One church, four convicted pedophiles

St James Holiness Church of God in Christ in Toledo may have a set a nauseating new low. The church has had four convicted pedophiles operating in ministry with the Pastor’s knowledge. But that’s only the beginning of this shocking story which truly symbolizes why drastic reform is needed in COGIC now.

The pastor of St James, William James, Jr. didn’t put the men out of the church, it took legal action against them to stop their predatory activities.

According to Maurice Morris, a former longtime member of the church, James kept two of the pedophiles in position and even sent letters supporting them when they were arrested.

Morris and his wife have been living through a nightmare since he confronted James about increased reports of sexual harassment of underage female members in the church.
Morris, a former police officer with the Lucas County Sheriff’s department worked on the security detail for COGIC’s national meetings under Elder Gerald Harris. Harris allegedly investigated the Sherman Allen case but closed it six months later claiming the plaintiff could not be located.

According to Morris, each of the men were on staff as musicians and one was a minister at St. James. Each committed their crimes as members of the church and subsequently were convicted. Two are currently employees of the same church Mt Pilgrim Baptist Church of Toledo.

The pedophiles who were on payroll at St James are:
James Jones organist
Arthur Bishop saxophonist
Bryan Watkins minister
Nathan Fullove organist

In early March, Morris sent certified letters to Bishop Blake and church legal counsel Enoch Perry explaining in great detail what transpired at the church and the circumstances of his arrest, conviction and imprisonment. He appealed to the Bishop to help him clear his name and financial assistance since he had lost his means of employment attempting to help protect the children of St. James from known predators.

On March 26, 2009 Morris said he received a phone call from Bishop Blake who assured him whatever the wrong the church had committed would be righted.  Blake instructed him to contact Ohio North jurisdictional Bishop Jordan. Perry also called but never returned followup calls from Morris.

Read Mr. Morris’s full testimony here.

One of the stand out preachers in COGIC that I am very encouraged by all the time. Pastor Patrick Wooden.
Preach Pastor!, cry aloud and spare not! This is a timely WORD in due season. If we preach this gospel with passion and without tricks and favoritism, God’s power would flow and kill the enemy’s plans.


57 thoughts on “One church, four convicted pedophiles

  1. This whole story is shameful. I can’t believe that the pastors and leadership basically did nothing to stop these individuals from preying on children. It seems as if leadership is only concerned about money. What a shame. I pray that Mr. Morris will be able to recover from this ordeal. Mr. Morris was only trying to stand up for what was right. We know that God has the last Word in all of this.

  2. Thank you for your kinds words of encouragement and I only hope that my story does some good for someone somewhere. However, there needs to be a loud out cry from the church community demanding justice for the victims and families who have had to endure the victimization of their love ones.

  3. I agree, this man was on his job professionally and spiritually. I pray the Lord give him double for his trouble.
    Unfortunately many of the young musicians I know/grew up with are either gay, or sexual predators/whoremongers. The ones that come in to play from other denoms want to disrespect leadership because they are use to seeing double minded preachers in action. When one comes with the Word, a lifestyle to back it up, not to mention questioning your dealings, ask if you’re saved, whose your pastor, where you come from, before they let you on instruments they pay for, they get back talk.

  4. Know this gcm community; I will not rest until my complete story is heard around the world. I will continue to out the devil with a campaign of truth and justice for all those who have suffered at the hands of wicked church leaders. Moreover, I will seek our justice in the matter of clearing my name of any criminal wrong doing, with or without the help of the COGIC church. The ultimate goal is to shed an enormous light on an ugly movement that hides in the dark of churches. Where at any given time it could raise its ugly head and violate the innocence of our young people. Therefore, I declare that as I move forward in vindication, that covers are pulled and exposure will reveal the unadulterated truth. And only then can healing be the main focal point on bringing back what is missing in most pulpits, which is accountability, transparency, and most all, integrity. It is the parishioners that should be the main objective of a pastor or leadership. Leading those who want to go to the cross of Calvary. With that in mind, my works are in honor of a relative that was taken away from my family because of what is hidden in most churches and that is the SPIRIT OF SEXUAL DEVIANCE.

  5. These church horror stories abound. What we see now is a perverted mockery of God’s true church. And he is not pleased with it or our passive, disconnected stance. We need brave, new Phineas to rise up and put the sword to this wicked spirit controlling the church. Its turning away the presence of God. When it it is dealt with righteously then a measure of peace, safety and prayer will return to the house of the Lord. Right now, we declare war on God’s enemies.

    May the Lord God give you strength Bro Morris.

  6. To the gcm author, I thank you for this opportunity to share with others my message. It is with your vision that others now have a venue to discuss and share there stories. Your statement of brave new Phineas is true and it will take such a people to defeat the advisory. May your strength be everlasting and your vision is seen through the world, as voice of hope to the voiceless and giving others a chance to be set free from bondage. I thank you.

  7. Brother Morris I thank God for giving you strength and courage to stand against the works of darkness. You are helping to save many children and God will honor your faith. I pray that everything that you have lost will be restored, double. I pray for the safety of you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers~

  8. At one point in my Christian walk, I used to think it would be an absolute outrage that this type of behavior would go on in “the church”! It wasn’t until I begin to examine what “the church” represents in today’s society, that I realized, this type of behavior from so-called ministry leaders, has been accepted b/c the supposed “Real Christians” are turning a blind eye b/c they have shifted their interest into “naming and claiming” or “walking in purpose”! What a JOKE! If you call yourself a Christian and you’re not walking in “God’s” Purpose, then I don’t care how much you name it or claim it, you will become the “blame” for “it”!

    What is “it”? “It” is when you and your sanctimonious self turn a deaf ear to a child who tells you an adult has made an advance on him/her, and you foolishly ignore it b/c “the man of god” knows what’s best, and “he” said all is well! Well of course he’s going to say “all is well” b/c he’s reaping (raping) the harvest from fruits (our children) that never had an opportunity to blossom. The fruits don’t blossom b/c the farmers (supposed Christians) don’t tend to the crops, and the rodents (every disgusting individual who has ever thought to put one of God’s children in harms way) get into the fields.

