One church, four was home to four men convicted of sexual crimes against youth in Toledo

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.

Maurice Morris states:

"My name is Maurice Morris and I am a former minister and former Deputy in Ohio.
In 2003-2004 two musicians (James Jones & Arthur Bishop) in my former church (St. James Holiness COGIC, in Toledo, Ohio) were convicted of having sexual relations with a under aged girl. Not only did my former pastor Dr. William James stand up for these individuals, he allowed them to continue to play at the church as they served there time in work-release community detention. These individuals are still required to register as sexual offenders in the State of Ohio. In 2005, a male member (Nate Fullove) was convicted of molesting two male teenage members of the church. In addition, another
male member (Brain Watkins) was convicted of having inappropriate sexual relations with a under aged member(s) of the church. Dr. James did nothing to help the families of the teens who had been violated by the named individuals. While these things were transpiring, I received word from several young ladies in the church along with a few concerned mothers that there were several older men making sexual advances towards them. I advised them that as a police officer I was obligated to report what they told me and did so. Some of the young ladies as well as their mothers did not feel comfortable with me reporting what they told and they began to distance themselves. However, I went
to the pastor several times between 2004-2006 to tell him about the information I had received about the ongoing victimization in the church. Not only did he not listen to what I had to say he began to preach against me across the pulpit."

Read Mr. Morris's full testimony here:

More on the story also here:

And here:

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My sympathies to Mr. Morris for the pain his family has endured, and I hope that St James Holiness COGIC gets its act together before another child is hurt.

One question, though: is there are reason why the "Gay Christian Movement Watch" is being used to get out the story of pedophilia in the church? Pedophilia and homosexuality are completely different phenomena: one involves a relationship between consenting adults, and the other is a predatory relationship between an adult and a minor child. Simply put, gays are attracted to people of the same sex, while pedophiles are attracted to children, and many pedophiles will molest both boys and girls - they are equal opportunity offenders.

Many religious people consider homosexuality and pedophilia to be similar. I've heard gay being termed as a "slippery slope" leading to child molestation. I have had a devoted Christian inform me of the following: "Mark my words. We let gay people marry, and one day we're going to be alright with pedophiles having relationships with children."

I am not making this up, and for clarity's sake, it isn't something I agree with at all. However, it does exist out there and is a more widespread opinion than what you might believe. No amount of argument will convince them otherwise.

Well, where would members of NAMBLA fit in here? They seem to contain elements of both catagories.

"No amount of argument will convince them otherwise"

Agreed--the preferred action should be ridicule & disdain.

Pink Slip

Some states allow sex with animals, pretty soon anything will be OK, as we continue to 'define deviance down'.

G-man, I don't think you have the mental capacity to realize how stupid that is. Luckily, I'm here to let you know how ignorant you really are.

Pink Slip

Of course I know it's stupid-what kind of miscreant would screw an animal. A guy awhile back got KILLED trying to bugger a horse. What I don't understand is why 17 states allow it.

"One church, four pedophiles"
Couldn't that be any Catholic church?

What is the ratio of churchs to peedo-phyles in Mosques, Synagogues, and Temples? The Catholics don't have the market cornered on deviants.

may not have the 'market cornered on deviants', but they have the market cornered on a religious institution systematically enabling and providing cover for individuals in positions of authority to sexually abuse children.

The website you cited about bestiality laws is technically correct, but it limits its analysis to laws specific to the act of sex with animals. The states that lack specific bestiality laws often include some reference to bestiality in their child protection laws. These laws usually concern the showing to children of sexually explicit materials containing acts of bestiality, or they involve the inclusion of children in the making of materials with bestiality. Other, more archaic, laws use such terms as “crime against nature” to ban the practice, and some states outlaw the practice in the general sexual conduct codes.

Ohio, for example, is one of the 17 states that lacks a specific bestiality law. However, Section 4301:1-1-52 of ORC 2907.09 (Public Indecency) lumps bestiality under the category of "Lewd Activities."

and how cowardly of the church leadership to cover up such sin

M. Morris I to have a convicted offender in our church. The clergy says forgiveness and privacy. I say the safety of the children is the most important issue. I have suggested holding a seperate mass where children will not attend to keep him away from the children but was told no. Children who see these offenders in the church are given a false sense of safety which will cause them not to be as cautious they should be when seeing this offender other places. I am a survivor of abuse myself, and will NEVER give this offender or any other the molest another child as long as i live and breathe. scripture says to be as wise a serpent yet as gentle as a dove, this tells us to be diligent in protecting the children, and to offer comfort to the victims of such abuse. These offender can never truly pay their debt to society, because their victim is a member of society and they can not return innocence to the victim. I talked to clergy until i am blue in the face so tomorrow i will be leading a peaceful protest out front of The Church of the Beatitudes. It shouldn't hurt to be a child!

Madeline Rose

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