Black Collar Crime: Zachary Wachholz Facing Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior With Minors

zachary wachholz

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.

Zachary Wachholz, a middle school/high school ministry volunteer at Community Bible Church in San Antonio, Texas, stands accused of inappropriate behavior with numerous church teens. Ed Newton, pastor of Community Bible, released the following statement:

In recent days, my heart was broken when I was informed that a part-time employee admitted to our executive pastor that the employee had engaged in inappropriate behavior with several minors in our youth ministry. We believe that this was limited to less than 10 victims, but clearly, even one victim is too many.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved in this tragedy.

We immediately notified law enforcement authorities, and the detectives limited what we can say at this time due to their ongoing investigation.

However, what I can share is that the acts involving all but one of the reported victims involved inappropriate electronic communication on electronic devices through social media platforms. One victim who was identified in the employee’s confession involved more than electronic communication. But whether it is inappropriate electronic communication or inappropriate physical contact, it is wrong and illegal and will not be tolerated at all!

Our primary concern right now is for all victims and families. They have all been contacted by our pastoral staff for the purpose of coming alongside them with love, support, counseling and prayer. Please pray for them.

The perpetrator has to remain nameless due to the ongoing investigation at this time. But, as I said, this person was a part-time employee. Prior to hiring this person, our church conducted a full background investigation, references were interviewed and numerous interviews of the potential employee were conducted. There was absolutely no reason to believe that this person posed a risk. Let there be no misunderstanding, this part-time employee was immediately fired from our staff upon learning of this information; this person has been issued a trespassing warrant, so as to prevent access onto our campus or attend any CBC related events.

In closing: This is a difficult time for the victims, the families and our church. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities. We are praying and doing our best to provide compassionate support to the victims. Also, we are praying for the perpetrator. We ask to join us in prayer.

Community Bible is an Evangelical multi-campus megachurch.

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6 Comments

  1. Matilda

    I’m a pretty mild-mannered person, but I really see red when churches do this type of non-pology. It always contains the empty christianese phrases, thoughts and prayers, our sympathies are with the victims and we are praying for the family of the perpetrator. They need to put their money where their mouth is, I imagine as there is no social healthcare in the USA, a good start would be to pay for the very best secular therapy available. And review their child protection policies. I’m sure they weren’t as good as they claim. No one working with children /vulnerable adults in churches in the UK is ever alone with them, a 2nd adult must be present.

    Reply
    1. Sarah

      One of my friends who used to attend and volunteer at Newspring with children said she was dumfounded at what happened there- because they did all those things. Most churches in US won’t allow less than 2 adults with a child either. We have the same standards here.

      Reply
      1. Matilda

        That’s good, I seem to read a lot about church abusers having lots of victims and always wonder, practically, how that can happen, so assumed the 2-adult rule didn’t apply universally in the USA and kids could be taken into a room alone with an adult. Everyone is very conscious of in the UK and though we’ve had many historic scandals, I can’t recall any recent ones – even the RCC ones are some decades old and I think it’s because everyone sticks completely to the rules whether working in churches or sports or other secular kids clubs – fortunately.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          There is no 2-adult rule in the U.S. Churches are free to do what they want. It’s insurance companies demanding more adult supervision. This is easier to do in larger churches. In smaller churches there’s always a shortage of qualified adult help. I am of the opinion that churches should do away with ministries that separate children from their families.

          Reply
          1. Matilda

            Yes, I did wonder, having been involved in the area of Child Protection legislation in the UK, how all these x-tian abusers could entrap so many kids in american churches…and I just couldn’t imagine it happening here, we are all so hyper-aware of possible predation and keeping the rules. Even when I took Sunday School and only two children who were my best friend’s children came, I still obeyed the law and got an 2nd adult to be there with me, silly as that seemed to me and my friend! But we agreed that if those rules saved just one child somewhere from abuse, it was worth it and we should obey. I’ve seen references in the USA to a child being taking to the toilet by a church worker and a child being taken into the pastor’s office to be spanked. If that were ever to happen here, I suggest, the Uk would experience its first lynchings for centuries…we feel very strongly on the subject!

  2. Kris

    Along with the sex stuff he also presented superstition to minors as if it was fact. Surely that should be a chargeable offense.

    Reply

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