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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Tyler Swaggard Accused of Exploitation of a Child

tyler swaggard

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.

Tyler Swaggard, a youth pastor at Pinelake Church in Flowood, Mississippi, stands accused of exploitation of a child.

ABC-16 reports:

A Rankin County youth minister has been arrested for child exploitation.

Tyler Swaggard, 21, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony exploitation of a child. Flowood police said multiple complaints from youth members of the church, later determined to be Pinelake, prompted the investigation between the church and police.

Pinelake released the following statement:

We are aware of the recent arrest and charges involving a former Pinelake staff member. When the allegations were first brought to our attention, we quickly reported it and began working closely with authorities to assess the situation. These charges are very serious and deeply disturbing. It is a heartbreaking betrayal of our standards, especially from someone in a position of trust. Our priority is to shepherd and care for our church family, and we will continue to work diligently to provide care and support to all those affected by this situation.

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Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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 Comment

  1. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Most of the folks featured in the Black Collar Crime series are/were middle aged. On one hand, it’s disturbing to see someone so young. On another, if he is guilty, I am glad that he’s been caught and that future abuse may be prevented.

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Bruce Gerencser