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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Glen Uselmann Accused of Sexual Assault

sexual assault

Glen Uselmann, formerly a youth pastor at Calvary Gospel Church in Madison, Wisconsin, stands accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a church girl. Uselmann later married his victim. Calvary Gospel is affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church International.

The Cap Times reports:

Glen Uselmann, of Columbus, is charged with second degree sexual assault of a child and sexual assault of a child under 13, according to a criminal complaint from Madison Police filed in Dane County court on July 15. Uselmann’s initial appearance in court is scheduled for Aug. 6. 

The charges come after a Cap Times story in August 2019 detailed how men at Calvary Gospel Church in Madison, a United Pentecostal International congregation, allegedly groomed and molested girls at the church, who were often pressured to later marry their abusers.

Rebecca Martin Byrd was one of those women and agreed to speak with a Cap Times reporter and be named in this story. She married Uselmann following years of abuse, starting when she was 12, she said. They divorced in 2006. Seeing charges filed in her case has been validating, she said.

“I lost my childhood… when you suffer abuse for years and years it’s almost like you don’t realize what is happening,” she said. “You get so accustomed to being treated that way and so accustomed to having no control in your life. In a way you suppress your own needs and your own feelings. When someone said, ‘Yes, this was wrong,’ that is very validating for me.”

….

Byrd was one of 13 people the Cap Times interviewed for its 2019 story, four of whom said they were sexually assaulted and manipulated as children attending Calvary Gospel Church in the late 1980s and 1990s. Nine others, including parents, siblings of alleged victims, members who witnessed sexual misbehavior and one pastor who was in leadership at the time of many allegations, corroborated the abuse.

Byrd filed a report with Madison police last August hoping the case would fall within the state’s statute of limitations for sex crimes against children, but she wasn’t sure, she said. The Madison Police Department said Monday that the investigation is still open and could not comment on it. 

….

The criminal complaint outlines several interviews conducted by Madison Police Detective Bradley Ware over the last 11 months. It includes a statement from the church’s current bishop, John W. Grant, identified by his title and the initials “JWG” in the report. Grant led Calvary Gospel Church for 47 years. His son Roy Grant now leads the congregation. 

According to the complaint, Ware asked Grant if Uselmann ever admitted to his sexual relationship with Byrd when she was a minor. Grant said Uselmann admitted they had had sex but “made it sound like it was only one time.” 

….

Byrd said she hopes the case sheds light on the church institution that enabled the abuse and helps others come forward to report it. 

“I feel like this case isn’t just about this one man,” she said. “This case to me is about an institution that was corrupt and was abusive and belittling to women. I hope this case blows open the doors to a lot of other situations that went on in that group that shouldn’t have gone on.”

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.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome 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. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Because Christianity, particularly of the evangelical style, needs some foundational commitment to self-harm (the fallen nature, the hopeless, helpless sinner) it stands to reason that those in the business can fairly quickly slip into ‘disrepair’ and do things to confirm their fallen natures. This is expected and is the concrete on which the church is built.
    When one claims the church is built on the rock, that rock is not the Jesus of history but the concrete of today. When the youth pastor has sex with a child, a preadolscent child, then he is only confirming his faith, his fallen nature and how much he needs dear Jesus to help him! So, on to confession and replay!
    The scenario that is written of here in this blog is oft repeated for the glory of God.
    Frankly, I see it as damaged humans adopting a business plan, a sick plan that is structured to harm self and others and does so quite handily, as this black collar series so clearly demonstrates.
    Christians who come by here will talk about how this is not their belief or their practice but it is, Christian. Sure there are as many beliefs as there are Christians but they all own the black collar series. The difference between these protesters and Bruce Gerencser is that Bruce makes the effort to uncover reality, not cover it up and say, Not us!
    Christian, what are you doing to truly save the children? Do you really believe that if they give their hearts to God, then their being raped will be undone and somehow repaired? Why don’t you ask them? There are thousands who could tell you first-hand what happened to them and how it stole their childhood, scarred them for Jesus.

  2. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Well put, Brian ! I never will understand anyone who thinks pederasty is normal, excusable, or justified as moral failure and compulsion of a fallen nature. It’s an illegal act, for one. So these people listed in the Black Collar segment are violating Romans13, to begin with. It’s simply amazing to see how many of these people that are out there. I see the series as a service to the community as well as a warning to perps that they’ll be outed. Too bad if the hidebound conservatives don’t like it. This is a reminder to watch those who work with kids.

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