    Just like everything else in today’s society, the proverbial “farmer” wants to plant one type of seed, but expect some other type of harvest. You can’t get something for nothing! If you don’t put the right thing in, I guarantee you, you won’t get the right thing out. If you put a child molester in charge of the people, you will breed more child molesters. If you put a homosexual in charge of your people, you’re going to breed more homosexuals. I think you get the point…STOP PUTTING THESE PEOPLE IN PLACES THAT WILL GIVE THEM THE AUTHORITY TO BREED MORE OF THE SAME!

    “The Church” of today is like a cesspool! It’s Morally Filthy! And if more “Christians” (those who are truly “Christ-like”) would just take a stand, and get these creeps out of position or at the very least, not succumb to their antics, “The Church” can again, begin to flourish! If we will learn to move “self” out of the way, and really start thinking and acting on the behalf of others, we will see a nation where the “fruits” of our labor will truly blossom into a bountiful harvest. Of course, if you choose to do nothing, don’t complain when your fields dry up and decay!

  9. Sickofit, words well spoken but my question not only to you but to this community of bloggers. How do we get the real Christians, as a whole, to move in a direction that would cause change to occur? Because if they, the real Christians passively sit by and do nothing, then change will not come from them. Remember the old saying, “There is strength in numbers”. Can we foster enough real Christians to unify and demand change?

    This fight will continue to unfold and there must be a loser and a winner, choose your side. But in the end those who cover up child molestation and participate in such a sick act, has to be remove ever so quickly from leadership. Join in with me in having your concerns heard. With a loud and thunderous voice, shake the very foundation of all denominations (especially COGIC) that no longer can this type of behavior continues, our children’s safety and future depends on what we all do to protect them.

    The author of this site has given you the avenue on which to travel. Use it to your advantage in creating real change. If not, a member of your family could be NEXT.

  10. I tried to send a message a while back, but I think my PC is acting up. Hopefully this won’t double up on the board.

    But Bro Morris, hang in there; God sees what is happening.

    Unfortunately, I am currently in the jurisdiction that this mess is coming out of while I am in school here in Ohio. I remember the ministry that used to be at St James under the late Bishop James.
    Pastor James was a tremendous man of God. Built a ministry on true consecration and spiritual gifts.

    Since he passed, the church was taken over by his son and took a downturn from there. It seems that the hangover is a spiritually lukewarm atmosphere b/c that’s what I see overall in the people I’ve come across since being here. There are some good people left, but they are being pushed aside and silenced as Bro Morris.

    There’s open disrespect for the sanctity of the church at the highest level in my opinion. The current Bishop sang a Stevie Wonder song (isn’t she lovely) over the pulpit to his wife at the last worker’s meeting in April, and the organist chimed in to accompany him. What happened to just saying, thank God for my wife, and I love her. And the guest speaker, general board member McKinney preached on prayer, but failed to mention living right to get prayers answered, or even heard for that matter. If it’s not known, he is also married to one of COGIC’s judiciary members.

    So there seems to be a slimy trickle down into the local bodies this spirit of open disrespect for the church and for Christ. And what’s prevalent is keep business going, don’t upset anyone, and crank the organ for a shout or two. The result is the entrance of sexual deviants into the assembly, and our young children being preyed on, while we learn to pray in error. Makes you wonder what is unseen, and seems like pedophilia is what’s behind closed doors.

    God Bless!

    That was an awesome message by Wooden as well. I enjoy his sincerity.

  11. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Eph 5:3 NIV

    Considering the immoral state of the church today, this scripture just blows my mind.

  12. Just know, it won’t get “Mo Better” until we make it “Mo Better”! Whatever we have to do, count me in! I’m not in a “church” building right now because of crap like this and much more. I’ve been drawn to chapter 10 in Hebrews, and as I began to read it, I thought about what was being said in the 25th verse. It was then that I thought about the importance of coming together for those of “us” who know these circumstances/situations are just wrong on all levels. If we continue to sit idle and talking about it, we won’t accomplish anything. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

  13. To Brother Morris,

    God bless you. I commend you for your courage to take such a bold stand in the face of much adversity. I too pray that you get double for your trouble and that God richly blesses your for your willingness to speak the truth. Our children today need someone to take a stand for them. Please know that you have done the right thing and God will make things work together for your good. Someone needs to speak out when the church is in such disarray and sin.

    I have been experiencing my own difficulty after leaving a church in Toledo that I attended for 18 years. I left Cornerstone Church due to some strange teachings that have begun to creep into the church and because of pastor’s questionable behavior which I have had to defend each and every time he is in the news for an arrest.

    The problem is that many of the so called shepherds have come under the influence of the world and are not preaching or living the pure Word of God, and the sheep with itching ears are putting them on pedestals. Pastor Pitts now Bishop Pitts has been elevated to a position he doesn’t even qualify for according to the Word and the qualifications of a bishop.

    It has been a very difficult thing for me to leave a church body that I have attended for so many years. However, I cannot stand by and be a part anymore when I see them heading down a path of greedy gain and mind control. They are involved in teaching Kingdom Now doctrine which they have been very subtly introducing to very unsuspecting sheep who view their headship as their authority that they should not question about anything. If you do, you are more or less told to leave. And those who leave of their own accord as 2 pastors have done, they are bad mouthed by the headship. That is neither biblical or Christ-like behavior, but it has happened time and time again each time “pastor” Michael Pitts is arrested and his sheep begin leaving. It is preached from the pulpit that they have an “off” spirit and that is why they left. However, there are no apologies from him for his behavior and how it impacts his sheep. Both he and his brother only make excuses such as he was set up or the police gave him a hard time, so he didn’t cooperate with them. Then it gets preached that drinking isn’t a sin, drunkeness is. But, what about avoiding the appearance of evil? The lack of humility and display of arrogance on his part is something I could no longer sit under.

