SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) publicized a list of accused sex offenders who have held positions with member churches Thursday as the first step toward addressing the scourge of sexual abuse and implementing reforms within the organization.
The 205-page bombshell contains more than 700 entries and spans decades, one of the earliest entries is from 1988.
Information about the document’s existence became more widely known on Sunday, May 22 when Guidepost Solutions, an independent investigative firm included the document in a study about how the SBC mishandled allegations of sex abuse and stonewalled survivors while protecting the institution from litigation.
Willie McLaurin, Interim President/CEO, SBC Executive Committee, and Rolland Slade, Chairman, SBC Executive Committee released a joint statement on May 26 explaining why this revelation was necessary.
Their message cites the need for healing for the survivors and expressed hope that churches within the convention will utilize the list to proactively protect and care for the most vulnerable.
The announcement continues to explain that the list is exactly the same as the one a former employee with SBC provided for Guidepost Solutions at the start of the probe. They also explained the decision by SBC to redact certain entries either in part or whole. Read the entire statement here.
Of the more than 700 entries in the document, there are more than 20 who served in Arkansas and Louisiana, nearly a dozen in Oklahoma, and more than 100 entries from SBC member churches in Texas.
Many of the accused on the list were immediately transferred out of state and committed the same or a similar sex offense in the state they transferred to.
Below are names and summaries of Louisiana offenders.
Jonathan Bailey (2016) – youth minister, First Baptist Church New Orleans, La. Convicted of 12 felonies, including molestation of a juvenile and obstruction. Currently serving a 10-year sentence in a Louisiana state prison according to a prison spokesman
Jason J.D. Cooper (2009) – pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church, Rayville, La. Convicted of indecent behavior with a juvenile and oral sexual behavior
Angelo “Doggie” Golatt (2012) – youth pastor, Buhl’s Calvary Assembly of God and former youth leader at Donahue Family Church, Pineville, La. This case involved male victims between the ages of nine and nineteen who attended services. Golatt was sentenced in March 2012 to four counts of forcible rape; serving a 40-year sentence in a Louisiana state prison according to an interview with a Louisiana prison spokesman.
James Robert Griffin (2007) – volunteer associate paster, Immanuel Baptist Church, Slidell, La., and volunteer Grace Memorial Baptist Church, Slidell. Charged with two counts of aggravated sex crimes involving juveniles and 100 counts of possession of child pornography. Two girls aged 13 and 15 are listed as complainants. He was convicted in 2009 and registered as a sex offender in Louisiana but is listed as non-compliant for moving without notification.
Michael Phillip Latham (2012) – former Baptist camp director, Glorieta Conference Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and director, Harris Baptist Conference Center, Bienville, Louisiana. Pleaded guilty to a federal sex crime for sending obscene photos of himself over the internet. He is registered as a sex offender.
Holland Farrell McMorris (2011) – pastor, Paradise Baptist Church, Bell, Louisiana. Pleaded guilty to four counts of violation against a child. He was sentenced to 25 years for three of the counts and 15 years for the fourth. He is not eligible for parole.
Victor Mitchell (2007) – pastor, Old Mount Olive Baptist Church, Oak Ridge, Louisiana. Convicted of indecent behavior with a juvenile and oral sexual behavior.
Robert James Washington, Jr. (2010) – church van driver, New Beginnings Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church on Flournoy-Lucas Rd., Shreveport, Louisiana. Washington pleaded guilty to the rape and kidnapping of a juvenile. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison at hard labor on one count of forcible rape and 40 years in prison at hard labor on one count of second-degree kidnapping.
There are also three heavily redacted Louisiana entries that list sexual abuse, sexual battery, indecent behavior with a juvenile, and computer-aided solicitation of a juvenile.
When Guidepost’s investigation was completed they provided recommendations to the SBC. One of which was the creation of a database. An “offender information system” as Guidepost referred to it is something that advocates and victims have wanted for a very long time.
As a first step, a hotline was created so that abuse allegations can be reported. Guidepost will maintain the hotline and keep the information reported confidential. This “stopgap” measure as it was called in a joint statement by Guidepost and the SBC will remain in place until delegates can pass reforms during this year’s annual meeting set for June 14-15 in Anaheim, Ca.
The SBC hotline to report abuse allegations can be reached by calling 202-864-5578 or emailing SBChotline@guidepostsolutions.com.