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Black Collar Crime: Salvation Army Youth Pastor Jeffery Williams Accused of Sending Sexually Explicit Materials to a Minor

jeffery-williams

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.

Jeffery Williams, formerly a youth pastor with the Salvation Army in Fountain, Colorado, stands accused of sending sexually explicit materials to a minor in the church’s youth group. Williams is a married father of three. The Salvation Army is an Evangelical sect.

Church Leaders reports:

A former Salvation Army youth pastor has been arrested and charged with sending sexually explicit materials to a minor. Jeffery Williams, 38, turned himself in to police in Fountain, Colorado, on Nov. 10. He was booked on charges of obscenity and unlawful sexual communication by a person in a position of trust.

According to Salvation Army officials, Williams served in Fountain from 2013 to 2017. After that, he served in Chandler, Arizona, until being suspended and then terminated last month. The church says it took immediate action when it learned of the allegations against Williams and is cooperating with authorities.

Before being commissioned as a Salvation Army officer in 2013, Jeffery Williams completed a two-year church training program in California. Then he was stationed for four years in Fountain, where the alleged incident occurred.

Fountain police say they began investigating Williams last month, and that investigation led to his arrest this week.

Although Fountain police didn’t indicate a timeline for the alleged incident, the church’s statement notes: “The Salvation Army understands that the charges at issue involve conduct that occurred about seven years ago in Colorado, but the charges are serious.” The church also says it had not received any previous complaints about Williams’ conduct with minors.

In its statement, the Salvation Army emphasizes that it “does not tolerate sexual misconduct or improprieties of any kind.” It adds, “In accordance with our policy, once we learned of the allegations last month, [Jeffery Williams] was immediately suspended and we reported these allegations to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. Since making this report, we have been cooperating with Fountain Police and Williams has been terminated. We have also attempted to contact the victim in the case to extend any assistance she may require.”

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According to social media posts, Williams has been married for almost 20 years and is the father of three children. His wife also serves in the Salvation Army. Church Leaders has reached out to the couple for comment and will update this article with any reply.

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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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3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Ben Berwick

    The frequency at which these allegations appear among Evangelical institutions is really quite scary. I don’t doubt it happens across other denominations, or other religions, or even outside of religious bodies, but among these repressed, closed off, ignorant corners of fundamentalism… well, it shows how unhealthy their thinking and reasoning skills are. It shows how poorly-developed their social and moral understanding truly is.

  2. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Wow ! The S.A. acted swiftly, unlike most of such churches. Kudos for showing outrage,and shutting this crackpot down. Great example for other churches to look up to !

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