed this to be exhibitionism, which he believed was a biblical definition of fornication. (When one hears what actually happened, as explained below, it casts a much different light on the matter.)

The news reports tell that part of the defense motion claimed that Pastor Fogarty was attempting to explain to the congregation why he was giving James Driver the biblical permission to remarry. Pastor Fogarty believes that the Bible teaches that divorce and remarriage are only possible in the case of adultery or fornication. He was allegedly sharing with the congregation that the definition of fornication includes more than sexual immorality when he listed what he believes to constitute such. He accused Angela of one of the acts mentioned on the list, without stating which, in effect causing people's imaginations to run wild. If it were a simple matter of wearing a bathing suit and being seen by a man other than her husband, then he should have plainly said that.

Quotes from Pastor Fogarty's testimony:

  • “The Biblical definition of fornication is not what our modern day dictionary says. Adultery is fornication, but not all fornication is adultery… Actually any sexual misconduct or behavior, married or unmarried. That is fornication.”
  • “Her clothes got tighter. Her hemlines got shorter …she wore improper underclothes,” and Fogarty added that he had his wife, Karen Fogarty, accompany Angela to shop for clothing.
  • “I am sorry Angela was hurt. But if you’re asking if I’m sorry I said she was a fornicator? No, I’m not. That is what I believe.”
  • “Maybe I shouldn’t have ever mentioned her name. I should have just said ‘James has the right to remarry' and left it at that.”
  • From the taped message of July 25, 2006: “If you believe the standard definition of fornication then you do not believe that that person is free to remarry. But if you believe the full definition, which covers things such as perverted sex acts or perverted sexual spirit, the scripture is very clear on this.” “And so fornication covers things such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, lust, exhibitionism, pornography, child abuse, harlotry, prostitution, solicitation of sex and so forth. It covers all these things. Now I have personal knowledge that I will not go into, that Angela has committed one of these acts…. I’m not going to give you any more information about it. I will tell you that there was some abuse in – in the marriage.”
  • Fogarty had no comment for the press after the trial. Barbara Marschalk, Fogarty's attorney, is stated to have issued a written response after the verdict, saying that she and her client were disappointed in the outcome and that they were reviewing possible appeal options. “We do not believe that the verdict is supported by the law or the facts, and in particular the law concerning the separation of church and state.” She felt further comment would be inappropriate. I received notification on August 13, 2010 that Fogarty had filed an appeal. As of April 2011 the case was finalized in a post settlement and this ended the legal battles.

    It would appear then, from those reports, that a main basis of defense was that Pastor Fogarty had a right to his interpretation of the Bible and that the courts should not become involved due to the separation of church and state. It was also felt that what happened did not fall into the definition of slander per se and it was questioned whether a claim for slander with no proof of special damages could be sustained. If any of this does not reflect what happened in his defense, I encourage Pastor Fogarty's attorney to contact me so that it may be readily corrected.

    Separation Of Church And State Defense

    Should the courts not become involved due to the separation of church and state when a minister speaks something negative and potentially harmful about an individual? Since the issue was brought up by Pastor Fogarty's defense attorney, we wish to look more closely at this subject and see whether or not it would pertain to this particular case. Since this is lengthy, a separate page has been added. I believe people who have been hurt in this manner will find it especially interesting. Ministers cannot always hide behind the banner of separation of church and state. To read the article, please click here.

    Note: It is important when leaving an unhealthy church to officially resign as a member. You are no longer subject to church discipline once you resign and should they attempt to spread lies about you that harm your reputation, legal action would be possible. (I am by no means advocating that everyone sue their former unhealthy churches.) To read a very pointed sample resignation letter on The Wartburg Watch, go here and scroll down to where it says 'resign.' (I don't believe that most people would need to be that pointed, however it would be a very effective letter.)

    The Driver Divorce & The Swimmming Pool Incident

    This is being added on July 16 due to the speculation, assumptions and insinuations against Ms. Driver that have been occurring on the Apostolic discussion board linked to at the beginning of this page. I contacted Mr. John Kennedy, Angela's attorney, to specifically verify some information regarding the issues being discussed. The discussions on AFF often focused on the news report that mentioned Pastor Fogarty saying, as part of his defense for stating she had committed fornication, that Ms. Driver was seen in a bikini while in the presence of another man. So in an effort to stop the mouths of some who assume and "know" way too much and without even trying in the least to obtain the facts of the case, I present the following information that was shared with me today by John Kennedy.

