Pastor/Staff Pedophiles

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by PastorLynn, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. PastorLynn

    PastorLynn
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    It is a sad commentary on today's world that we must run criminal background checks on pastoral or staff candidates prior to issuing a call just to be as sure as we can that they are not pedophiles or thieves.

    Hardly a week goes by that we don't read of a RCC priest being charged with pedophilia. Just last month a here in town a priest was tried and aquitted of a charge that he had sexually assaulted a teenage boy.

    Since this board reaches Christians all over the world, I am curious to know how prevelant it is in babptist circles. I know of only one case locally. Approximately 10 years ago a 23-24 year old youth minister ran off with a 16 year old girl from his church. They were caught and he was arrested at a motel in Las Vegas. Do you know of a local Baptist pastor or called staff member charged with and convicted of sexual assault of a minor, or whatever legal term your state or country uses? Please no names or names of churches or cities.
     
  2. FBCPastorsWife

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    I'm afraid it is prevalent here. The man who served as Best Man in our wedding and serves as youth pastor/music director at our former church is a pedophile. Charges were filed against him but the police never would search his home, computers or anything to find proof. All they did was question him twice. The first time, he was very nervous. The second time he had found some source of confidence. The state prosecutor claimed there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

    We know the three boys that brought the allegations forth. These boys were telling the truth. It has absolutely destroyed these boys' lives. The youth pastor has two young sons now, his wife is pregnant again and they have two teen girls from the church living with them.

    Now the youth pastor is so confident he is not going to get caught. I pray that he does!!!
     
  3. LarryN

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  4. SaggyWoman

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    I have several friends who have abused by pastors years ago. They were afraid to disclose because the pastors were well known and the victims were concerned that people would even believe their story.
     
  5. blackbird

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    In my circle of preacher friends(about 20 in the circle)---to be honest--I do not know any of them to be pedo's! If they were---I'd turn um in before they knew what to think!!!!

    Now, outside of my circle--I know of several--none on a first name basis---some I know and they know me---some I know but they don't know me--I just read about them in the local papers---"So and So arrested for such and such"--and I'd know of um----some pastor rather large churches---some small

    Sad state of mind we're livin' in today, ain't it???

    Brother David
     
  6. PastorLynn

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    I would like folks to stick to actual court convictions, not rumor. Just because someone is arrested doesn't mean that they are guilty of the crime with which they have been charged. Although I'd say the odds of someone being guilty are pretty high when there several charges pending.
     
  7. LarryN

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    Of the two links I provided, the subject of the first one admitted his guilt to all charges & was sentenced to prison in 2002. The subject of the 2nd link has also admitted his guilt to the charges, and I believe his sentencing is pending.
     
  8. go2church

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    Do you think there is more of this awful behavior today, or are we just getting better at reporting it and learning the warning signs?
     
  9. PastorLynn

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    You know go2church I really don't know. I think in years past churches may have just terminated the staff member and dropped it rather than put the victim through the trauma and embarrassment of a trial and the bad publicity & shame for the church. I just don't know. I know that the SCOTUS just struck down the federal internet child porn law as a 1st amendment violation. :( Very sad indeed.
     
  10. Johnv

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    If it's required for teachers and Little League coaches, having that requirement for the pastorate isn't a bad thing. Especially given the influence that a pastor has on the flock.
    It's prevalent enough. Of course, I live in an area of the country where there are literally thousands of pasors of pne Baptist flavor or another. There was a case several years ago of a youth pastor attempting to take advantage of jr high boys in the youth programs. There was another case where a youth pastor did the same thing with pre-teen girls.

    There was a case about 10 years ago where a baptist pastor married an 18yo church member. He had never been married before, but he was 40, and they had dated for at least two years prior. The dating has been kep clandestine, and typically didn't look out of the ordinary. They married within weeks of her turning 18. They later left the church. I understand that he became a pastor at a church later on, when she was 21, and there wasn't a visible "need" to explain anything.

    There have been several cases of pastors having affairs with adult members. Most of the time, the pastors have been relieved of duties.
     
  11. LarryN

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    It is sad; but it's a necessary step in the calling/hiring process, even for Pastoral staff. The potential consequences are too devastating (and the liability issues too great) to NOT do it.

