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Updated: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Shannon Coutouzis Acquitted of Sexual Contact with a Child

shannon coutouzis

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 2019, Shannon Coutouzis, a youth pastor and administrative assistant at The Crossing Church of the Nazarene in Houston, Texas, was accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy. According to KHOU-11, Coutouszis’ bond has been set at $25,000.

Coutouzis’ church bio page states:

I was saved at the young age of four.  Ever since then, I remember having a conscious thought of doing right and wrong and living to glorify God. Then, when I got into the youth group, I began to learn the concept of having my own personal relationship with Christ. I learned about having a devotional and prayer life.  I grew a lot during this time. My teenage years were extremely influential. Through ministry and leadership opportunities, God revealed to me a love for His Church and a desire to teach teenagers how to live lives holy and pleasing to God.

When it comes to my call, it has been a gradual series of events. The first happening was probably when I was required to read The Cross and the Switchblade for a class in high school. This book was very powerful! David Wilkerson’s ministry to the gangs of New York touched me deeply. As I read about these things, I sensed God calling me to some sort of ministry.  After this experience and a few mission trips, I had affirmation of my call to ministry. Although I was not sure what aspect of ministry, I was prepared to do whatever God called me to do. So, I chose Biblical Studies. My desire is to be a help behind the scenes while teaching God’s Word. I will teach His Word by example and by using the knowledge and skills I have gained throughout my education. My passion for church work and knowing God’s Word has grown and I make every effort to further God’s Kingdom.

I believe Coutouzis’ father, Steve, is the pastor of The Crossing Church of the Nazarene.

On February 15, 2022, Coutouzis was acquitted of the charges against her. I found no report detailing why the jury acquitted Coutouzis.

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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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10 Comments

  1. Avatar
    maryg

    again no surprise. appears this person had been given a job and paycheck via the congregants her dad is fleecing. I would bet on a major sense of entitlement. these churches tend to be like a family business passed down from dad to his kids and their skill at manipulating people makes their living larger as time goes on.

  2. Avatar
    Michelle

    I went to high school with her and her whole family – her mother was a science teacher and her dad was a coach/pastor. Please do update on this story. Interested to hear more details. The rumor mill says it was a 16 year old boy… but who knows at this point.

  3. Avatar
    DoctorDJ

    Wow, they’re quick. The church has nixed its website, and Shannon’s FB page has been removed (both reinforcing your hunch that she’s the daughter of the head pastor).

  4. Avatar
    amy

    update: her jury trial is set for August 8 this year. i used to attend her family’s church for a couple years during high school and am fairly positive there is enough evidence for a guilty conviction knowing this situation personally.

  5. Avatar
    Brocken

    https://www.fortworthcriminaldefensefirm.com/blog/2021/may/how-long-do-sex-offenders-have-to-register-in-te/ This is just a guess on my part. One reason this Shannon Coutouzis might not have been convicted of the offense of sexual contact with a child is that the jury may have been reluctant to find her guilty of the offense due to the severity of the possible punishment required of a conviction of the offense she was charged with and her gender might have come into play as well. If a male offender had been facing the charges of sexual contact with an underage girl or underage boy, the jury might have been more likely to convict in that case. A conviction could have or actually would have resulted in an lifetime registration as a sexual offender for Shannon Coutouzis. This next remark is sarcasm and snark. It might be better to revise the statutes of the Texas to read that any female convicted of sexual contact with an underage male would not run the risk of lifetime registration as a sexual offender. Instead upon conviction of such offense said culprit would be required to enter a dunk tank filled with cold water. The parents of said victimized youth would then be allowed to throw baseballs at the lever that would send the convicted offender plunging into the cold water. In order to raise funds any other interested party could buy chances to throw baseballs to drop said offender into the cold water.

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Bruce Gerencser