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Pastors Behind Bars

Pastors Behind Bars

This stuff turns my stomach. People called by God and paid by a local church to be trustworthy and honorable… well, here you go.

Pastors behind bars:

Youth Pastor Charged with Indecent Liberties

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Portsmouth detectives arrested a youth minister for indecent liberties by a custodian.

Police arrested Brian M. Norris, 29, at his Chesapeake home Tuesday. Police say the victims were two girls in the youth group Norris oversaw at the church.

Norris has held the role of youth minister at Western Branch Baptist Church for more than six years.

Court documents obtained by WAVY.com say Norris fondled the girls both above and below their clothing. One victim said Norris asked her to engage in sexual intercourse. The girls said all of the inappropriate behavior happened at the church over the course of the last two years.

Link

Now, the court documents linked in the article make it clear that this is an accusation without any proof or corroboration of witnesses offered. But seriously, why would you ever put yourself in a situation where you’d be accused of that?

No training + No accountability = Bad Ending Every Time

Colorado Church Leaders Accused of Covering up Youth Pastor Sex Abuse Scandal

Five Colorado church leaders covered up information about a youth pastor who allegedly sexually assaulted a female church attendee starting when she was 15, claim Boulder police officials.

However, in police reports recently disclosed to 7NEWS, “VineLife Church initially refused” to give authorities reports from a therapist whom the church had requested work with Roberson. It also ignored a court order on July 11 to turn over records of the church’s internal investigation.

Link

Oh, there’s a special place for those who try to cover up the truth to protect “the Lord’s work.”

It’s called prison.

As a church staff member you always need to remember who you work for and why you are in ministry.

Pastor Arrested Twice In 6 Months, Accused Of Harassment

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Central Ohio pastor was arrested for the second time in six months, accused of phone harassment.

The alleged victim of Pastor Bennett Smith’s latest charges is a congregation member who filed a stalking protection order against the pastor.

It alleges, “In early August 2013, members of the ministry leadership team were informed about an incident where defendant was intoxicated while leading a youth camp. After meeting with TCAP staff and congregation members the ministry leadership team learned about several incidences of public intoxication involving defendant. The defendant was becoming physically aggressive and further the staff members no longer felt comfortable working with defendant.”

Link

OK, so this one is a lead pastor, not a youth pastor. But did I read that right? Homeboy still had his job after he was arrested in August, when the church leadership learned that there were several other reports of him being drunk in public… including at a youth camp?

Seriously church. We need to get a grip on reality. “Above reproach” doesn’t mean “above the law.” It means… beyond reproach, meaning they are the kind of person who won’t even be accused of anything.

I know. I know. I know.

Pushback #1. You will be quick to point out that tens of thousands of church leaders don’t commit crimes every year. You are absolutely correct. But these few do erode the trust of the public. And the three above are entirely preventable.

Pushback #2. We can all agree that it’s annoying that the media sticks a persons job title in the headline. They don’t do that to plumbers. But also remember that society expects that a pastor is protecting his flock.

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9 Responses to Pastors Behind Bars

  1. tyler December 3, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Until the church gets a grip on the role of rebuke and accountability of leadership, I fear this lack of accountability will continue. Many churches do not like rebuke because it is uncomfortable.

  2. Brian December 3, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    I think with the easiness of interaction with students one-on-one and pornography, this might be small now, but it has the potential of growing much larger. What makes its rough, is the aftermath in the community. Non believers start having questions, like “Why are you contacting my child?” “Why would a grow man want to work with teens and children?”

  3. jon smith January 6, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Update on Pastor Smith from December 09, 2013. State of Ohio number Case#13-CRB 02432

    • jon smith January 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      • Jon Smith January 15, 2014 at 10:54 am #

        Tuesday January 14, 2014 10:31 PM
        UPDATED: Wednesday January 15, 2014 11:29 AM

        DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio – The legal woes continue for a Delaware County pastor.
        10TV has learned Pastor Bennett Smith was convicted of sending threatening text messages to a former member of his congregation.

        The former Church at Polaris pastor was convicted last year in an assault case, and then asked to step down.
        Smith is currently involved in an ugly legal fight to re-take the leadership of the Church at Polaris.
        The church has accused him of being erratic and threatening, a description a recently resolved criminal case appears to support.

        In December, Smith once again found himself in front of a judge, charged with menacing and telecommunications harassment.
        A Delaware City Prosecutor quoted text messages sent from Smith to a former member of his congregation.
        “Hey, Fat (expletive), are you going to answer me? I’m beginning to be annoyed. Why are you saying stupid stuff and (expletive) with my family? I’ll kick your fat (expletive) (expletive), you two-faced (expletive).” The messages continued, “Do you have the courage to come face me in North Carolina? If you ever get within eyesight of me I will kick your (expletive) (expletive) (expletive).”

        Smith didn’t disagree when Delaware Municipal Court Judge David Sunderman described his texts as “threatening,” “obscene,” and “disgusting.”
        “From somebody who says ‘I’m a minister,’ that’s rather shocking,” said Sunderman.
        “Right,” responded Smith.

        Smith is the same pastor who last May along with his son was charged with assaulting a man in their church parking lot.
        Both Bennett and Paul Smith pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
        He agreed to resign from the Church at Polaris, but quickly changed his mind, prompting the church board to take out a restraining order.
        The victim of his text tirade also has a restraining order against him.
        Smith says he regrets it ever happened.
        “It wouldn’t be the proper manner to communicate with anybody,” Sunderman told him.
        “Yes sir,” Smith responded.
        “Much less in your position,” said Sunderman.
        “I agree absolutely,” said Smith. “I wish I never would have done that.”

        Smith pleaded “no contest” to telecommunications harassment, and prosecutors dropped the menacing charge.
        He was given a $350 fine and a year of probation, but that may not be the end of his legal troubles.
        10TV has learned the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office is also taking a look at this case.
        A spokesperson was unable to provide any additonal comments.

        Stay with 10TV and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

  4. Jeff Boose January 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    What is the purpose of posting of posting these?

    • adam mclane January 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

      “This stuff turns my stomach. People called by God and paid by a local church to be trustworthy and honorable… well, here you go.”

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