Prestonwood Baptist minister arrested in sex sting

Discussion in '2008 Archive' started by KenH, May 17, 2008.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    What a sad, disappointing story. :tear: We need to pray for this man, his family, and the Prestonwood church.


    Prestonwood Baptist minister arrested in sex sting

    12:51 AM CDT on Saturday, May 17, 2008

    By TANYA EISERER and SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News

    A minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church faces a charge of online solicitation of a minor after police say he drove from Plano to Bryan to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.

    The "girl" was a police officer pretending to be a teenager as part of an ongoing Internet sex sting. Joe Barron, one of about 40 ministers at the 26,000-member megachurch, could face up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the second-degree felony.

    - rest at http://tinyurl.com/5dan8d
     
    #1 KenH, May 17, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2008
  2. jilphn1022

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    We are praying

    for this pastor
    and we are thankful that no child was harmed by him.Please may he repent of his sin and help us to forgive him if this was his first offense. Lord,be with his family at this very sad time. Lord you are faithful and may we all be faithful to you!
     
  3. Martin

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  4. Palatka51

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    This man is NO PASTOR and should get all that the law allows for punishment!!!!! It is highly likely that he has engaged children already and that this is not going to be his last. If this is his first then Praise God he has been removed.

    Nothing makes me angrier than this kind of activity in the Church.
     
  5. Joe

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    Thank you for posting this. With all due respect, we know no matter how many precautions we have in church that this could happen to any of our churches. So this incident would not keep me from attending their church. In fact, if it was handled properly, I would probably choose their church over another church.

    But after hearing this Dr. Gramm speak there is no doubt in my mind. This is a VERY sick church whom should close their doors.

    His whole speech is regarding damage control, and the impact this has on their church. It reaks of self-centerdness. It's all about their standing in the community and their church. In my experience, it is this mentality which covers up inhouse sin. If handled properly in the media, if anything, their church should grow. It would draw people to their church knowing they took some responsibility for hiring him, and made great effort to ensure their children are safe. That was one close call!!!




    They blame Satan over and over. They are all about rising above, getting past the situation etc..too bad they don't want to deal with it.

    This man's words never address the situation whatsoever.

    I would have liked to hear them tell us what standards they have in place to protect their kids and how in their investigation, it appears he followed them so the church kids were likely safe. I would like to hear how they brainstormed in a meeting upon establishing measures to prevent this from happening again. I would like to hear how they feel they couldn't have noticed something was "amiss".I would like to hear how thankful they are to god that one of their own was conversing with a Cop instead of an innocent child, and how appreicative they are to God that this situation wasn't much worse. That it didn't involve a child in their church.

    Never are specifics mentioned of whether they fingerprint their staff, no statements whether this Pastor was ever alone with other church kids (do they even care about their kids?) or any sort of corrective measures being considered for the future. No compassion, no love, it's all about how others view their church. Scary stuff. It's a common mindset in churches with sin in the camp.

    Listen closely to his words when he talks :tear:
     
    #5 Joe, May 18, 2008
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  6. Joe

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    Agreed :godisgood: In Dr.Gramm's long speech to the public, he never addressed their praying for their own pastor :tear: Only praying for themselves.

    I hope they feel a godly obligation to help restore one of their own to salvation. I wonder what they are going to do different to prevent this from happening again.
     
    #6 Joe, May 18, 2008
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  7. Martin

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    First, let me say that I agree with your comments about Dr. Graham's speech. However I would say that this man needs to be treated as an unbeliever. Scripture is very clear that the immoral are not saved (1Cor 6:9-10, Gal 5:19-21, Eph 5:3-9, Rev 21:8). There is no doubt in my mind that this was not this perverts first crime. This man needs the Gospel.
     
  8. jilphn1022

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    I agree with you!

    I am so sorry that I wrote what I did before I had a chance to read the article of this man's sin. I am using a public library and have limited time to use the library here so I had the article printed and I read it AFTER my comments.
    I hope and pray that no child was harmed by him!
    Yes,he should be punished for this horrendous crime against a child and what suffering he has caused his wife, children(?),and his church.
    I believe, that the true church should be able to keep such men from ever harming a child. Thankful this one was caught!!
    I do not agree that the priest are still in position to continue such a terrible sin against precious children and we certain should not tolerate it in the church.