    1. James Driver was the party who filed for divorce and Angela did not want the divorce. He alleged "irreconcilable differences" and the legal grounds and did not in his divorce, nor at trial, allege any immoral sexual conduct by Angela. The swimming pool "incident" was not part of their divorce.
    2. The attorney believes that the incident at the pool happened years before the divorce. Angela was swimming in a public area pool with a female friend. When her friend's husband came to the pool, Angela left the pool. She was not wearing a bikini, but rather a ladies swimsuit. Fogarty did not even witness any of this and whatever information he got was hearsay, and was mostly incorrect. Angela's husband had no complaints about the incident and there was no "other man," or any man, involved with any of this.
    3. Pastor Fogarty never spoke with Angela in terms of fornication or even his definition of it. He had spoken with Angela before all this happened and told her he did not think she was submissive enough and directed her on the type of clothing to wear and not to wear, including his direction to not leave the house without wearing pantyhose.
    4. Angela stopped attending the First United Pentecostal Church in Warner Robins in about March of 2005 (principally due to concerns about the controlling nature of the pastor over her marriage, her husband and the rearing of their child) and within six weeks was attending another Pentecostal church in Macon.


    Biblical Definition of Fornication

    As pointed out earlier, the UPC ministerial Manual gives their official definition of immoral conduct to include "adultery, fornication, homosexuality, incest, and/or any other sexual acts determined by the District Board to be perverted or immoral." It would appear that the official stand of the organization is basically that immoral conduct is some form of sexual act. Let's review the acts listed by Pastor Fogarty, that in his eyes constitute biblical fornication:

    1. homosexuality
    2. lesbianism
    3. lust
    4. exhibitionism
    5. pornography
    6. child abuse
    7. harlotry
    8. bestiality
    9. prostitution
    10. solicitation of sex
    11. and so forth

    The question that needs to be answered is whether or not the United Pentecostal Church as an organization is in agreement. Besides the organization as a whole, would any UPC District Board across the country agree that the incident at the swimming pool was in fact exhibitionism and that this is an example of the biblical definition of fornication and thus grounds for divorce and remarriage? This case has great significance in the organization because if this definition stands, similar statements concerning other church members, or former members as is the case here, could be made by their licensed ministers in other churches and/or it used as a reason for additional divorce or remarriage. If it stands, will a licensed minister be able to divorce or remarry based on their spouse accidentally being seen in a bathing suit at a pool when another man suddenly arrives? This isn't just a local licensed minister giving this definition. It is someone who holds numerous offices within the UPC, including high level positions.

    It also needs to be mentioned again in this section that according to attorney John Kennedy, James Driver did not allege any immoral sexual conduct by Angela, neither in their divorce proceedings, nor in this trial. In fact, his testimony during the trial considerably helped the plaintiff. In court he stated he never accused Angela of sexual immorality and never thought she cheated on him. This literally begs the question of why Pastor Fogarty would feel the need to allege such by accusing her of one form of fornication? If Mr. Driver did not mention immoral sexual conduct in these legal cases where it would be quite important to do so, are we to believe he had complained of such to the pastor and remained silent in court? The legal documents of the court show this not to be true. So if James Driver never thought Angela cheated on him and never accused her of sexual immorality, what caused Pastor Mark E. Fogarty to say what he did?

    The Superior Court of Twigg's County Findings

    Note: I received notification on August 13, 2010 that Mark Fogarty had filed an appeal. The case concluded in a post settlement in April 2011, with Angela Driver still winning.

    After a week long trial in front of Dublin Circuit Superior Court Judge J. Stanley Smith Jr., the jury found no need to deliberate long, less than one hour, to reach its verdict on July 2, 2010. In phase one of the verdict, the jury found in favor of Angela Driver on the charges of slander and slander per se. They awarded her compensation in the amount of $245,000.00. On the claim for attorneys fees, they also found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded her $236,241.68. The jury also found in favor of the plaintiff for punitive damages, in addition to the compensation damages. In phase two of the verdict, they awarded her $45,000.00 in punitive damages as they found Mark Fogarty acted with specific intent.

    For those unaware, punitive damages is monetary compensation in addition to actual damages and thus non-compensatory in nature. It cannot be given unless the plaintiff is being awarded compensatory damages. The purpose of a punitive damage is to punish the defendant and to deter them, or anyone else who might act in like manner, from doing similar in the future. They are awarded only in the instance of what the court believes to be outrageous conduct on the part of the defendant, actions seen as willful, wanton or reckless and causing intentional offense. If a court believes that what is awarded by the jury is unwarranted by the facts presented in the case or that they are excessive, the award can be reduced or removed. As the judge did not do so, it can be safely assumed that he felt the award to be warranted by the facts. It appears to be that only a very small percentage of civil cases won include an award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are usually paid for by the defendant and not by any insurance company as intentional actions are not covered in policies.

