Court Records Reveal Burned Chickasha Pastor's Criminal Past
CHICKASHA, Oklahoma - Investigators are working to uncover evidence in the death of an Oklahoma pastor.
Michael Walworth's burned body was found Friday morning outside of the First Missionary Baptist Church in Chickasha.
Since then, investigators have been retracing the pastor's footsteps including his sordid past.
Walworth devoted his final days to working with ex-convicts and leading the jail ministry at his church.
"He helped guide people...he could relate to mistakes they made," Craig Caffrey, Walworth's friend said..
Walworth made a few mistakes of his own in his lifetime.
According to Texas court records, Walworth was a convicted sex offender.
He pleaded guilty in 1998 to indecency and aggravated sexual assault with a child in Taylor County, Texas.
"It didn't reflect the man I knew," Caffrey said.
Walworth registered as a sex offender until his sentence expired in 2014.
Records show he was ordained in 2003, before his probation ended.
The details of his criminal past surprised some of his neighbors.
"He was always friendly... nothing out of an ordinary," his neighbor Travis Denham said.
Many of the neighbors who live nearby say Walworth made amends for his past transgressions by helping his parishioners and always lending a hand to his fellow neighbors.
"If the things he did weren't redemption for any mistakes he made two decades ago, then Ii dont want redemption is," Caffrey said.
The investigation is ongoing. The medical examiner is working to determine the exact cause of death.
A memorial service is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the First Missionary Baptist Church.