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63-Year-Old Bishop Defends Marrying 19-Year-Old Congregation Member

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Couple, holding hands and jewellery for wedding, commitment or marriage union or ceremony with closeup outdoor. People, man and woman getting married for love, celebration and support with ring bond

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The recent marriage of 63-year-old Bishop Dwight Reed to 19-year-old Jordan Goodlett has ignited a fiery debate about age gaps in relationships, power dynamics, and the appropriateness of such unions. Reed’s third marriage, announced in 2022, has resurfaced in the public eye due to a video recording from that time, where Reed defended his marriage passionately from the pulpit of Christ Apostolic Temple.

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In the video, Reed addressed criticisms about the age difference between him and Goodlett, asserting, “That’s my wife. And she grown. She don’t need nobody to sign no paperwork for her. If this was out in the streets, y’all would be saying she made a come up. But you’re a hypocrite. Don’t you forget the Bible says marriage is honorable.”

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Social media users quickly picked up on the controversy, with opinions sharply divided. Some defended the couple’s right to marry regardless of age, arguing that age should not be a barrier to love. Others raised concerns about the power dynamics at play, especially given Reed’s position as a bishop and spiritual leader.

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Former church members also contributed to the conversation, sharing their experiences and observations regarding Reed and Goodlett’s relationship. One former member, Jazmn Napier, accused Reed of grooming Goodlett for marriage, alleging that he used his position and influence to exert control over her.

The controversy took a legal turn when Demetrius Sinegal of Texas’ Kingdom Church called Reed a “child predator” and “groomer,” demanding a criminal investigation into the marriage. Reed responded by filing a libel suit in 2023 against Sinegal and his church, claiming defamation and damage to his reputation.

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The legal battle has brought attention to the broader issue of age disparities in relationships, particularly when one partner is significantly older and holds a position of authority or influence. While the legal age of consent in Iowa allows for such marriages, questions about ethical conduct, power dynamics, and informed consent continue to fuel the debate surrounding Reed and Goodlett’s union.

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