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.
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.
YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WORD! BE STIRRED TO ACTION!
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.