ATLANTA – The minister husband of popular evangelist Juanita Bynum is charged with attacking her and is forbidden from contacting her, but he said in a statement Friday he still holds out hope they can be reconciled.
"If that is not possible, he is committed to working things out amicably and will only litigate as a very last resort," Thomas W. Weeks III said in the statement released by his attorney.
Weeks, known to his followers as Bishop Weeks, is accused of beating, stomping, choking and threatening to kill Bynum during an Aug. 21 argument outside a hotel. He has been indicted on felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from the alleged attack that could send him to prison for up to 27 years.
Bynum told WAGA-TV this week that she has given her attorney the go-ahead for divorce proceedings, though she still loves Weeks. "It's so much until I think I can marry him twice, but this one is over," she said.
As of Friday, Bynum had not filed court documents in Gwinnett County, where the couple lived, or in Ware County, where she has a home.
Divorce attorney Louis Tesser said it is Weeks' "strong preference to remain married." Tesser and divorce attorney Randall Kessler said they have not been contacted by a divorce attorney on Bynum's behalf.
"If she has hired an attorney for a potential divorce, we invite her and her attorney to meet with us privately whenever they like," Weeks' statement ends.
Weeks is charged with aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. As a condition of his bond, he is not allowed to have contact with Bynum.
Bynum is a former hairdresser and flight attendant who became a Pentecostal evangelist, author and gospel singer. Her ministry blossomed after she preached at a singles event about breaking free of sexual promiscuity. Among her books are "No More Sheets: The Truth About Sex" and "Matters of the Heart."
She has recorded top-selling gospel albums and also preaches through televised sermons.
Bynum said earlier this week that she wanted to go from being a victim of domestic violence to an advocate for victims.
"I believe domestic violence will be my new mantle," Bynum said during a news conference.
Weeks, 40 — the pastor and co-founder of Global Destiny Ministries — has cautioned against rushing to judgment in the case and said he would give his side of what happened at the appropriate time.
The couple married in 2002. Together, they wrote "Teach Me How to Love You: The Beginnings."