    I guess the real clincher for me was them selling $100 early entrance passes to get into the Heaven on Earth conference. That excludes a whole lot of poor people who might otherwise like to get in early to get good seats but can’t afford to. They also had it set up to pay $25 to view the conference on the internet. Also not biblical. The church has become more like a business and entertainment center with lots of dramatic preaching and popular preachers appearing for a very high price which we foot the bill for with promises of blessings and favor for sowing a seed. All of our blessings have already been paid for through Christ’s death on the cross. And I have faithfully tithed for almost 30 years, so I do not have issue with that. I have issue with not helping the poor in your own church when there is money available for everything else. God is not pleased with any of this behavior.

    As many previous bloggers have said before me, God help the church today because we are in need of repentance and revival from the headship down. Not all pastors are guilty of such behavior. There are some very sincere shepherds who care for and know their sheep and are not out for gain and power and control. We need to pray now more than ever for those who lead the churches today to repent or be removed from their positions of influence because the lost and dying in this world are watching now more than ever. May the true and sincere believers arise and shine their light in the darkness of the world as never before.

    For more insight and info on things going on in the church today, look up Unmasking Paganism in the Church with Isaac Guitirrez. You can also google Kingdom Now theology which many so called Word & seed faith churches are subtly moving into.

    Take care and don’t get discouraged. Serve the Lord with all of your might and trust in Him and He shall sustain you.

  14. Sickofit, If I may take up your point and add a little something to it. Not only are we asking folk what are they going to do? We as a collective body of people are demanding that something gets done NOW. Not yesterday or last week or last year. If not, as with the Catholic Church, I will be calling on the federal government to look into the rampant amount of molestation case across COGIC and how the cries of the victims has gone unheard.

    We cannot expect the fox to protect the hens. It is like giving the fox a free pass to do as he like. In others words, I cannot expect COGIC to govern themselves when they themselves are the ones violating the innocence of our children.

    GCMW: Thanks Bro Morris. Action is the essence of faith. I still strongly favor a class action lawsuit. Victims should know that COGIC leadership is well aware of statue of limitations laws. All that has to be done to hand them a victory is to remain silent long enough for the statue of limitations to run out. Trust me, they will help you. Speak up now, expose the devil and flush him out of his hiding place in the church. Predators bank on silence and ignorance to cover their tracks.

  15. As a member of the church being portrayed as a harbor of pedophiles, I am saddened at the actions of Mr. Morris. I will not seek to destroy his character but this is just an outrage that he would seek to destroy the image of our church. I dont think that this article fully portrays both sides of the story. First of all Pastor James does not and I repeat does not support the actions of these brothers or immoral activity. And currently he is preaching a series intitled “Life’s Healing Choices” which is designed to liberate those in bondage from these types of sicknesses and other strongholds that bind the people of God. In fact, one of the persons was warned that if he did not stop his actions he would be no longer be considered a member of the church. And to this day he is NOT a member of our church. Pastor James is absolutely concerned about the whole person and just because he doesn’t act like Bishop James does not make him less of an anointed vessel. People need to stop passing judgment and stop believing all that you read and hear. I am certain that the bitterness behind these actions of Mr. Morris will not result in the demise of St. James nor the image of Dr. James. There are many many more things that I could say but I think that this enough for now!!!

  16. “Concerned”, dont post under that name again. Its banned here. Secondly, What FACTS do you have to present that refute the EVIDENCE that has been posted? If you have none, your objection and criticism wont be allowed any further. It amounts to simple conjecture which further penalizes the victims of these monsters. You didnt list your name, your connection to the situation or any pertinent facts which would prove Maurice Morris is not telling the truth. Morris provided specific information which was verified on an official government website. He also attached his real name to what he wrote. His facts bear out. All 4 men are convicted sexual pedophiles who were under the employ of St. James. Are you saying that’s not true?

    Your religious platitudes praising James for teaching something he should have been teaching long ago is quite disconcerting. Why did James send a letter of support to two pedophiles after they were arrested? Why didnt HE put them out of the church or turn them in to the authorities when this information was given to him? I have a suggestion: go to your pastor and ask him why? Then come back here and post his verbatim words.

    If you feel what you are saying is true, then use your real name and back up your comments with facts.
    Otherwise, dont bother. That goes for you and any other nameless, fact deficient rock throwers from St. James.

  17. “Concerned” or anyone else, I am not interested in the demise of St. James. St. James is the church I was raised in as a young boy and returned to as an adult. Therefore, tryingig to take down St. James is not my intent. The FACTS that I speak of are what happened and it is shameful. THAT should bother you not that it is being discussed and uncovered here. The fact that Dr. James stood up for the two individulas by allowing them to continue to play there but turned his back when I tried to stand up against a pedophile is what you should be concerned about. Please do not mistake taking a stand for what is right for bitterness. Remember that I have lost a family member to a church pedophile. If you have gone through what I have gone through your persepctive would be different.

  18. To Rosie, thank you for the kind words of encouragement and I receive them as you proclaim it with the sincerity of your heart. The bold move you took separating yourself from that church was done to protect yourself and I commend you for doing so. Sometimes the parishioners are lead to believe that they are the problem, when in fact it is the pastor or leadership that has the problem. Without getting to far off your point, I do believe that church now is BIGG business and the business is centered on SEX and Money, sorry to make such a statement but it is true. Rosie, be smart about where you plant roots, know who is leading and serving the people. Again, thank you so much for your kind words.

  19. To the author:
    I do not put my name on any website! There are other comments in this forum from people who have not used there name. So why are trying to criticize me for not using mine. Is it because I am defending my ministry? It seems that you are being extremely bias towards me because my comments are not like the other comments. And to suggest that the St. James people are “stone throwers” is ludicris!!! The comments that I read are people who are throwing stones too. I really dont care if you post my future comments or not under my pen name of “concerned” or not.

