Pastor accused of sex assault at two York churches had family connections in church group

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comMarch 12, 2014 

Moses

— The pastor accused of sexually assaulting a girl at two York churches is the son-in-law of a bishop in the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas – the organization that presumably assigned Cory Dean Moses to another church despite knowing he was a convicted sex offender, his mother said Wednesday.

The Rev. Greta Moses, who said she left the Fire Baptized Holiness church last year, denied the allegations lodged against her son, saying he would “never threaten nobody; he’s not that type of person.”

Police have charged Moses, 38, with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and three counts of assault and battery. They allege he fondled and inappropriately touched the girl several times while he was pastor at New Mount Zion Church on U.S. 321 and then again at Redeemed Christian Ministries on Ross Cannon Drive in York.

New Mount Zion, now defunct, was part of the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas. Redeemed Christian Ministries is not.

The girl told police about the alleged abuse – which police say began in 2009, when she was 14 – last month. Moses touched her and said he “always liked the way she looked,” according to a York police report. He threatened to tell people that she tried to kiss him and touch him inappropriately if she reported what happened.

Moses inappropriately fondled the victim at least once in 2010, 2011 and 2012, when he allegedly exposed himself to her, the report states. He was pastor of New Mount Zion at the time. Last year, Moses touched her while he was pastor of Redeemed Christian Ministries, the victim told police.

Moses turned himself in to police on Saturday. He was on North Carolina’s sex offender registry after having been convicted of taking indecent liberties with a minor in 2003, while pastor at Faith Chapel Fire Baptized Holiness Church in Gastonia.

Last week, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an international support group for people who have been abused by church leaders, demanded that leaders of the Greenville-based Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas explain why they gave a convicted sex offender another pastorate, placing him in close proximity to children.

David Clohessy, SNAP’s executive director, said his group has not heard from the church. Police said Wednesday no other victims had come forward.

Efforts to reach leaders of the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas have been unsuccessful over the past week. Calls to Bishop Patrick Frazier Jr., overseer of the First Episcopal Diocese of the church, have not been returned. York is part of the First Episcopal Diocese.

York also is part of the diocese’s second district in South Carolina, which is presided over by Elder Charles Frazier, Bishop Frazier’s brother, said Greta Moses, now pastor of a Gastonia church that is not part of the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas.

Greta Moses said she left the organization because she felt its leaders were more focused on making money than saving souls.

She said her son – the father of four children, including one daughter – was getting his life back together, recovering from his time in jail when the latest accusations surfaced. She doesn’t know the victim, but said some accusations don’t add up because Moses was not the pastor at New Mount Zion in 2012, when some of the abuse was alleged to have occurred.

After his release from a North Carolina prison, Moses did not pastor until he was assigned to New Mount Zion in 2009. He stayed there until 2011, Greta Moses said, before he was co-pastor of Redeemed Christian Ministries with his wife, where he was not paid a regular salary.

“Cory is a humble person,” his mother said. “Cory is a loving, caring person. He’s a caring father. I feel that because he is a loving, nice, outgoing-type person, people kind of prey on that.”

“If he was such a danger,” she asked, “why would they have put him back” as pastor of a church? “There’s more to the story than what’s being said.”

Jonathan McFadden •  803-329-4082