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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Steven Waller Charged With Sexual Battery of a Minor

steven waller

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Steven Waller, pastor of Dover First Church of the Nazarene in Dover, Tennessee, was charged today with “aggravated sexual battery involving a minor.” Fox-17 Nashville reports:

The Stewart County Sheriff’s Office said a man was charged after having sexual contact with a girl while she was sleeping.

Steven Waller, 51, is charged with aggravated sexual battery involving a minor. Waller is a pastor at the Dover First Church of the Nazarene.

Investigators said Waller admitted during an interview to having sexual contact with a girl under the age of 18 while she was sleeping. The day of the interview he was charged with aggravated sexual battery and bond was set at $75,000.

Waller’s bond was reduced to $60,000 during an appearance in General Sessions Court with conditions that he gets no new charges before his trial and that he has no contact with children under the age of 18, including the victim.

Dover Nazarene Facebook page


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    Don’t understand why you did a strike – through on Dover First Church of the Nazarene. That is accurate. The private Chatrooms on Facebook are ABUZZ with this guy’s arrest, and now out on bail. You have not made an error. He started out as a Youth Pastor many years ago, and was assigned his own “grown-up” church at Dover Naz. As former “youth” under his leadership, they all recognize the Channel 17 and Channel 5 image as was posted on TV news on the 19th.

    Frankly, wanted to compliment you on your commitment to exposure of Black Color crime as you call it, in the pulpits of this nation in particular. You are providing a necessary service, in a situation where insiders are told to shut up due to fear of being suied into the next millenia. Two Thumbs Up, Sir.

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      Bruce Gerencser

      The link shows correctly on my end. I know the church’s website has changed since I posted this story. Maybe it was down for a bit.

      The overwhelming majority of pastors are good, decent, honest, and very flawed. Unfortunately, due to congregants being taught to obey those in authority, and having a willingness to trust, forgive and forget, predators can easily find their way into places of leadership. Churches wrongly think if they have done a background check and it comes back clean, that their pastor is a good man. All this might mean is that he has never been caught or charges were never filed or they were dismissed. This is why the internet is so important. It allows victims the opportunity to tell their stories, and if churches will just do a damn Google search on their prospective pastor, they might save themselves a lot of grief.

      Sects can do more. They should have searchable databases for churches to search and see if a particular pastor has been accused of abuse/malfeasance. Of course, this wouldn’t work with independent churches.

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        In the case of the Naz., they keep a sacrosanct, under lock and key master list of Ministers who have had their credentials yanked by the administrative level of the international denomination. Very few are women who have surrendered credentials.

        As of the settlement of the humongous Bethany First Church/Southern Nazarene University abuse lawsuit on Aprii 24, 2009, (5 little children plaintiffs, multipled 10s of millions of dollars in damages to keep out of the court system “officially”, it has been reported on Ch9 news (OKC), there were 458 removed preachers as of that date because of sexual misconduct since records started being kept. FOUR-HUNDRED and FIFTY-EIGHT! By July 2009.

        The actual log was shown on that TV station and is still visible on the ‘net. That “log” was part of the Trial Exhibits from the Ryan Wonderly “youth minister” sexual abuse case which was completed before that program aired on New9. Wonderly is still in prison serving his 35 yr sentence.

        My point is this: The Naz church will never allow the public to see this list. Heck, it’s not even letting the “calling” churches committee tasked to find a preacher, see the list. The names of candidates are supposedly checked against that list, but only denom Admin level says they are or aren’t on the list, and that’s that.

        It wasn’t even until about 4 yrs ago, that the Naz church universities were checking their enrolling ministerial students against that “sacred scroll” in the admin level. It is reported that one of the last predators who wasn’t caught and is now in the Treasure Valley in ID serving in a ministerial position was the last one who squeeked through before it was decided that the Dept of Religion was going to do this “checking internally” system to try to weed out the problem (mostly) males in the educational track for ministry before getting their credentials. Of course, now, so much of the course work is “distance education” as opposed to campus presence, that has holes like a slice of swiss cheese. UGH

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Bruce Gerencser