    I completely understand that the actions of the young men were WRONG and the law has punished them. I do not defend their actions whether consenual or not. A minor is a minor and should not be approached in a way that is unbiblical, immoral or degrading. So lets get that straight! I myself im a victim! So I know what its like and I pray that the other victims seek the freedom and the peace that only God can give!
    My pastor did not condone their actions and has been preaching holiness prior to, during, and after the incidents. So don’t make it seem like he just started because he didnt!!! I wouldnt be under his ministry if he did. And he didnt have to put them out of the church. Where is it written that they should have been been put out?
    Factually speaking, only 2 of the men were under the employ of the church. So lets get that straight too! Personally, I had gotten in trouble too, I would want my pastor to come and shed light on the “other side” of me too. A leader can preach and lead but those that follow must be accountable for their own actions. Whether they be sexual immorality, obesity, gambling etc. It doesnt mean that the leader didnt do his job because everyone has a choice!

  20. Mr. Morris;

    I will not reveal my identity to you, but, I have know you for many years now and consider you a good friend. What you have done takes courage, and I admire that. You have and will take alot of heat for your stand, BUT STAND. The Church of God in Christ is made up of individuals; and each individual is important in their own God given way. Each individual is supposed to be protected and cared for. There is no room for mistreatment. That is exactly what these men and others have done. They have mistreated the people. I do not know Dr. James’ side of the story or why he did or did not do what what he did or did not do, but, the main issue here is the sin that these men have committed. Can they be forgiven? Yes. Can they continue to minister? Yes. But, there is a thorough process of accountability that they should go through first. God still used Kind David. There were consequences for his actions, but, God still used him. There should be repentance to God and the victoms as well as accountabily to someone in authourity in all future dealings. We cannot just throw these men away. What they did was wrong yes, but everyone deserves another chance. Let us by no means forget the victoms in these situations. We must be there for them. They did not ask for this to happen to them. We have to love them and continue to uphold them and let them know that God Got There Back and So Do We.

  21. Oldschool, your statements are refreshing and well taken. If you say you know me as good as you stated, then you knew my intentions, then and now, are still the same and they are. At all cost our children must be protected from predatory individuals that are hidden among us disguised as sheep but are wolves. And furthermore, this notion that I am attempting to assassinate someone’s character is the farthest thing from being the truth. However, I believe that we all would not be discussing this subject if churches would have in place a strong contingent plan that deals with molestation in the church. Others can easily sit back and point fingers at me but until they have walked a mile in my moccasins, they can only give an opinion.

    My hope is that thru dialogue of ideas and putting away egos and titles, that real talk could happen on this matter. We all can make a difference in the lives of others. United together we can push back this attack on our family and churches. Take a stand or it will take you.

  22. Mr. Morris

    First, you were not a police officer. You were employed as a Deputy Sheriff for the Lucas County Sheriff Department.

    Second, the four young men that you speak of had nothing to do with you losing your job with the Sheriff Department.

    Third, you lost your job because you took the law into your own hands. You involved yourself in a situation that involved a young woman and her boyfriend (neither being of any relation to you).

    Your story does not tell the “whole truth” and God will do the “vindication” of the COGIC and it’s leaders.

    For those who are so quick to read something and jump on the “band wagon” be very careful with what you attach yourself to.

  23. Renea, understood. And anyone who wants to know the “back story” on Maurice Morris can google his name, its all out there and it doesnt seem he made some intentional effort (as if he could) to conceal that.

    However, what’s missing is true outrage that four convicted pedophiles were housed at one point in a COGIC. Its a page ripped right out of 1 Cor 5. Instead of people being angry that sexual immorality is so brazen in their midst, they get angry –and belligerent– because a man called needed attention to it. Is this something the church wanted kept secret? And why?

    You claim “God will do the vindication…” but that is in ignorance of the scriptures. In fact, if you read 1 Cor 5, you will see that it is the CHURCH’s responsibility to judge those who sin among us, and GOD’s responsibility to judge sinners. If you dont use the Word to judge rightly, you will end up allowing people like the four men (and some COGIC leaders) to continue abusing people, while shirking your DUTY to stop it.

    And what about the victims of these monsters? People always seem to have more compassion for sexual criminals, than for the innocent ones brutalized by them.

    I find that stunning and as it did in 1Cor 5 it says a lot about the spiritual maturity of people at the church.

  24. Renea, before you made statements about my former profession know what you speak of. A deputy sheriff is a duly sworn peace officer, better known as a police officer, Secondly; I did not take the law into my own hands. What happen to me was based on pure lies. So in retrospect, you where right about one point. Vindication will happen but it will happen for all who where victimize. Furthermore, the relationship that you speak of was not between a boyfriend and girlfriend, it was about a young girl, underage, who was taken advantage of by a much older male. And if you think that was all it was, you are truly missing the main point. I thank you for your comments and they were well taken but you are wrong in your summary of accounts that surrounded my situation, Continuing to overlook the obvious will only hinder you when the TRUTH is finally revealed. Stay Tuned…………………………………

  25. gcmwatch

    The Bible clearly states “Judge not, that ye be not judged” Matthew 7:1. “He without sin, cast the first stone” John 8:7.

    The Bible also speaks about forgiveness and righteousness.

    Let’s be clear I have much compassion for those who have been victims of any type of abuse.

    Finally gcmwatch (author)
    When I used the word “vindication” you considered it “ignorance of the scriptures” however I took the word straight from Mr. Morris previous posting. Clearly you read that posting and had no comment on the use of the word “vindication”. It appears that your one-sided and any further discussion with you would be a waste of ones time.


  26. Renea, your response is one of a typical cherry picking, two scripture citing type Christian. You can also add hypocrite to that. You are judging Morris AND throwing stones. IF you had any compassion, you wouldnt be defending pedophiles using scriptures. I agree with you on one thing, Further discussion with you on this point is unfruitful.

