MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Lighthouse of Deliverance House of Prayer just opened in Monroe in an old church building on Franklin Street. A man reached out to 7 Action News with concerns that a pastor there, who is a convicted sex offender, could be a danger to children who attend.
Gerald and Louise McWilliams, who have been married for more than thirty years, are both listed as pastors of the church.
WXYZ reached out to them about the concerns and both agreed to speak with us.
“My mistake was writing a letter,” said Gerald McWilliams of what he did wrong.
At the time of the interview WXYZ had only a copy of an information report filed with Monroe County Circuit Court. It indicated he pleaded guilty to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct, saying “defendant and victim were related by blood or affinity to the third degree.”
Court records also indicated the victim was underage.
The McWilliams tell WXYZ they raised their niece and, when she became a teenager, she didn’t cover herself up well, so he wrote her a letter.
WXYZ asked if Gerald McWiliams ever touched the victim.
“No. I never touched her. She even indicated that,” he said.
“It breaks my heart to know she plotted this against us. I have had this in my heart for 20 years,” said Louise McWilliams.
Louise said she wanted people voicing concerns on social media about her husband's past to remember that scripture says judge not, lest you be judged by God.
The couple blamed the victim for what happened and for WXYZ covering the controversial opening of their church, even when WXYZ explained the victim did not reach out to us.
“I don’t understand why this child would keep this going,” said Louise McWilliams.
Then 7 Action News obtained a police report, which tells a different story. It says there was touching, that Gerald McWilliams went into his niece’s bedroom. She woke to his hand approaching her privates.
The police report indicated he told her he wanted to have sex.
She moved away and told him to leave.
Then he gave her an obscene letter describing the sex acts her uncle wanted to do to her. It says McWilliams admitted to touching and the letter when he pleaded guilty.
WXYZ asked the couple if Gerald McWilliams is a danger to any families that bring young girls to the church.
“Right now you see this church. You see the window back there. It is the nursery. It will never be covered,” said Louise McWilliams referencing the fact there were no curtains.
She continued on, stating that the basement was not in use and would remain locked. Her husband interrupted her and told her he didn’t feel she had answered the question. She then said she does not think he is a danger to children who attend.
Gerald said he is not the true pastor of the church, so his history should not influence the success of the church. He said his wife is the true pastor. Church paperwork in the building lists them both as pastors.