Arthur Allen Jr. leader of the group known as the “House of Prayer” began serving a jail term this Sunday morning, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. And he will be missing Sunday worship at his church for some time.

Allen was convicted of child cruelty and sentenced to three months in jail for the brutal beatings of children within his church. He also pulled ten years of probation, which will follow his sentence.

During his trial the proud pastor insisted upon representing himself. However, now it seems he will be relying upon more than his own resources and the “Lord.” Allen has hired a lawyer to appeal the verdict.

But regardless of whatever legal strategy Allen may employ, he is presently just another inmate at the Atlanta jail.

Some of his devoted followers also convicted for child cruelty were likewise locked up this morning.

Perhaps the “House of Prayer” leader and his brethren should convene a “Jailhouse of Prayer”? There will be no children for them to brutalize this time and they certainly are in need of prayer. Amen

Arthur Allen Jr. leader of the “cult” group “House of Prayer” came out swinging in a dramatic belt-wielding performance before his devoted followers on Sunday.

The pastor convicted for child cruelty is headed for jail and sentenced to ten years probation, but he told his flock, “I can’t go against God. I can’t bow to the will of man.” He also claimed that “evil forces” brought him down, reports the Atlanta Journal.

But it was Allen’s own arrogance that really brought him down, though obviously he can’t accept this.

Cult leaders are often defined by their megalomania. In this sense Allen parallels David Koresh, who likewise thought any opposition to his teachings was somehow “against God.”

However, most Christians would instead call opposition to child abuse “Godly.”

Allen, an apostle of abuse, essentially told his followers to disregard the court and to keep beating their children. However, submission to civil authority is mandated within the New Testament. But such biblical exegesis would probably not persuade Mr. Allen. Like Koresh who also abused children, he seems to have his own idiosyncratic interpretation of scripture.

Allen appears ready to go to prison and take as many of his flock with him as possible. He asked them on Sunday, “You mean you’d go to prison?” And one devotee responded, “We thank the Lord for the way you’re leading us.”

Allen seems to leading his followers to prison. But perhaps the pastor believes that prison is the “Promised Land.” That is certainly what the judge promised Allen when he was sentenced. Amen?

Arthur Allen and four of his followers who are members in what they call the “House of Prayer,” were convicted for cruelty to children Thursday, reported NBC News 11 in Atlanta.

Allen describes his group as an “independent church,” but others have referred to it as a “cult.”

The leader and his followers were sentenced to short terms in jail and fines. But Allen also pulled ten years probation.

The current charges began after two children ages 7 and 10 were brutally whipped with sticks and belts. The group has a troubled history of child battery.

Allen attempted to use religion as a defense and claimed he was a victim of “persecution.” But the jury didn’t buy it. He acted as his own lawyer and as the old adage says, he apparently had a “fool for a client.”

Ten years probation will hopefully reign in the authoritarian leader of the Atlanta group, who seems to have turned a “house of prayer” into a hell house for children.

Increasingly in the United States and Canada the severe corporal punishment of children, which is routinely meted out within some religious groups, is being legally restricted.

It appears that religious rights don’t include cruelty to children and such behavior cannot be exonerated by invoking the “name of God.”

Perhaps while Arthur Allen serves time in jail he will read the bible more carefully. Wasn’t it was Jesus who said, “Suffer not the little children…”?