  27. To all you have posted a comment and for those who will post. I accept your positive comments as well as the harsh criticism but at the end of the day the facts remains. Under no circumstance should a child be exploded or sexual abuse. If you have read medical journals relating to this very issue, molestation breeds molesters. Therefore, compassion and action, hand in hand, should be the main focal point for victims of such a gross act. And for those who have criticized me, don’t focus so much on the messenger, understand and act on the message.

    No individual should be allowed to congregate among the sheep, to freely devour, whenever and whom ever they fell. For that I reason I served the young people at my former church with compassion and love. I did what I could to call attention to this problem. Over a span of a couple of years, I give of me time, educating the youth of church on the dangers of this world. While in uniform, I photograph and fingerprinted I.D. cards for the little ones, teaching them the dos and don’ts of keeping safe. I also formed the church youth basketball team that would travel to various churches within the state. The formation of the team was done in the spirit of fellowship but also to show all on the team that I cared for them just as much as their relatives.

    At no time did I ever loose sight of the important issues and I whole heartily believed that my commitment to my former church was to serve and perform whatever duties I could to help facilitate a need. However, when my situation became known to the church I was not shown the same amount of compassion and love I had shown the youth. The leadership (Dr.James) did not advocate on my behalf. There were no phone calls from him, offering of support, know assistance of any kind, not even a prayer, when he (Dr. James) knew how much I was involved in the church. The lack of support spoke volumes to the point that it was deafening. Subsequently, I resigned from all duties related to church functions and offices along with the removal of my membership. The removal was done in part because of the sense of betrayal by leadership and the lack of support not offered to one of their own.

  28. I am amazed by the number of people who would rather throw rocks at a person for stating what happened than be outraged at the fact that there is wrongdoing going on in the church. Or the fact that there are pedophiles among us. As a member of the church in question, this bothers me and has been for quite some time. It not only bothers me but it bothers more than a few members. The fact that wrongdoing goes on in the church but it is swept under the rug has been a problem for a while. Not only have we had these instances, we have had the instance of the musician brought in to direct the chior or lead praise and worship but ran off with a young man of the church. I believe the mother of this young man appealed to leadership too with no avail. Yes this young man was of age (barely) but the fact is leadership did nothing about that situation either. Then what about the issue of the church credit card being issued by someone accessing porn sites? An investigation was launched but was suddenly dropped when detectives became aware of who the culprit really was. I am sure not everyone knows about these issues. Why? Because they were swept under the rug just like everything else. People don’t dare to say anything at the church for fear of getting the silent treatment. That is what you have to do pretty much in order to stay a member in good standing at St. James, KEEP QUIET or DON’T VOICE YOUR OPINION!

  29. Mary, I understand your concerns and they should be heard. If not here, then before the pastor of the church. But if the pastor is unwilling to hear your concerns you should take them to the district superintendent or the State Bishop. Someone needs to hear what you have to say and then act on your concerns. It is truly unfortunate that any amount of activity resulting in the viewing of porn sites at the expense of the church should never be tolerated. It is equally unsettling to hear that the pastor interfered with the investigation by a police agency, if your statements are true, how unfair and selfish.
    I know all too well the silent treatment when one is not on board with the pastor but I do have a suggestion, that rug they used to sweep stuff under. Pull it back and expose it all, allow nothing to remain. Your actions could possibly help a family or even a child.

  30. As an ordained elder I have to look at this from all sides. What these men dand others have done is outright wrong. There is no doubt about that. There is alot of coverup going on, there is no doubt about that. Many have been hurt by these actions, there is no doubt about that. Something has got to be done, there is not doubt about that. God calls for justice, but, he also calls for forgiveness.

    Let me state at this point, that I personally feel the gcmwatch (author) has been a jerk toward people on this site. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion whether you agree with them or not.

    GCMW: What I did was rebuke a person for blatant hypocrisy. No, everyone does not have a right to voice their opinion here. Commenting on this blog has restrictions. Make sure you (and others commenting for the first time) read the comment policy.

    Rather than attack the issue, you have chosen to attack people. You are very good at quoting verses pertaining to sexual perversion, but, what about the verses on forgiveness and compassion?

    GCMW: What about them? Neither forgiveness nor compassion cancels out justice. If that was the case, none of the 4 pedophiles would be on the sexual offender registry.

    Jesus himself forgave a woman caught in the very act of adultry and then told her to go and sin no more. He did not throw her away nor did He tell us to throw others away.

    GCMW: Well maybe God is telling you to start a ministry for convicted pedophiles. First, they need to pay for their crimes against innocent children. When you commit a crime –not a sin– you have to pay the government, who by the way are ministers of God who do not bear the sword in vain. After that, let redemption begin. And while youre at it, see if you can find some compassion on the INNOCENT children whose lives have been damaged by these degenerates..

    It is not too late for those who have done these hanous acts. God promised to forgive them even if we do not. He can also still use them. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (There’s a verse for ya.) So how do we solve this issue? Stop sniping at each other and dialogue about how to solve this problem.

    GCMW: We solve it by holding leadership accountable, first. That’s what this is about. The bible says woe to the shepherd that scatters the sheep. They rake in the cash, so they should take open responsibility for what goes on under their watch. Here’s a question for your pastor: Why did he send two letters of support for pedophiles after they were arrested? Where are the letters of support for the victims and their families?

  31. Mr. Morris,
    First of all, God is on the throne! Our faith should not waiver. When we start to doubt God the devil is elevated. Never doubt him ever! I was so hurt when I read your story. It was quite disturbing. You have gone over and above the norm. It’s true speaking up and doing what you could to correct a situation went horribly wrong for you the (innocent party). Life sometimes takes those unfair turns. But God is still present and accounted for. You seem to have fallen against barbed wire. Trust God. Trust him. God has a great plan in store. I realize this is very very serious and demonic. You did all you could. And yes, there are two sides to every story but the other side is not looking good. Let those (convicted) persons mentioned come forth with their stories. Maybe they can help you look like the bad guy. Or do we need to dangle some children.

