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.
Ron “Ronnie” Barron, a youth pastor at Loris First Presbyterian Church in Loris, South Carolina, and a volunteer baseball coach at the local high school, stands accused of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual battery with a 17-year-old student from Loris High School.
A Loris High School coach was arrested on Monday morning after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Ronnie Barron Jr. is charged with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual battery with a student.
Loris Police Chief Gary Buley says this whole investigation started after a parent found some disturbing images on their child’s phone and brought that phone to the police department.
“That’s how it all started,” said Buley. “The parent of the victim came in after observing the juvenile’s phone and noticing some activity that shouldn’t be going on.”
After an investigation, information was obtained and arrest warrants were issued for Barron.
Horry County Schools said the suspected relationship may have originated outside of school.
The school district added that Baroon was a volunteer baseball coach at Loris High School and has been a volunteer coach in the district since December 2020.
As of November 4, 2021, he is no longer affiliated with Horry County Schools, according to the district.
WMBF News also discovered that Barron was a youth director at the First Presbyterian Church in Loris. The church sent WMBF News a statement on Barron and the investigation:
“We have been made aware of the recent allegations of inappropriate conduct by our former youth director and have reported them to the appropriate authorities. The church leadership immediately accepted his resignation. We are cooperating in their investigation to the best of our ability. Given that this is an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further. We would welcome you to join us in prayer for all the involved individuals.”
“Nothing came out from the church,” said Buley. “It was definitely solo with the victim, that we’ve seen so far.”
After a month-long investigation, Loris Police arrested Ron Barron and charged him with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, which carries up to ten years in jail.
He is also charged with sexual battery with a student.
Barron’s church bio states:
We are pleased to have Mr. Ron Barron join the staff and congregation of Loris First Presbyterian Church. Ron comes to us from Epiphany Lutheran Church in Conyers, Georgia where he served as the Director of Youth and Family Ministry. During his time there, Ron sought to encourage a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through teaching Sunday School, hosting devotion times, and engaging the youth in service projects, fundraisers and team building events. He also involved himself in the community and coached baseball for Salem High School and the Conyers American Legion.
Ron brings to Loris a passion and energy to serve and follow Jesus Christ through ministry to the youth of Loris First Presbyterian and the community. As Youth Director for LFPC, Ron will be involved in all aspects of youth ministry from kindergarten age through young adult. Ron’s view of ministry as relational will lead to many group projects and team events as he encourages young people to explore their role as disciples and future church leaders. This teaching for discipleship and leadership involves disciplined scripture study but also an active faith demonstrated in evangelism, missions, and random acts of kindness.
When he is not working, Ron can be found fishing or enjoying the great outdoors with his sons **** and *****, and daughter, *****.
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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