    Thanks for your boldness to put be straight. I only wished that I read the article before posting my ill-stated comments!

    Please forgive me.
     
  9. jilphn1022

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    I read all of your comments on this thread

    and I agree with all of you.
    Church should be a safe place for children.
    I hope all church are doing some "house cleaning" to make sure each child is being
    protected from such people who creep in church as wolves to harm the innocent ones.

    I wish that someone would do a print-out of Dr. Graham's comments,please.

    We need to pray for this man's spiritual condition before God.
     
  10. Palatka51

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    I meant no admonishment towards you in fact we should pray for this man and his family and his Church.

    May God go with you.

    Mel
     
  11. Joe

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    double post
     
    #11 Joe, May 18, 2008
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  12. Joe

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    Here you go.

    You can click the link and hear him while reading his words. Notice my color coding.

    http://www.prestonwood.org/updates/video_pastor_20080518.php


    Pastor Jack Graham-Senior Pastor. Aka Dr. Gramm

    We have experienced a heartbreaking and tragic week. We are appauled by the disgraceful and grevious actions and subsequent arrest of one of our ministers. I am so very sorry for the injury this has caused individuals and certainly our testimony in the community.

    We have requested, and we have received, the resignation of Joe Berr, the minister in question, effective immediately. He is no longer a minister of Prestonwood staff. We work very very hard to earn the trust, accountability, credibility and the testimony of our church in this community. You can be sure, church, that we always seek the highest levels of integrity and godliness and devotion om our staff and certainly that would include first and foremost that which proclaim the name of Christ and present themselves as Ministers of the Gospel and I am confident, I am absolutely as confident as I can be that our staff here at Prestonwod is of the highest character. The men and women who serve on this staff team are godly, dedicated people whom have been here for years and years and years and faithfully flfilling their service and their calling for God, and we are very greatful for that.

    I want to thank you church for continuing to believe in us and certainly to pray for us and God's protection upon our lives, my life and the life of our Ministerial team. And my God give us the grace and the strength to overcome the enemy and his works against us and raise a standard of righteousness in this community.
    We have taken a hit (pauses for a bit while his church claps)
    We have taken a hit from the enemy, a huge hit and the scripture is true. Satan is roaming about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
    But I am certain by the Grace and the power of Jesus we will rise above this dark hole. And we will continue to worship and proclaim and exhault the Lord Jesus Christ.
    And what Satan has meant for evil, God, in his own way, and in his own time, and in his own providence, will use for Good for his Glory.
    (The congregation claps)

    When Isreal was on their way to the land of promise, they lost a terrible battle at a very small place, and they discovered the battle was lost because there was sin in the camp of Isreal.
    God exposed that sin, and removed that sin, and purified and sanctified his people that they could go on to victory. I believe God is purifying and preparing us for greater days, it's been my observation thru the years that when Satan comes against us on the heals of that if we will trust God, that God will be for us and if God is for us, who can be against us. (Pause again as Cogregation again claps).

    I have received so many warm emails,and text message, and letters and notes from from really literally all over the world. I heard from my friend Greg (last name omitted on purpose) Pastor in California all the way from Rome, and of course with the communication, the national and international news that this has become, he literally watched online my entire statement that I made to our congregation last night. And so it's out there, and I do want to thank especially the local press for their kindness in this, and their respectfullness in this to our church. They have been almost resistant in this to cover this story but of course, are obligated to tell this story, but I am personally thankful and appreciative to our local news media in the way they have attempted to handle this very difficult situation, but um..I have received so many notes and certainly inside the church that when I got home from Isreal, I have been in Isreal for four days this week, and I'll tell you about that when we have more time, why I was there and what I was doing.

    But this was on my door from one of our Deacons and his wife. Jack and Deb "we are so heartbroken for you and all you stand for as a Pastor and family. This is a very sad day for our church, for Joe's family, and all of the mighty things God is doing thru Prestonwood and your ministry. Your faithfulness touches thousands of lives so we are greatful for that. We know Satan loves to attack where the Lord is working and changing lives but this just stinks."
    I couldn't have put it better myself.