  32. Mamman, the events surrounding what happen to me never should have happen and it was a miscarriage of juctice. But the purpose was to protect our children from predatory individual within the church walls. I was so naive to believe that the church would support what I was trying to achieve. But as it turned out; my former church stuck their heads in the sand and acted as though the situation was not serious enough to get involved.

    The troubling part of this is when I needed the support of leadership; they along with others stuck their heads in the sand also. How many more children have to be victimized? How many more families have to deal with pain and the trauma? And when will leadership move on behalf of the children and the families? Move in such a fashion that it would encourage implementing real change to deal with this increasingly common problem.

    If there is not a move in that direction, then the blood is on the hands of those who victimize as well as the leaders who refuse to address the problem. But if we all can band together, we can make a significant difference in the lives of others, along with demanding that leadership take comprehensive steps to protect the youth of the church.

    Mamma, you are right regarding unfair turns in life and just maybe this is apart of a much bigger picture. My only hope is that those who attend various churches would be ignited to the point that there concerns and outcry causes the enemy to flee, never to return.

  33. I agree with OldSchool when he says that people should be forgiven of their sins and that there should be given compassion. However, I believe that this should go for EVERYONE and this includes Mr. Morris. I have watched as the church turned its back on Mr. Morris and continues to do so. When he needed his church family the most, we kicked him aside and said “that’s not our problem” and kept going. Not just leadership but membership as well. I don’t see anyone welcoming him with open arms rather I see and hear people saying “Oh there goes that Morris!” I’m sure people are saying now that he is always starting somthing or that he is defiant. Why? Because he stood up for something? Because he voiced his opininion? Not everyone follows behind everyone else just because they are told to or are expected to. Some people like to stand up for themselves. Imagine that!

  34. M. Morris if you want to air other peoples stories start by airing you own! No one is perfect and you of all people should no this being you went into a church and assaulted a man! lol grow up!

    Article published August 23, 2006
    Jury finds deputy guilty of assault
    Officer punched man in face at church

    A Lucas County sheriff’s deputy was found guilty of assault yesterday after a two-day jury trial in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
    Maurice Morris, 41, was found guilty of the misdemeanor about 5 p.m. after the jury deliberated for about 15 minutes, said Lucas County Detective Rob Sarahman. Mr. Morris’ own-recognizance bond was continued. Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 27, the detective said.
    Mr. Morris faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. He is under an ongoing review by internal affairs, and his police powers have been suspended.
    Mr. Morris punched Marlon Wilkins, 29, in the face during a March 5 service at Citizens of the King Church, 4224 Airport Hwy. Mr. Morris struck the man after he had already been detained by another deputy.
    Mr. Morris, who was an employee of the county jail, was off duty at the time of the incident and had a history with Mr. Wilkins. Mr. Morris was accused of hounding Mr. Wilkins and citing and charging him in unfounded warrants during the year prior to the assault.

  35. Mr. Cole, you really didn’t say anything of value or substance. It is public knowledge of what happen but unlike the four featured pedophiles, my conviction can be revisited and possibly reverse (Stay tuned). But I would like to thank your for the added fuel I need to continue to share my story and to shed a brighter light on the subject matter of SEXUAL ABUSE of juvenile children within the church.

  36. Mr. Cole;

    Seems that you just made a fool of yourself. Mr. Morris never denied his story. And to be truthful, his story is the after story of the real story. And there is no LOL about this matter what so ever. This is a very sasd senerio any way you look at it.

  37. Okay old school let’s see if this will come out where you can understand it and not feel as if I’m making a fool of myself. The reason I spoke of his record is because he to made a mistake inside the church and no one put him on blast. Not to mention if he had issue why did he wait years to expose this. He just used the church for his wedding! Don’t be fake! To all who read this its not about tit for tat its about God forgiving these men including Mr Morris. This is why more people don’t come to the church for fear that some member (morris in this case) would judge them for being human and making mistakes/bad choices. I apologize for any errors in this post as I’m typing this on my black berry.

  38. So, let me get this straight. In your opinion sexually molesting innocent children is just a “bad choice/mistake”? If that’s what you really think, then you are still making a fool of yourself.

    You need to get educated for real Mr. Cole. Before you downgrade the serious trauma and after effects (sometimes for life) suffered by children when some degenerate pervert forces his sexual organ into them, maybe you should volunteer and let it happen to you. Perhaps then you wouldnt be so quick to excuse it as a “bad choice/mistake”.

    And once again, the issue isnt forgiveness. In fact you may want to consider all the words of Jesus in proper context:

    Luke 17: 1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! 2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. 3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

    We can should and have to forgive, but it doesnt erase the consequences of the action. Ignoring it wont either.

    The issue is accountability, prevention and restitution.

  39. Mr. Cole, you just made a fool out of yourself again. The information contain in your post does not accurately reflect what happen to Bro. Morris. Here is some information for you and all who opposes Bro. Morris for taking real action to protect the children of the church.
    The incident where the arrest occurred was at church. The pastor of that church, Mark Smau, was the organist at St. James and was involved in a sexual relationship with an underage male child. Also, the individual (Marlon Wilkins) that Bro. Morris was trying to arrest, also played the organ for St. James on Wednesday night bible study, was also involved in a sexual relationship with a underage minor female. Who subsequently, give birth to two of his children.
    The two of them (Mark & Marlon) conspired to tell a lie on Bro. Morris, surrounding the events of the arrest to cover up their thrust for adolescence sex. What is apparent is here is that there is a systematic attack perpetrated on our children. But you, Mr. Cole, have the nerve to attack the integrity of a man that stood for real change. Shame on you but real soon all of this will be uncovered for all to see. Lol @ that.
    Also, I have a problem with these individuals in the church, where Dr. James is allowing pedophiles and potential pedophiles to roam rampant through out the church unchecked. When will this madness be addressed?

