COGIC’s newly re-elected —and clearly frustrated— Presiding Bishop Charles Blake issued a strong rebuke to pedophiles embedded across the denomination’s landscape during his 2012 official message in St. Louis [video].
“The church has got to be a safety zone for our children. If you are a pedophile, if you are a child molester, if you are a child abuser, if you are determined to pursue sexual misconduct, then either get right or get out. Get right or get out!”
Met with tepid applause, the statement may reveal that the church and its leader still aren’t aware of exactly what they are dealing with. Pedophiles have no intention of getting right. Or getting out. And although speeches sound good in a preach to the choir kind of way, they have proven ineffective against determined pedophiles with power and positions juxtaposed against weak, excuse-laden church leaders.
Most church pedophiles rack up numerous victims while using their positions as cover for their nefarious activities. Just like Don Billups, a deacon at Gospel Tabernacle COGIC in Covington, VA. After a jury found him guilty of molesting at least eight children, they recommended two life sentences, plus 75 years for his sex crimes. Some of the victims were under age 13, WSLS reported. Some of the cases dated back to 2002. Billups was arrested in May 2012. Story and video here.
Elder Gregory P. Moore [see update/clarifications], the pastor had only been in place 2 years. He told reporters he put Billings out of the church when the allegations came to light. But how does a child molester remain in a leadership position for 10 years of more at a Church of God in Christ with so many victims and no one knows he is constantly molesting children? Bishop Blake’s strong words may be too little, too late for thousands of abused children at the hands of COGIC leaders. If outside legal and law enforcement intervention is what it will take to break the unshaken cycle, children in COGIC are in dire trouble. They church’s leadership doesn’t seem to posses the fortitude handle it internally. Bishop Blake and his administration are notorious for window dressing while they continually ignore the voice of real victims and their families.