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.
Major Foster, pastor of Philadelphia Pentecostal Holiness Church (no web presence) in Ellendale, Delaware, stands accused of using Bible verses to pressure church women into having sex with him.
A pastor is accused of a “years-long pattern of abuse” by using religious scripture to pressure female churchgoers into having sex with him in Delaware, law enforcement officials say. Major Foster, of Lincoln, is facing additional charges after a grand jury indicted him for unlawful sexual contact in November. Officials are calling for any additional potential victims to come forward, according to the Delaware Department of Justice. The alleged abuse occurred between 2013 and 2020 while Foster was a pastor at the Philadelphia Pentecostal Holiness Church in Ellendale.
He’s also accused of making inappropriate comments and instigating “prolonged hugs during which he made inappropriate sexual contact with his victims,” the release said. The November indictment provided to McClatchy News identified three women Foster is accused of having sexual contact with while “he knew the contact was offensive to the person or occurred without their consent,” it said.
A victim’s husband once confronted Foster, who then pushed him in response, according to prosecutors. He was charged with offensive touching. The church’s Facebook page identified Foster as a bishop and shared videos of him preaching in 2019. The page’s most recent post was in November 2020. “We have reason to believe that Foster’s alleged years-long pattern of abuse includes as yet unreported, additional instances,” state Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a statement. “We ask that any additional victims or witnesses with information come forward. We will be there to support you.”
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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