  40. I apologize Old School if you feel my commets were directed you as if were a member of St. James. Wow, Mr. Cole you really didn’t think before you posted your comment. Mr. Morris accounts what happened in his story. That is what this is all about. He went to arrest a man who was having sex with an underaged girl. This man had been eluding police and they found him at his place of employment (a church).The man resisted arrest and had to be restrained. The man was outside but ran into the church. The twist to the story is the man claimed that Mr. Morris assaulted him while trying to arrest him. Church members saw waht happened but would not come forward. As far as “putting on blast”, it was all over the news in this city. I’m assuming you googled his name to get the article you so carefully copied and pasted here. How much more “on blast” could it get. He put himself “on blast” by bringing this back to light. He could have kept quiet. He doesn’t need you or anyone else to put him “on blast”. as far as waiting years to expose this, you must have skimmed through the parts where Mr. Morris stated that he had meeting after meeting with various people, trying to get the truth out. The problem that everyone has now is that he took this public. Had he continued to suffer in silence no one would know of the situation and no one would care. Actually, people still really don’t care about the real issue. They are too busy being mad at the fact that church is being put out there. Also, I don’t see you too concerned about the salvation of someone who has been hurt by the church. That is one why people don’t go to church now because they have been hurt by people in church just as Mr. Morris has.

  41. GCMWATCH, thanks for the compliment. To start I am educated degree wise and child molestation wise, I was molested as a child and know first hand what those children are going through. I dealt with the issue for many years. I went through counseling for years and now fight to protect my children from what happened to me.

    I know Mr. Morris, How about you? I was at his wedding which was held at St. James which took place months and even years after those people had been convicted of those charges. Mary & Old school I understand that what has happened is sad all the way around. I ask you at what point is someone who has been convicted of a crime forgiven by fellow christians and not put on blast on the internet? The church is failing for reasons like this! Maurice has always been a cool person outside of this. He is simply upset with the church and has now attacked these young men. This is just another reason the world is winning the battle over souls.

    Divided and Misguided! Now where can these men go to for help dealing with such a serious problem. The system doesn’t help and now the church has them on blast. I’ll take a stand for any good cause but to tear down these men who have paid their debts for what they have done is wrong. Are they not allowed to be men of God any longer? All I’m saying is there was a better way to go about this then this! It seems that the devil is at work on this blog and that the author is blocking out my responses and I’m sure the response of others.

    I’m not against Maurice I’m against tearing down more black men instead of trying to build them up. Anyone who molests needs help and the church should be the first ones to offer this helping hand. These men were touched by someone else along they way as statistics would show, but you don’t stop it by creating a blog and putting their faces on it. Now these men who may be changed could lose jobs, be turned away from churches and lose friends. This is where a continued life of crime starts for many career offenders. Maurice you should know that after being apart of the law! And again GCMWATCH speak on that!

    Maurice I do apologize for my first post it was submitted out of anger, and hope that you’d accept my apology. I do you think you could have addressed this a better way then you did but what’s done is done…

  42. wow. i found this topic on twitter in the #cogic trend.
    i just think that the point is clear: “render unto ceasar what is ceasar’s…” ceasar (the government) says that sexual abuse of minors is illegal. when such is brought to light, they are obligated to pay the penalty.

    there’s nothing “christian” about harboring criminals. no more than racist cops protecting “one of their own” from scrutiny when they get caught abusing the public. no body of people, no religion, can ignore the law no matter how distasteful (or embarrassing) the circumstances.

    (catholic priests are a clear example of the liability when ignoring abuse within the church walls)

    certainly, it is common knowledge that public school teachers and administrators have a legal responsibility to report child abuse….well, that same law applies to church teachers and leaders, as well.

    redemption should not be confused with forgiveness. the bank teller who steals $2,000 from your checking account is going to jail. and it isn’t very likely that you’ll take the bank’s suggestion to simply “forgive” the teller & forgo having the $2,000 put back into your account.

    and whether you forgive the teller or not, she will never work for another bank again. her redemption will have to come outside from where she committed her transgression.

    it’s not trying to tear down a church or a church leader. but if Jesus himself can take a whip to drive the money lenders out, surely there’s one among you who can place an anonymous 911 call to protect those kids.

  43. “I ask you at what point is someone who has been convicted of a crime forgiven by fellow christians and not put on blast on the internet?”

    Listen closely: they are CURRENTLY on the Ohio state sexual offender registry. Did you complain to the state for “putting them on blast” on the internet? Your statement is almost bizarre.

    “He is simply upset with the church and has now attacked these young men.”

    Do you mean like these young men attacked their victims? You really dont get it do you?

    “It seems that the devil is at work on this blog and that the author is blocking out my responses and I’m sure the response of others.”

    No, there’s no devil at work here. Only foolish people looking to excuse sinful and criminal behavior. FYI, undesirable comments are deleted not blocked.

    “These men were touched by someone else along they way as statistics would show, but you don’t stop it by creating a blog and putting their faces on it.”

    The blog wasnt created for that purpose. Take some time and read before you keep making statements like this. And AGAIN, why are you complaining here and not to the state of Ohio sexual offender registry?

    Mr. Cole, I will make a suggestion to you. Unless you can bring something of substance to this conversation other than unfounded accusations and soapbox rants, please refrain from posting here.