    "We also pray for you" (continuing the note from the Deacon)
    And this is what I wanted you to hear.

    "But this afternoon, when we heard the news, we just fell to our knees and wept and prayed. May the Lord surround you with wisdom, compassion, strength, encouragement and blessing" (This is the end of the pastor reading a note from his deacon.)

    And I am so thankful for the response of our deacons and our church leadership just like this, And we are going to pray now. And we are going to keep doing what we always do. And that is we are going to keep on singing, we are going to keep on worshipping, we are going to keep on proclaiming the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world.



    I never thought there could ever be a reason to boo a Pastor while in the pulpit until now...

    The blue means he is boasting or someone is boasting about him. Or he is making it again, inapporopriately "about himself" like his trip to Isreal.

    Red is the numerous references to this being Satan's fault

    He apologized ONLY ONCE for this whole incident (bolded), and it was overshadowed with his ephasis of the word "Certainly" pertaining to their testimony as a church being more important than his apology to anyone who may have been harmed.

    Pastor Gramm included numerous thank you's to people involved

    I started to underline the numerous references to his concerns over the churches " image" but it became so messy. Much of this letter speaks about the churches image. This senior pastor is responsible for 26 thousand people :eek:
     
    #12 Joe, May 18, 2008
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  13. rbell

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    Sorry, Joe, but this church should close its doors?

    Dude, that's a bit harsh. They fired the minister, as they should. I hope they throw the pervert under the jail. Was the pastor's response 100% of how I wish he would have said it? No...but it's not like some other churches who have defended ministers who engaged in such behavior.

    But close the doors of the church? That's over the top.
     
  14. Joe

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    Everyone else seems to understand.

    No need to apologize, it seems you misunderstood

    I'll add what I already posted. An incident of this nature would not prevent me from attending their church. With that, I would not want them to close their doors as you indicate.

    You need to listen to the tape, you can read along with it if you choose. The tape is also included in one of my posts. Then re-read my post so you will understand.
    It would be hard to miss by then.
     
    #14 Joe, May 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2008
  15. Pastor Larry

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    Joe,

    If you have accurately recorded the words, then I think your position is undermined.

    First, the Bible is very clear about the importance of testimony in the community. That's why a pastor must have a good reputation of them who are outside the church. The testimony of a church is very important. I have heard from those who are upset at the Catholic church for their coverups, and we have never had a problem here to my knowledge. So to say that they are concerned about their testimony and image in the community is to acknowledge that they have a biblical concern.

    Second, Satan is at work and is walking around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. I hardly find it appalling that someone who believes in the existence of Satan would attribute evil to Satan. That in no way indicates that the man is not responsible for his actions.

    Third, you say they don't want to deal with it. But what would you like them to do? You say that there is no discussion of what standards and practices are in place. Did it cross your mind to think that you don't know it all? We have standards and practices here, and I have never talked about them publicly. There's no need to. This was a short addressing of the issue. Why would he include that? Did you call the church and ask them if they had policies about this? I would imagine they do. Most insurance companies require them. Furthermore, they have software on their computers at church that prevents people from entering chat rooms, and presumably pornographic sites. So it seems to me that they did address it.

    You say there is no compassion and no love. Yet your own statement (assuming you listened and typed correctly) quotes him as saying, "I am so very sorry for the injury this has caused individuals." You even bolded it. That sounds like an apology out of compassion and love. The fact that they did not address specific individuals is wise. First, they may not know any specific individuals. And in fact, there may be none. This guy went to meet a police officer. There was no child actually involved. And we don't know if there was ever actually involvement with children. Palatka says this likely isn't the first time. But we simply don't know that. There is always a first time. The church claims they know nothing about it. So the reality is that there was no child (so far) that was affected by it.

    Quite frankly, you are reading an awful lot into this. It would probably be wiser to exercise some restraint.

    Here's the mistake they made: They asked for and received his resignation. They should have fired him. This is clear disqualification for life from ministry. I hope he repents and find true change.