    I've had criminal background checks done on me twice: prior to being permitted to working with youth at my church (done for all youth and children's ministries workers as a matter of course); and also for my field of secular employment. As a matter of fact, my employer also has my fingerprints (and so now does the FBI) & also my voiceprint! (I won't even go into why that is needed!)
     
  12. Bro. Lewis

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    I would like to add a couple points.
    1st., I am glad to be part of a `fraternity` of people that when one of us messes up, it makes head lines. PREACHER CONVICTED OF PEDOPHILIA, you never read plumber convicted, or carpenter convicted. Ministers of the gospel are held to a higher standard even by those who don't embrace the gospel. This is a good thing.
    2nd., All people of all occupations should be considered inocent until proven guilty.
    3rd., Any one found guilty of this crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Nothing angers me more than when I hear of a clergy member just being relocated and slightly demoted by his denomination. Why are thees church leaders protecting a known criminal and rewarding him by allowing him to still be a minister?
    4th. & last, There are people out there who realize that churches do have insurance policies who gawc at the chance of winning a great settlement by falsely accusing a minister of a crime he never committed. A pastor is to be blameless (I Timothy 3:2) This doesn't just mean innocent, it also means we should never put our selves in a situation were one could accuse us of wrong doing. A little bit of wisdom goes a long ways.
     
  13. Deacon

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    One of the former pastors of the church I attend was a victim in his youth.

    The church should not tolerate any form of harassment, abuse or exploitation of individuals. One instance is too many.

    If there is one thing that should be learned from the situation within the Catholic church, it is that complaints about abuse and harassment need to be handled seriously and professionally. There should be checks and double checks within the leadership of the church. No single person should be endowed with immunity from investigation. This reaction may be in response to the present reprobate age but their establishment today will enhance the honor and the reputation of Christ.

    Churches are the perfect place for a pedophile. Where else will you find people willing to turn over their kids to a volunteer helper just because the helper is willing. Any church that does not have a policy concerning checking the backgrounds of anyone who cares for MY children (or those I care about) will not see my face!

    If promoted properly, the institution of such a policy will be a asset to the church. Where I attend we promote a “KidSafe” policy and much our literature uses that logo. A pastor is in charge of the program. EVERYBODY that teaches children and everybody in leadership are taught to recognize and respond to problems. They all are given criminal background checks. The cost to the church is about $20 to $30 dollars per person; and the checks are not perfect, some problem people may slip through, but the church is endowed with the responsibility to love and protect God’s children. We must not be remiss in that task!

    Rob
     
  14. TaterTot

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    Since we have been married, we have served on staff at 4 churches. At our first church, the min. of music (whom we suspected to have homosexual leanings) was found to have homosexual pornography on his computer. One of the youth told that this man tried to kiss him. He wasn't arrested - no crime- but he was fired. He is now happily serving a church in Alabama. )The pastor at the same church had an 11 year affair with the secretary, but at least he wasnt a pedophile. (DH and I found out about the affair and had to blow the whistle - long story). The next church, the music/youth guy (tremendously talented) was arrested for having sex (in the church) with a 13 year old girl, repeatedly. He didn't deny it and served 4 years of his 8 year sentence. He is now roaming free again. Thats the only two cases I personally know of, but its a terrible thing, and those two churches still havent completely healed.
     
  15. Phillip

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    I could tell you stories that couldn't even be printed on this website. . .
     
  16. Rookiepastor

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    It is sad; but it's a necessary step in the calling/hiring process, even for Pastoral staff. The potential consequences are too devastating (and the liability issues too great) to NOT do it.

    I've had criminal background checks done on me twice: prior to being permitted to working with youth at my church (done for all youth and children's ministries workers as a matter of course); and also for my field of secular employment. As a matter of fact, my employer also has my fingerprints (and so now does the FBI) & also my voiceprint! (I won't even go into why that is needed!)
    </font>[/QUOTE]Voiceprint??? If you desire send me a PM... I cannot even begin to imagine why...

    God Bless
     
  17. SaggyWoman

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    I hate to tell you this, but whether or not a case even gets to the reporting stage does not deny it has happened. Although I beleive in the innocent until proven guilty, is sexual abuse, often it never gets reported.
     
  18. PastorLynn

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    Folks I'm not saying pastor/staff background checks are a bad thing. In fact in these times it's a good thing. I just feel that it's sad that things have come to the point that we have to do that. My church runs a background check on everybody that has any contact with kids including the janitor.