  44. Mr. Cole I accept your apology and sadden to hear your personal story of abuse. As I read more, it reminded me of how my relative was raped as a teen, contracted AIDS and died. He cannot tell his story of abuse but you can. And as you do please keep in mind my families’ story, which should serve as point to you why I had to stand up against an attack on our children. Furthermore, I did not attack anyone; those that are featured here are convicted of various acts on a minor. They are the attackers. Their stories are well publicized. You can go to any government website and find them. I find it disturbing that your main focus is on them not suffering any more public embarrassment. But what about the victims and their families, who has their best interest?
    You mentioned that I was up set and I must disagree with you. I am hurt that my former church family discarded my concerns as unwarranted nonsense. But coveted those who violated the innocence’s of children and then shown me their backs. That is the very reason why so many people are leaving church because of favoritism shown by leadership to yes men/women. Also, Mr. Cole, my story details the steps I took to resolve the issue. Go back and read it, you may not have heard from me in a while but I have been pushing for resolution and closure for over three years.
    Mr. Cole I cannot answer your question regarding the how and when resolution can happen for all involved. It will take a collective effort by all to resolve all the hurt and pain that we all have suffered. But one thing is certain, no longer can the issues be ignored, no longer can heads stay stuck in the sand





  46. Claudia, thank you for your support in regards to this matter. As you mentioned {“Thank you for speaking out for those children”} in your post, my position is and will continue to be speaking out against any attack of any kind perpetrated on our young children. For one reason or another, it is those individuals who fail to realize the real issue that will continue to miss the boat. Often, I am at times confused at how one who confesses Christ with one breath but will cures me in another. It is for some reason those same individuals will shout holy, holy, hallelujah on Sunday(s) but became sideline cheerleaders to what happen to me.

    As I see it, those individuals are not real Christians praising a one true God, those individual(s) have manufactured their own god (out of Hot wheels and GI Joe parts) to manipulate as they so feel, not feel guilty or bad for not taken a real stand but to feel good about the chaos they caused. For that reason, real change cannot happen; they will never see the real issue for a lack of maturity. Under not circumstance should sexual deviance be accepted of any kind in a place of worship.

    As I now see church, it is filled with a lot of church folk(s) and very few real Christians because when a child has been sexual victimize and the only thing that church folks can do is attack those who deliver a message of truth and deliverance, Then it is clearly evident that their actions are not one of Christianity but one of insanity.

  47. I’m a member of the organization that you’re speaking of (in a different church). I’ve read the entire thread and what I’ve learned from you, Mr. Morris, is quite revealing and concerning to me. I am disturbed that the church would seek to protect the wrongdoer while hanging the rightdoer (you) out to dry. Your story once again confirms my ever growing dissatisfaction with the institutionalized “church”. Now, I can see why the unsaved choose not to visit church. As a Christian (and minister), I can’t say that I blame them one bit. Until we get our house together, the church (as a whole) will continue to lack power to bring about change in our commmunities. It’s really a shame that for every church on a street corner we have liquor stores compounded by alcohol, drug abuse, out of wedlock pregnancy, and statutory rape. I can write a dissertation on this all day but I’m not.

    I can’t help but be a bit upset and angry that our so called “leaders” in the church lack a backbone to stand up for what they preach! Yes, I know the pastor hasn’t shared his side but I can’t really blame you, Mr. Morris, for how you feel. I would definitely feel a strong sense of betrayal. Your story has, quite honestly, destroyed a significant amount of trust and faith I have in the church (as an institution). However, I know that it’s really all about Christ and He’s all that manners but to a hurting world they want to see evidence of Christ’s power. If the church can’t provide that example, then God help us!

  48. Barry, I for one would like to hear the pastor’s side of the story. Unfortunately, from what I hear people have been told to shut up about it and dont post on this site anymore. If Bro Morris was a liar, the pastor could have very easily refuted it. But typical of those who devalue victims, they play the silent card when confronted.

    Ichabod on this contemporary church and its diseased mentality.

  49. Barry, for all who have posted comments relating to my story, I welcome them all and I thank you for yours. You stated a dissatisfied opinion of the church. I was just explaining to my wife that church now is not a good place for me for obvious and various reasons. When I have attended, sparingly, I am detached from the service and feel disengage. Why? I have been lied on, lie to, and betrayed by leadership. Why would I ever want to attend a church that displayed those attributes?
    However, I cannot comment on why the Pastor of my former church has chosen not to post but if I had to make an educated guess it would be based on his unwillingness to tackle the real issues. And the issues are the ones that are talked about in secret but not dealt with openly. Therefore, If the church leadership would public recognize that there is an issue with sexual deviance in the church then the possibility of losing financial support, ie…the lost of membership, is a far greater risk they are unwilling to take. @ Gcmwatch author, I must concur………

  50. I actually had the childrens pastor at my church who was a sex offender. I know because I was one of the kids he molested, I’m 21 now and have finally exposed him… Problem is the pastor takes his side after hearing him confess to it, I left the church, filed a police report and the report never made it to the states attorney because of lazy cops… The youth pastor also teaches at a local highschool and is living with one of my ex best friends and his 6 little brothers whose father I also told… I was gonna push for action even more but the stress of it got to me too much after dealing with all of this, and feeling ignored… I’m glad to see that god has been just on the issues in other cases and am trusting that at least He knows what he’s doing.

  51. Aaron, I am saddened to hear of your personal story of sexual abuse at the hands of church leadership. I only hope that you are healed from such a devastating act. If not, please reach out to a support group that can help you resolve any issues you may still be dealing with. It is hard to image that the person whom violated you and confess to it was not dealt with by church leadership nor was the authorities notified by the pastor of the church.

    It all seems to me that he was covered by the pastor and protected from any fallout. I will suggest that you contact the appropriate authorities in your area, have them search for your original compliant and argue that they prosecute to the fullest extend of the law. If not, that person will continue to victimize other children. He now feels as though he will not face any criminal charges, turn the heat up. Therefore, we as concerned parents and relatives of victims must push the envelope for justice and change.

    No longer can it be business as usual without someone calling for accountability. Lets us all ban together with one voice speaking out against the continual victimization of our children. Sexual Pedophiles should never be tolerated in any church or place of worship. These diseased parasites must be surgical remove with a heavy dose of truth and real justice. Stay strong and know that others are fighting for real change.

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