Bishop Joseph White, the founder of a church with worldwide followers, has been reinstated as Bishop of the Church of the Living God International, which is headquartered in Columbus.
The Bishop’s reinstatement comes about 15 months after the church’s board of directors suspended him following allegations of sexual misconduct that were first exposed in an exclusive Tom Meyer investigation.
The board in its letter to church members said, "Through careful consideration and prayer, the CLGI Board of Directors has reinstated Dr. Joseph White." The letter goes on to say that White established churches all over the world.
"It is our desire that he finish the work God called him to do."
Former church members who alleged that Bishop White sexually abused them as minors and young men called the board’s decision a travesty and a slap in the face to all his victims.
"It’s really a non-admission to his guilt and what he did to me," Lloyd Ocampo said.
Travis Durham was 17 when he says Bishop white sexually abused him. He finds the board’s letter offensive because he believes White never vacated his powerful position with the church. He says White directed his subordinates to carry out his wishes.
"They made it seem like they did something, while on the outside, they did nothing," Durham said. "He’s still getting his house paid for, his Mercedes paid for, all covered."
Phone calls to White and the church were not returned. But White briefly denied the allegations a year ago as he walked briskly inside the church to avoid questions by The Investigator Tom Meyer.