Traveling Minister Arrested

Multiple Warrants Including Disseminating Obscene Material

Emily Gill
April 08, 2020 - 3:21 pm
Multiple Charges

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Released by the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.

The Special Victims Unit of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest today from an investigation that began on March 23, 2020.

The suspect is William G. Coates, W/M, DOB: 061960, 1401 Davie Dr., Newberry, SC, 29108.

William G. Coates

Coats is the pastor of the Newberry Christian Ministries Church, which is a traveling church that meets in people’s houses.

Disclosures were made that Coats has been ministering to young teenage males on multiple occasions.

During some of these occasions, the teenage victim disclosed at the Child’s Advocacy Center that Coats has requested for him to take his clothes off and compare his genitals with another young male that occurred at a residence in Spartanburg County.

Coats has also gotten into the shower with the victim on two occasions with an erect penis as well as masturbated in front of him.  

One of the shower incidents occurred in Spartanburg County.

After further investigation, it was learned that the main preaching topic for Coats is encouraging male masturbation.

Coats has a website for the church that only members are able to access.

Mr. Coats also has written a fictional book that is only provided to certain people whom Coats chooses due to needing approved log in information to access.

Coats’ book includes multiple graphic accounts of male masturbation with multiple characters.  

Coats’ book also described a graphic account of one of the characters sexually assaulting a four year girl in great detail.

The case will be referred to Greenville County.  

The lead special victim’s unit investigator presented the findings of her investigation to a magistrate judge, who issued the following arrest warrants for Coats:
Disseminating Obscene Material, Indecent Exposure, and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (3 counts)

The investigation has shown Coats has resided at multiple addresses throughout the United States; so the potential for additional victims may exist.

Anyone who might have been a previous victim of Coats is urged to contact Investigator Tiffany Hill at (864) 503-4579 or email her at

Investigator Hill is not available for interview requests from members of the media. Coats’ booking photo, the incident, and the warrants are all attached above.

Despite the arrest of Coats today, our investigation remains active, and more information will be released only at the appropriate time.

Our agency would like to thank the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division for their invaluable assistance with this investigation.

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