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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Wayne Aarum Accused of Sexual Misconduct

pastor wayne arrum

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.

Wayne Aarum, a former senior high minister at The Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville, New York, current pastor of First Baptist Church in Arcade, New York, and the operator of Circle C Ranch youth camp in Delevan, New York, stands accused of sexually assaulting at least twenty-one girls in the 1990s.

According to a report released by Ministry Safe, Aarum engaged in the following illicit activities:

-stroking legs (outside clothing and on bare skin)

-stroking genital area- outside clothing

-touching vaginal area- outside clothing (in shorts or jeans)

-touching, rubbing and stroking breasts, outside clothing

-stroking labia, outside clothing

-stroking from hips to breasts, clothed, on the side of the body

-touching legs and knees

-hand placed on upper thigh

-pressing penis into back of girl (hugging from behind)

-rubbing penis repeatedly in a girl’s presence

-extended hug of a partially dressed girl”

Other alleged inappropriate behaviors are mentioned in the report.

7-WKBW reports:

The report stated that 27 people came forward to corroborate some of the alleged behaviors, including “hand rubbing inside of thigh…failing to honor preference NOT to be touched” and “meeting 1/1 with girls late into the night.”

Leaders at The Chapel said they, through MinistrySafe, also reported the allegations to law enforcement.

The Chapel at Crosspoint released a statement, which you can read here.

Aarum denies the accusations leveled against him. When asked if he had ever touched anyone inappropriately, Aarum replied:

No. I have zero recollection of that. I can honestly say no.

Aarum added:

“I still don’t know, although they [the church and the victims] have accused me and pretty much condemned me, I don’t know what I’m accused of. We’ve asked for any information they can give us . . . they’ve given us nothing.

In classic “stand by your man” fashion, Daryl DeKalb, a board member at Circle C Ranch, said the accusations against Aarum were bogus:

There is absolutely no credibility to any of these things. I worked in the ministry, my wife and I have worked in this ministry, all of those same years that they’re talking about. We never saw anything even approaching this.

It’s all lightweight stuff they’re bringing up anyway. It’s common for women as they get along in life…to see how their lives are not going well and when they sit down, like with a social worker…and they start hearing stuff from a social worker that says to them, ‘Well, have you ever had something in your life where maybe this is set off, the condition that you’re in now?’ I mean, none of these women had any complaints at all until they were contacted by this group and suggestions were made to them.

According to DeKalb, putting your hands on the genitals and breasts of teen girls is “lightweight stuff.” Makes one wonder what kind of man DeKalb really is. Instead of, at the very least, withholding judgment until the alleged crimes have been investigated, DeKalb says he didn’t see the crimes happen, so he’s sure Aarum is innocent of all charges; that the accusations are just a smokescreen meant to cover up an attempt to take over the camp.

Several news reports say that Aarum may not face criminal persecution for his alleged crimes due to the statute of limitations running out.

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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  1. Avatar
    Patricia Poczciwinski

    Hello Mr Gerencer,

    Your like was First on the safari search engine about Wayne Aarum.
    But that’s not why I’m writing.
    I perused your “about me” page and couldn’t find an answer to my question:
    Why did you abandon Christ and become an atheist?

  2. Avatar

    Not a doubt in my mind this guy did everything he is being accused of and I’m sure we will here much more to come.its a shame it took this long.

  3. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Just nuts, isn’t it ?? These people have no respect for the kids, who seemed stuck with them. If you’re sent to a rehab ranch, there aren’t many options. Why do these guys keep doing this over and over ? Don’t they fear that they could anger God ?

  4. Avatar
    James Lynch

    Interesting the amount of information that you didn’t include in your hit piece. You are clearly biased by your hate and given tour standard of proof advocated for here you should be calling for the resignations of both Biden and Cuomo. Why did you leave out the fact that MinistrySafe never interviewed Aarum? Aarum asked to meet with the board at The Chapel on three separate occasions and The Chapel declined. Why did you leave that out? Why did you leave out the fact that several of the accusers chose to interact with Aarum later in their lives? If he abused them as you claim, it seems odd they would willingly choose to let him back in their lives. Do your homework next time before publishing misinformation and just regurgitating other people’s work.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Finally a defender of Aarum, a man willing to say all these women are lying. sigh I’m surprised it took this long for someone like you to show up.

      The Black Collar Crime series relies on public news stories for its information. If you have verifiable public information that contradicts anything in this post, please provide a link. If Aarum wants to write a post disputing the information in this article, I will gladly publish it.

      I would add that your statements reflect you know very little about sexual abuse, especially that which is perpetrated by clergy. Maybe some of the abuse victims on this site will educate you on your uninformed beliefs.

  5. Avatar

    Hi James. I will begin by pointing that you are the are very good projecting your own personal shortcomings onto others. Christians are regularly accusing others of the very thing they themselves are doing. In this case, it’s accusation of bias and leaving out details.

    So, why are you such a vocal defender of this scum? What relationship with him are you leaving out? Does your expectation for full disclosure apply to yourself?

    As for your reference to Cuomo or Biden, I think I can safely say that no one here worships either of these men. I know many fundamentalists worshiped Trump and believed he could do no wrong, but we are not worshipers of Cuomo or Biden. As far as I am concerned, Cuomo should resign based on the number of accusers. If there were a large number of accusers of Biden I would say the same. Sexual assault is sexual assault. All should be held accountable where accusations are many and valid.

    By the way, you comment about these politicians is another example of projecting your bias onto others.

    Also, neither of these men are accused of abusing teen girls. Even Trump, with all of his issues, doesn’t get that disgusting.

    “ Why did you leave out the fact that MinistrySafe never interviewed Aarum?” The independent investigators found 21 credible victims (not accusers) and 27 corroborating witnesses. Those statements stand alone, regardless of any denial of the abuser. In any case, a good lawyer would tell Aarum to keep his mouth shut and speak to no one. Anyway, we already heard his proclamations of innocence. No doubt he would also blame the victims.

    “Aarum asked to meet with the board…” I read the report, it was very clear and very damning. Perhaps the board saw no reason to talk to him. Whatever that case, it doesn’t change the fact that he is accused of assaulting 21 girls, and is expected to have assaulted more that are afraid to speak up.

    “ Why did you leave out the fact that several of the accusers chose to interact with Aarum later in their lives?” Wow, are you really using the “attack the victim” trope?? It’s very common for victims to interact with assaulter when the assaulter has power over them and the victims feel helpless. He is reported to focus on emotionally fragile teens. They were already struggling, and would not be able to face the accusations that would inevitably come if they spoke up. The report even makes this clear. Your argument here is exactly what they fear. And to be clear, I think you are an arrogant, cold hearted, self serving, biased asshole for attacking the victims. Who the hell are you to denigrate young women who are the victims of assault, and who took great personal risk to speak up?? For this hateful spiel I give you a double fuck you.

    Do your homework next time before spewing pointless drivel and bashing victims.

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