Titus Battle

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Titus Battle (born Tyrone Lucas, March 21, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York) is a former U.S. Army communications specialist, the founder of The Promise to Children, and a candidate for Birmingham City Council District 7 in the 2017 Birmingham municipal election.

Lucas grew up in New York. He was adopted at age 12 into what he has described as an abusive home. He graduated from High School Redirection, an alternative program, in 1979. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to Fort Gordon, Georgia as a communications specialist. He left the service in 1982 and was convicted of stealing a car. While serving his sentence at Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore he met Episcopal Diocese of Alabama Bishop Furman Stough through the Kairos Prison Ministry program.

After his release in February 1984, Stough helped Lucas by providing him with lodging at Camp McDowell and later arranging a scholarship to UAB where he studies philosophy, along with an apartment and a job at Carpenter House.

He has claimed that after Stough left in 1989 a financial officer for the diocese began requiring him to undress and participate in unwelcome sexual activities in order to receive his pay checks. He submitted to the arrangement for a time, but when he refused advances from another church official he lost his job. He has since worked as a janitor, including at St Thomas Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills. Over the years he cycled through struggles with personal problems and occasionally approached church officials to ask for money to keep quiet about the sexual misconduct. A group from St Thomas eventually grew convinced that there should be an independent investigation, and in 2016 the Diocese engaged attorney Augusta Dowd to lead it.

Meanwhile, Lucas changed his name to "Titus Battle" and enrolled at Miles College, where, despite often having to sleep on the streets, he completed a Bachelor of Science in Child Development Education in 2016 and began efforts to launch "The Promise to Children" as a tutoring center in West End. He is currently pursuing a master's in psychology through Walden University's distance-learning program. Battle has served as a mentor and tutor

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