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.
In May 2018, Cameron Giovanelli, the president of Golden State Baptist College — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution operated by Pastor Jack Trieber and North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California, was accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a church teenager when he was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk, Maryland. Giovanelli denied the allegations and exited stage right to points unknown. ( Please read the previous post titled, Black Collar Crime: IFB Preacher Cameron Giovanelli Accused of Sexual Assault)
You can read Giovanelli’s side of the story here.
Today, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Giovanelli is now the associate pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Giovanelli also plans to help Immanuel Baptist’s pastor, Greg Neal, start a new unaccredited IFB secondary institution called North Florida Baptist College. Neal, himself, was caught up in a sex scandal in 2011 when he was accused of video voyeurism. You can read more about Neal’s brush with the law here and here. Neal, unfortunately, escaped prosecution.
I have no doubt that a number IFB pastors and churches will recommend North Florida Baptist College to its students. Neal is a graduate of Hyles-Anderson College. Deeply influenced by disgraced pastor Jack Hyles, I am sure that both Neal and Giovanneli subscribe to the Hyles rule: If You Didn’t See It, It Didn’t Happen. (Please see Sexual Abuse and the Jack Hyles Rule: If You Didn’t See It, It Didn’t Happen)
Cameron Giovanelli was born on June 29, 1977. He was saved on September 20, 1990, while living in Rohnert Park, CA. In 1994, he surrendered to preach while attending a youth conference in Santa Clara, California. Following his graduation, he attended Golden State Baptist College where he met his wife, Sarah, and they both graduated in 2000.
After graduating from Bible college, Cameron Giovanelli served as a youth pastor for several years in Napa, CA; as an associate pastor in Manteca, California; and then, as a pastor in the fall of 2003. He pastored a growing church on the east coast for eleven years before accepting a position at his alma mater as the president. In 2018, he and his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and began serving as an assistant pastor at the Immanuel Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Greg Neal. Now, with the announcement of North Florida Baptist College, Cameron Giovanelli has been asked and has accepted the role of president.
Cameron and Sarah Giovanelli have three children. Together, the Giovanelli family has seen the Lord work in remarkable ways, and they are excited about this next phase of their ministry life. Cameron Giovanelli is a seasoned servant and soldier of the cross, and it is with great excitement that North Florida Baptist College has called him to lead the way of training up the next generation of church leaders.
No mention of the allegations against him. I wonder why? Sadly, the IFB church movement tends to be a shameless lot, and the latest escapades of Neal and Giovanelli only reinforce that notion. As I perused North Florida Baptist College’s twitter account, I noticed that IFB luminary Bob Gray, Sr. is a follower. No shock there. Gay is a Hyles loyalist, and has stood by several IFB preachers accused of sexual misconduct. I followed North Florida Baptist, and it took less than sixty-seconds for them to do the following:
They also reported my account and got it temporarily blocked. I wonder what Giovanelli, Neal, and Company are trying to hide?
Sorry boys, but I ain’t going away.
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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