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UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor David Rowan Accused of Raping Teen Girls Commits Suicide

pastor david rowan

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.

2018

David Rowan, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Milton, Florida, stands accused of raping two teen girls.

ABC-2 reports:

A high-profile church pastor was charged with sexually assaulting two young sisters while he was in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for a religious conference.

Florida pastor David Rowan was arrested there Tuesday. He’s was indicted on rape, unlawful sexual contact and sexual battery by an authority figure.

The arrest stemmed from an alleged incident here in Middle Tennessee back in 2014. Rowan was a guest speaker at a religious convention in Murfreesboro.

Sex crimes detectives said he convinced the parents of two girls to let him take them to lunch. The family was seeking spiritual guidance from Rowan and trusted him.

Police said he brought the 14 and 15-year-old sisters to a local hotel where he took advantage of the situation and molested them.

Rowan is a well-known pastor in Milton, Florida, not far from Pensacola.

Rowan’s church bio page states:

The atmosphere in my childhood home was semi religious, leading to my philosophy by the time of my Navy enlistment in 1973 that all paths led to God—though because of my sins, I felt I could not go to heaven

My high school sweetheart and I were married in 1975, and by 1980 deteriorating circumstances in our home motivated us to take our two baby daughters and begin attending church.

Following Bible principles, our marriage improved, and I became a better man. My pastor told me that in light of these changes, coupled with the fact that I had gone forward in a church service as a nine year old boy, I must be saved. Further Bible study and application of the truths I learned brought me so much enjoyment that I began sharing these things with others.

Finally, in the fall of 1981, I enrolled in Tennessee Temple University to pursue pastoral studies and learned more wonderful truths, the two most notable of those being who Jesus really is and His wonderful gift of salvation. (Neither as a nine year old boy nor as a 25 year old man had I known these truths, but I concluded that God knew I would learn them later in life, so He went ahead and saved me when I was nine.)

After finishing my studies at Tennessee Temple University in 1985, I began my first pastorate, still clinging to that “nine-year-old” profession (whatever that was).

(During this time, two Bible passages kept bothering me: Matthew 7:21-23 in which the Lord disclaims certain individuals performing works in His name, and Ephesians 1:13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” “What did I believe when I said I believed?” was the recurring question haunting my mind.)

Through the Scriptures, God revealed to me that I was a lost sinner. He then used them further to give me additional knowledge I desperately needed and opened my understanding to the point that I rested in the finished work of Christ for mankind’s redemption.

After 10 years of church and ministry, I was truly “born again” and have never doubted or questioned the sufficiency of the suffering of Christ Jesus on my behalf.

Like Apollos in Acts 18, my “calling” is to keep preaching that Jesus is the Christ who died and paid for the sins of the whole world.

2021

Rowan’s case eventually went to trial. While awaiting the jury’s verdict, Rowan drove to a parking garage in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and killed himself.

ABC-3 reports:

A Milton pastor who was on trial this week for multiple sex crimes against two teenage girls was found dead in a parking garage Thursday in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, according to the Murfreesboro Police Department.

David Rowan, 66, appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the preliminary investigation.

Murfreesboro PD responded to the Rutherford County Justice Center Parking Garage on 223 Maple Street at around 11:43 a.m. where they found Rowan dead from a single gunshot wound.

Rowan was awaiting a jury’s verdict regarding his charges for multiple sex crimes involving two teenage girls in 2014.

Rowan was arrested by Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 16, 2018.

A report from the MPD in 2017 states that two teenage sisters were victimized in 2014. They said Rowan was the suspect involved.

Rowan was booked into Santa Rosa County Jail on Feb 16, 2018 and was held on no bond. (why was he out of jail?)

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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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4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Having lost people I loved to suicide, I see it as a tragedy, even by someone who did terrible things before killing him or her self. But I feel anger that Pastor Rowan because, it seems, he shot himself only so he could avoid the consequences of his actions. I say that as someone who didn’t talk about being abused by a priest until he was dead (which I didn’t know at the time) for decades.

  2. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    I always have to wonder, why would they ever entertain such thoughts ,. They had to see that one verse about the millstone around one’s neck,etc !

  3. Avatar
    Meona

    I have known this David Rowan since I was 15 I loved him at one time I just would have never dreamed of him doing something like that until my daughter spoke up my kids grew up with his kids yet I believe it and this is no reproach on Christs name he was a sick individual that needed Christ I have heard that stupid testimony of his so many times it truly makes me sick My Dad is a preacher and the things he did would horrify anyone our family life was hell I rather be on the streets yet like these are the kinds is preachers I was raised up with and it was all hush hush never spoken of we had no voice to speak up until
    I was being molested and other children by pastor Carl Fleming in Burrville Tenn we were going through court I was disliked by my parents and church I have grew up in the same church in Milton Florida where Rowan preached this kind of religion makes me sick that how I came to know him
    Please get this out Thank you for speaking the truth My heart goes out to these girls they went to him for help and he only hurt them worse he took the coward way out
    We need to Protect our kids do you know the preacher the Sunday School teacher the youth Pastor NO we just like to believe that people who come as wolves in sheep clothing we automatically trust them NOT ME I TRUST NO CHRISTIAN I trust in Christ alone !!!!

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Bruce Gerencser