    I have no connection with Prestonwood whatsoever. From the little I understand, they have fallen prey to the many vices of the megachurch movement. So I am not defending the church or their practices. But in this, you have simply judged wrongly, it seems to me.
     
  16. Joe

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    Yes, I agree. He is probably not saved

    I am praying for both him and the Senior Pastor, both do not bear Christian fruit. It's the Senior Pastor I am more concerned about. No doubt, his conscious is seared with an iron.

    The Senior pastor mentioned Satan twice, and "the enemy" a few times (Satan). So with all of the evil in the world, Satan just happened to be attacking and tempting with one of their Pastors. Blame Satan, take no responsibility for what happened.

    I thought the Senior Pastor was nervous and saying this wrong but when he read the note from the Deacon, it also mentiones Satan attacking the church. It appears this is their belief system. Convenient, then when anything goes wrong, no one takes responsibility.

    That though Satan could be anywhere in the world, he was at their church attacking their deacon. Maybe I am misunderstanding
     
    #16 Joe, May 19, 2008
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  17. Joe

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    Deleted. I misunderstood
     
    #17 Joe, May 19, 2008
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  18. Pastor Larry

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    On what possible basis can you make this charge?

    The NT is quite frequent in its mention of Satan and the enemy. i see no place in your transcript where this pastor avoids assigning responsibility to the man who did this. All the evil in the world is evidence that Satan is attacking.

    I don't see this in the transcript.

    I think you are misunderstanding.
     
  19. Joe

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    Then I don't know what to tell you except you need to examine your heart if you are to back up someone like this. I'll pray for you.
    I never said it wasn't nor that it wasn't a valid concern. It SHOULD NOT be the main concern in addressing this issue to the public, so much so, he's forgotten to mention praying for one of his own whom has fallen or this Deacons poor family. This Deacons wife and children need prayer, even if he misbehaves. Prayer needs to be encouraged for any children who could have been harmed inhouse.
    Handle the situation like someone with a conscious and he can easily develop a mighty fine reputation.
    It's interesting to me you are taking apart the messenger with no regard or mention in your posts regarding the family of the deacon, or the children whom could have been harmed. Your focus, as is his, is on the reputation of the church.
    He didn't attribute the EVIL to Satan. You are a Pastor, you didn't pick up on this?

    Read the red, it never states he attributes Evil to Satan. It is worded as if Satan is directly responsible. He is a PASTOR. If he was just a church member, that would be different. Pastors, by nature, should use correct theology. Not a good testimony.

    There has been no mention of taking responsibility except a week sentence of apology in which I bolded
    "I am so very sorry for the injury this has caused individuals and certainly our testimony in the community.
    Notice the emphais of the word "certainly" is linked to what he deems so important. His testimony in the community.
    See post #5, not sure how you missed it. I repeatidly state "I would like to hear....
    It's true. There was no discussion in his media statement concerning standards they have in place. Please listen to him before replying to me, it will clear up many of these misunderstandings.
    Absolutely.
    When a Deacon of yours attempts to hook up with a child, and is arrested, there is a need to, period. A need to address it in some way, in some fashion.
    No, it was VERY VERY long. This was not some brief press release.
    Agreed so I am unsure of why you mention it. In fact, I would bet they have more standards than most people would expect them to. There is no reason why they shouldn't be mentionng something to the nature of they are reviewing these standards, and are perplexed about how this guy slipped in. No specifics needed, just address the issue so others whom have kids who attend there, or did, will know they care about the issue.
    Please if you will, show me in the released statement to the press where they say this.
    It doesn't help otherwise.
    Please quote the whole sentence. It is overshadowed with what he deems more important. Read the WHOLE sentence, it's very sad.
    Then you and I are worlds apart so I suspect this conversation to be fruitless. That was a pathetic excuse for an apology. He needed to apologize and show remorse many times in that LONG press release. He was more interested in talking about his vacation to Isreal ("If I had more time") he says.
    I don't know what you are talking about, maybe this is a misunderstanding. This Deacon and his family should have been included in this guys prayers, all the prayers he spoke of in his press release. The children of the church should be prayed for, they could have been harmed.
    Child molesters usually molest many children before getting caught. It would be ignorant for us to think otherwise, so likely, there are many children hurt by this guy.
    As a Pastor, you need to get educated. This is crazy talk. You obviously know nothing about child molesters.
    Yes. It's possible this is the first time, but not probable. This man is in his fifties.
    *sigh* And you know this as fact? Amazing! This Deacon just miraculously beat the odds here
    I think you are looking into a mirror here.
    This is a rabbit trail, a technicality, I could care less about.
    If he hadn't have submitted his resignation, they would have fired him anyway.
    Finally, something we agree on :thumbs:
    No.
    I used the information provided as a basis for my conlusion. Wrong or right, it is the correct interpretation of the evidence.

