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The Rev. Henry Lyons


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Lyons' secretary testifies


©St. Petersburg Times, published December 19, 1997

TAMPA -- A National Baptist Convention USA secretary spent an hour Thursday morning testifying before a federal grand jury that has subpoenaed "carloads" of the group's documents.

NBC presidential secretary Deborah Blake declined afterward to discuss her grand jury appearance.

Blake did say that the Rev. Henry J. Lyons, the National Baptist Convention USA president she works for, "is a man of integrity" and added that "there is nothing to hide."

Blake said she has assisted Lyons with convention matters since October 1996.

Blake's appearance before the federal grand jury Thursday was mandated by a subpoena. She also was questioned in August by state prosecutors who are looking into Lyons' financial dealings.

Last week, Bruce Howie, an NBC attorney, said the federal grand jury had subpoenaed "carloads" of church records.

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