    According to one of the newspaper reports, the United Pentecostal Church carries insurance on its pastors (or possibly just some of them) and it is provided through the Church Mutual Insurance Company. The organization provided Pastor Fogarty with a $1 million policy. An interesting article about protecting your ministry from a legal battle on church discipline can be found here in this file from Brotherhood Mutual (not associated with this case). This should be read by those who have been harmed by words spoken about them by a minister.


    The Attorneys Involved

    The attorneys representing Angela Driver were John Flanders Kennedy of James Bates, LLP in Macon, Georgia and Christina K. Brosche, I believe of Hall, Bloch, Garland & Meyer, LLP, also in Macon (unless this is outdated information).

    The attorneys representing Mark Fogarty were Pamela Greenway of Pamela Greenway, LLC in Warner Robbins, Georgia, who passed away on March 28, 2009, and Barbara Marschalk and W. Wray Eckl of Drew, Eckl & Farnham, LLP, in Atlanta.

    Before posting this page, I contacted Mark Fogarty's attorney, Barbara Marschalk, desiring to be able to present his side, but have not had any response. I contacted Angela Driver's attorney, John Kennedy, and he responded briefly.


    Court Documents

    Below are links to court documents from the case. We encourage our readers to view them in order to obtain more detailed information. The first two are links to PDF files located outside this website. We hope to be adding additional documents in the near future.

    Click here to read the ten page amendment to the amended & recast complaint for damages submitted by Angela Driver's lawyer on October 8 and recorded on October 9, 2008.

    Click here to read the three page verdict of July 2, 2010 from the Superior Court of Twigg's County in the State of Georgia. Civil Action File No: 2007-V-146-S.


    News Articles

    The links below will take you to various news articles and websites. All four reporters have been notified of this website article. The first two have a comment section and you are forewarned that some of the comments are not nice and some claim to know people involved. Whether they truly do or not, no one has a way of knowing who is posting and they should therefore be taken with a grain of salt.

    Houston Woman Wins Slander Suit Against Preacher- by Bernard O'Donnell from 13WMAZ

    $500K awarded in slander lawsuit- by Becky Purser from The Telegraph

    Slander costs Pentecostal church $526K- by Katheryn Hayes Tucker from The Daily Report (This is a Google cache, so it may not always be available.)

    Woman Awarded More Than 500K For Defamation: Twiggs Jury Takes Less Than An Hour To Decide Case Of Church Leader Making Insensitive Comments- by Terry Wolf from The Courier Herald You may purchase the PDF file of the July 7, 2010 edition of the newspaper for 99 cents.


    Responses To The Events

    The links below will take you to responses to the lawsuit.

    Click here to read an article by a former UPC member, sharing teachings they were exposed to about dating and divorce in the UPC that may help some to better understand this case. "It would appear by what I know of Pentecostal subculture, and by the facts as presented by the media and in court documents, that the announcement made on July 25, 2006 demonstrates that Pastor Mark Fogarty had some concern for the reaction of the members of his church to the announcement of his daughter's relationship with a divorcee. In order to make the divorce Biblically valid in the eyes of many Apostolic Pentecostals, he would have needed to prove that fornication had occurred (Mt 19:9), and that Mr. Driver was the "innocent party"-..."

    Does Mark Fogarty Make Bill Maher Look Like A Genius?- by Legal Pub blog This link takes you to an outside website.

    How I Can Relate To Angela Driver One former UPC member shares how Angela's experience reminds her of her own and how she has been publicly reprimanded in church services. "Seething anger, public humiliation, labeling and gossip have no place in the pulpit or the pew. I've witnessed several services where a pastor indicated that a teen or even preteen would probably be raped, or that a young man would probably end up in jail, that someone was either a homosexual or a pedophile, or that a visitor was labeled as hell bound for leaving after being rebuked for wearing a baseball cap, knee length shorts, or - for women - pants. Those types of statements, whether they are made in a pulpit or on a street corner, are wrong. It is sad that Ms. Driver or anyone else should deal with slander under the guise of religion."

    All quotes from the UPC ministerial Manual are from the 2009 edition.

    Copyright 2010-2012

    Posted July 10, 2010 - Last Updated August 9, 2102

    Psalms 107:28-30


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