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Black Collar Crime: Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Helio Ferreira Awaits Trial on Sex Crimes

Helio Santiago Ferreira

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 December 2019, Helio Santiago Ferreira, pastor of Grace Fellowship Seventh Day Adventist Church in Valdosta, Georgia. Ferreira was accused of rape, sodomy, and kidnapping, crimes that allegedly took place in Oregon.

KATU reported at the time:

Law enforcement officers arrested a 41-year-old pastor in Georgia who is wanted in connection to several sexual assault cases in Portland.

The Portland Police Bureau said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Helio Ferreira on Dec. 3 in Valdosta, Ga., where he’s a pastor in the community.

Ferreira is charged with two counts of first-degree sodomy, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, three counts of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree sexual assault, and one count of identity theft.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office says Ferreira is accused of sexually abusing three women in 2012, 2016, and 2018.

According to the indictment, Ferreira engaged in sexual intercourse with a victim who was incapable of consent either because of mental incapacitation or physical helplessness on or around Nov. 17, 2012.

On or around Sept. 18, 2016, Ferreira is accused of kidnapping a different woman and forcing her to engage in sexual intercourse and other sex crimes.

The indictment says on or about Sept. 7, 2018, Ferreira kidnapped a third woman and forced her to engage in sexual intercourse. It says he also committed identity theft involving the victim.

The indictment says Ferreira is a suspect in these three cases based on DNA evidence.

Ferreira has now been extradited to Oregon, and remains in jail awaiting an August 2020 trial.


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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  1. Avatar
    Yulya. Sevelova

    Hi, Brian. Yeah that helplessness of Jesus has always angered me. I first became aware of his indifference to abused babies and children when I attended various Pentecostal, AG, and other similar churches . I was appalled seeing these idiot “dads” bring up to the front of the church hungry, fussy babies for an impressive spanking before the congregation. This was in the mid-70’s, in small raggedy mountain towns South of the Oregon border. I was shocked at how often hatred of kids was displayed, even with naked glee ! I was a new Christian at that time. A real WTF moment. I for one, am glad there is a Black Collar segment to expose these lousy friggin’ jerks !! People need to know that said jerks exist, and there are legal and societal consequences for these actions. It’s a service to humanity, and a warning as well. I have to laugh at the notwit fanatics who call it anti-Christian to expose these people, because they have to be called out. How would it ever help Jesus, much less Christianity to hide it and indulge it ? Off to prison with such mo-fos ! I never saw sex stuff happen, but emotional and physical abuse for sure. These things shouldn’t be tolerated, named even once among Christians. I was told by one pastor up there that if I went to the cops and complained, I’d be doing the equivalent of betraying the brethren to the Roman’s. Of course, I did it anyway.

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Bruce Gerencser