Former lead pastor at Mount Hope Christian Church arrested

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The now former lead pastor of Mount Hope Christian Church has been arrested on charges of patronizing a minor victimized by sexual servitude.

Elbert Eugene Goins, known as Buddy Goins, was arrested on December 8 in Beckley. According to the criminal complaint, he had been talking to an adult about having sex with the adult’s purported minor child.

“During the conversations, Goins discussed meeting with the child’s purported guardian and the purported minor child with the intent to pay for sexual services with the minor,” the complaint reads.

When Goins arrived in Beckley to meet who he thought was the adult and the child, members of law enforcement including the West Virginia State Police were waiting.
He was arrested and taken to the Beckley Detachment, where he agreed to an interview with state troopers.

The complaint says that he “advised he was communicating with an adult” about having sex with the adult’s minor child.

According to the complaint, Goins suggested that he was hoping to have sex with the adult, but it also says that he knew what could be assumed from that conversation.

Mount Hope Christian Church in Fayette County, WV

The board of the Mount Hope Christian Church has released a statement about the arrest to Newswatch. It says Goins was terminated from his role as lead pastor the next day, Dec. 9.

The board says that they were “shocked” by the arrest. Their statement emphasizes that Goins was not arrested at the church and says that members of the congregation are not involved.

“The incident that resulted in the arrest did not occur in our church building or on our premises. Furthermore, the FBI has informed us there is no reason to believe that any of the members of our congregation were involved in the events leading to Mr. Goins’ arrest,” the statement reads. “We are fully co-operating with law enforcement in its investigation of this matter.”

According to the criminal complaint, the investigation and arrest happened in Raleigh County in Beckley. Mount Hope Christian Church is located in Fayette County.

Goins posted a $50,000 bond. According to records obtained at the Raleigh County Courthouse, his preliminary hearing is set for December 28.

The charges of patronizing a minor victimized by sexual servitude carry significant penalties. He faces at least three years behind bars if convicted, with a maximum sentence of 15 years. He could also face a fine of up to $300,000.

This is a developing story. Newswatch will keep you updated as we learn more.

Multiple members of the Newswatch team contributed to this report.

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