Our news partner The Longview News Journal reports Raymond Earl Cooper, a Nazarene pastor in Marshall, arrested and charged last week for online solicitation of a minor, has been placed on leave from the church following his arrest.
“After seeking advice from the General Secretary of the Church of the Nazarene as well as denominational legal counsel for the Church of the Nazarene, we have placed Raymond Cooper on leave from the pastorate of First Church of the Nazarene, Marshall, Texas,” Rob McDonald, Dallas District Superintendent for the Church of Nazarene, said in an e-mailed statement.
The Dallas District hired Cooper as pastor of First Church of the Nazarene located on Pocono Street in Marshall.
McDonald said church officials consider the recent allegations concerning Cooper as “tragic.”
“We have not been privileged to see the evidence of the alleged misconduct. All we know is what the news media has reported. In any event, it is a tragic situation,” said McDonald. “The family is devastated by the allegations. The church, though understandably shocked by the events of this week, is relying on their faith in God.”
McDonald said church officials will continue conducting their own investigation.