    In my online research, I learned they are really into fulfilling the Great Commission though I am not aware of their specific practices regarding this endeavor. They just moved, or are in the process, of expanding into a larger building. It seems their church is thriving.

    But this may explain the reason the Senior Pastor didn't address Satan in the correct light regarding this incident. It's possible Satan is directly responsible, but not probable. The megachurch movements (if that is applicable here) imo, and this is only my opinion,Pastors often speak off the cuff. Sometimes fail to articulate their theology correctly. Even when addressing themselves to the world.
     
    #19 Joe, May 19, 2008
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  20. Pastor Larry

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    Not sure why I need prayer on this matter (though I need it on plenty of others). It seems pretty clear that if you have properly transcribed the statement, your judgment is incorrect. Now, you may have not transcribed it properly, in which case, since I am depending on your transcription, my judgment may be wrong. But given what you say the pastor said, it seems that you are incorrect.

    What deacon are you talking about? The only deacon you mentioned above was a deacon who wrote a letter of support for the pastor. He does mention prayer. The fact that he did not mention it specifically directed for someone means very little if anything.

    There are not any of these so far as is known.

    In this statement, he certainly did, at least from what you have said. Again, perhaps you did not transcribe it properly.

    I am not taking apart the messenger. That seems to be what you are doing. And I don’t know what deacon you are talking about. I don’t know of any children that were harmed. I am concerned about the reputation of the church because it affects all of us in ministry.

    However, I am addressing you, and questioning whether or not you have made a valid judgment. It does not appear that you have.

    You are simply incorrect on this, Joe. Sorry.
    Yes, and rightly so. So far as I know, this pastor has nothing to take responsibility for. He did not do it. As soon as he found out, he asked for the resignation of the pastor in question (though he should have fired him).
    I saw that. But that is not dealing with this situation, and you don’t know that those things aren’t already in place.

    So what? Why does he need to lay that out in this statement? That makes no sense.

    I don’t have the quicktime player on my computer and these guys are so far in the dark ages they don’t have it in Media Player format. So I am trusting your transcription. Perhaps you are incorrect.

    First, it wasn’t a deacon. Perhaps you should listen to the statement, or just read the news. Second, laying out policies and procedures is not necessary in a statement like this.

    I read your transcript above in about a minute. I heard the speech was three minutes. That’s not long.

    Because you seem oblivious to it.

    It would be a strange policy that would have covered what this man did (chatting at a home computer). I don’t know of any policy that addresses that.

    I think that is obvious, and sad. You are reading the worst possible judgment into this statement, and it is completely unwarranted.

    Why should he apologize and show remorse many times? What did he do wrong? This was another pastor. You talk about having a proper view of Satan (which it doesn’t seem you do). But then you do not show a proper view of sin and repentance. You are asking this senior pastor to apologize and show remorse for something he did not do.

    You don’t know what this man did before this. He may well have molested children. I don’t know. And you should not presume to know.

    Chances are I know as much or more than you do.

    No, it is not a correct interpretation of the evidence.

    Joe, you are attributing motives wrongly and you should stop. You should ask that your comments in this thread be removed by the moderator. They are out of line. It seems you have accused me of defending child molesters and quite frankly, that is completely out of line. It is unconscionable. Your post was misguided from the start, based on what you have said here.
     
    #20 Pastor Larry, May 19, 2008
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