    I have some tips to help Pastors or staff members or volunteers stay out of trouble and away from anything that might give way to gossip and/or accusations. Unfortunately we have people in the church that love to gossip. Things can get blown way out of proportion pretty fast.

    1. Never council with the opposite gender alone. have your spouse present or leave your office door ajar so your secretary is aware of what is going on. If your spouse cannot be there and you don't have a secretary have someone else, a deacon/elder there outside your office.

    2. Never visit a member of the opposite gender alone. Always have someone with you. When visiting in a hospital leave the room door open.

    3. Never give the opposite sex or kids a ride home if you are alone. Call a taxi for them if necessary.

    4. Never at any time be alone with a child.

    5. Keep your hands off church funds. Never have access to church bank accounts. The only church money you should touch is your pay check or gifts to you or your family.

    6. If your church gives you a credit card or cash for travel expenses to conventions or conferences get receipts and document every penny that you spend. Photocopy all receipts for your records and turn the originals over to the church treasurer or financial secretary along with any excess cash & get a receipt for it.

    Many many years ago a church that I pastored had a flood over the weekend from a ruptured water heater (upstairs behind the baptistry). Unfortunately it was not discovered until Sunday morning & the sanctuary was under 6 inches of water. The carpet, ceiling and drywall was damaged beyond repair. The pews, organ, and baby grand piano had to be repaired. The pulpit was damaged beyond repair. Our insurance company was Christian owned & specialized in insuring churches. The adjustor was an SBC MK. The construction company he recommended to do the repair work was Christian owned. The construction foreman pointed out the damage to the pulpit & told me that it was beyond repair. I asked him to call the adjustor and have him come out & take another look at it. He did and agreed with the foreman. Since most of the church members worked during the day and we were trying to get back in our sanctuary as quickly as possible, I went pulpit shopping. It was a very large city so we had a couple church supply companies in town & I had mail order catalogs. The least expensive factory built pulpit I could find was $1200. When I mentioned it to the foreman he suggested that I talk with their cabinet maker. I did and he built a beautiful solid oak pulpit that fit right in with our sanctuary decor for $700.00 saving the insurance company at least $500.00. The old pulpit was built out of plywood and was stained a mahogony color and was not sealed with any kind of water proofing. The foreman asked me what to do with the old pulpit & instead of telling him to haul it to the dump I told him to just put it in a store room.

    Well we weren't back in our new beautiful sanctuary very long when I got word that I was being accused of insurance fraud. It seems that the lady who made the accusation knew nothing about wood work & said that there was nothing wrong with the old pulpit. Upon a cusory exam it would appear that she was right. But if you turned it over and looked at the bottom you could see that the wood was split in several places. The foreman said that it would only continue to split with time.

    It turns out that the woman's son (at that time deceased) had built the original pulpit many years prior and her feelings were hurt that it had been replaced. I got letters from the construction company and adjustor stating what was wrong with the old pulpit & why it had to be replaced and posted them on the church bulletin board for everyone to read. That ended that.

    After I left that position I heard that they had brought out the old pulpit and sold the new one. Go figure.
     
  19. PastorLynn

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    SW, in this day & time all the media listen to police scanners and check PD logs daily for new stories. Very recently a RCC priest stood trial for sexual assault of a child. The charge was brought by a 21 yo man who said the alleged assault took place when he was 13-15. The priest was aquitted because the evidence could not be substantiated. The jury said that it appeared that the young man and his family had tried to extort money from the diocease by concocting the story (backed up by testimony & cross examination). That is why I asked for convictions only. Persons that are actually guilty are aquitted in trials every day, and innocent persons are convicted every day. But convictions are actually all we can go on in our justice system.
     
  20. Phillip

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    I hate to tell you this, but whether or not a case even gets to the reporting stage does not deny it has happened. Although I beleive in the innocent until proven guilty, is sexual abuse, often it never gets reported. </font>[/QUOTE]As a licensed Private Investigator, I do background checks for not only churches, but other employement reasons.

    If a person even has been arrested for charges of a "sexual" nature, or one of a "honesty" issue, they are usually not considered for hire. AND, they are told, this is the reason why. This is the reason that many kids don't understand how important it is to keep their record clean when they are young. An arrest will remain on the books, sometimes for life.

    Multiple arrests and you certainly don't consider that person.

    Yes, I know that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but it is also legal to find "smoke" and where there is "smoke" there is usually fire.
     

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