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Black Collar Crime: Convicted Sex Offender Darrell Gilyard Pastoring Evangelical Church

darrell gilyard

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 2009, Evangelical pastor Darrell Gilyard admitted sexually molesting two children and was sentenced to three years in prison. After his release from prison, Gilyard became the pastor of Christ Missionary Tabernacle Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Christ Missionary, at the time, was affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. While I was unable to find out how long Gilyard pastored Christ Missionary, news reports today say the registered sex offender is now the pastor of Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Jacksonville. Shockingly, because Gilyard is not on probation, he is free to work wherever he wants, including churches filled with potential victims.

News 4-Jax reports:

A man who once served time in prison for sex crimes has become the new pastor of Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Jacksonville, and some said they’re concerned that he’s leading the congregation.

The Rev. Darrell Gilyard admitted to molesting two girls and was sentenced to three years in prison in 2009 followed by probation. He’s currently a registered sex offender in the state of Florida.

When he left prison in 2012, Gilyard first began preaching at Christ Missionary Tabernacle Baptist Church, which also made some upset.

After Gilyard became the new lead pastor at Mount Ararat Baptist Church, some people posted their concerns on the church’s Facebook page.

Tiffany Thigpen Kilgannon, who said she was a victim, wrote in short:

…God doesn’t need predators in the pulpit, no matter how great a speaker or the truth of God’s word being spoken…”

She continued, “…Please keep your young girls and ladies safe. It is a painful thing to recover from, give them the gift of safety…”

News4Jax visited Mount Ararat to talk with Rev. Gilyard. A staff member said, “No comment.”

James Andrews, a long time supporter of Gilyard, said he prayed about it, and he trusts the good pastor. When asked if he trusted Gilyard around children, Andrews said, “Yes I would. I wouldn’t have any problems at all trusting Pastor Gilyard around children.”

Gilyard was accused of molesting other children, but he was never arrested.

For the life of me, I cannot understand how men such as James Andrews and the leaders of the two church Gilyard has pastored since his conviction can turn a blind eye to his crimes. Plenty of prospective pastors available, yet the best you could find is a convicted felon and a registered sex offender?

6 Comments

  1. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    Why in the world would anyone allow their children to be habitually in the company of a registered sex offender? Why????

    • Avatar
      angiep

      The parents and authority figures of the church are guilty of endangering their children when they knowingly allow this. What restrictions does Florida impose on registered sex offenders? It seems that very limited contact with children would be the minimum.

  2. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Evangelicalism has a very nice smile and it does the job needed. Children are sacrificed to the church all the time. The preacher might talk about the dangers of the world, the evil that overcomes you, the devil’s wiles. The preacher is really talking about himself, of course but he is smiling and inferring that believers are not of that group but quite another, saved by the blood. We are a gullible lot.
    “James Andrews, a long time supporter of Gilyard, said he prayed about it, and he trusts the good pastor. When asked if he trusted Gilyard around children, Andrews said, “Yes I would. I wouldn’t have any problems at all trusting Pastor Gilyard around children.”” Saved by the blood. No problem at all…

  3. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Perhaps I’m cynical, but any time I hear a religious leader say he prayed (or is praying) about a clergy member who is accused of a crime, I translate it as “I don’t want to think about it.”

  4. Avatar
    dale M

    James Andrews is probably an unregistered sex offender “never caught”. Peas in the same pod. Not sorry for what they do but extremely sorry for being caught at it. There may be a lot of “blackmail” going on here as well ….. between these 2 “gentlemen”. This would answer a lot!

  5. Avatar
    nowamfoundatlast

    how is that possible? doesn’t he have to register as a sex offender, and then keep away from children? and is there a church that does not have children in the congregation? and wtf kind of parents would those be???

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