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Residents angry after sex offender opens church

By: Chris Cheng

GATESVILLE – Several people in Coryell County are outraged after a registered sex offender opened a church.

The Oasis Worship Center located at 117 South 7th street in downtown Gatesville has only been open for about two months but for some people that's too long.

"The law says it's not against the law so I think the community has the right to know that there is a pedophile that is over a church," Betty Watson said.

Watson is one of the residents who are upset with the church remaining open.

But there are others in Gatesville who believe it is a healing place and that the man running it is not the demon some portray him as.

"He is a man of God he is a good man and he is a pastor and he has a pastor's heart," Paula McCloud said.

Depending on whom you ask, 74-year-old James Chamblers Boling is a sinner or a saint.

Boling is a registered sex offender who pleaded no contest to sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl back in 1995.

"I've been asking different people their opinion and they're flabbergasted, they never knew it existed," Watson said.

Boling was a school bus driver and assistant pastor before he was charged.

"I heard that she was made to sit in his lap while he drove the bus around and he fondled her while she sat in his lap," Mickie Kelley.

We tried talking to Boling but he refused to answer the door.

Members of his congregation were not as shy and were quick to defend their spiritual leader.

"I don't see anything wrong with that, because he is not a sex offender he was charged with it but he is not one," McCloud said.

"He's got it on his record but that doesn't mean he did it," Birdie Kelley said.

But for the group against the church, they said it is too risky to allow Boling to lead a congregation.

"I worry about the children, because there is children that goes to the churches and there is children that goes without their parents,"

Mickie Kelley said.

Betty and Mickie told us members of their family are part of the church but both knew they needed to take a stand.

"I've lost a lot of family today and I'll deal with that, if I can save one child, I'll deal with that," Watson said.

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