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Black Collar Crime: Southern Baptist Youth Worker Ralph Britt, Jr. Arrested on Child Porn Charges

ralph britt jr

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.

Ralph Britt, Jr., a long-time youth worker at Dunwoody Baptist Church in Dunwoody, Georgia stands accused of nine counts of sexual exploitation of children. Dunwoody Baptist is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

WSB-TV reports:

A church employee was arrested after Roswell police say they found child sexual abuse material at his home.

The investigation began on February 10, 2024, when Roswell detectives began looking into child sexual abuse material transmitted through peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

This led detectives to Ralph Britt Jr., 59, Johns Creek home on April 24, where a search warrant was executed.

According to police, authorities found more child sexual abuse material at the home and took several electronic devices for processing.

Later that Wednesday, detectives met Britt at Dunwoody Baptist Church, where he was arrested.

At the time of his arrest, Britt was an employee of the church, where he reportedly worked closely with children and the youth in different capacities over the past 20 years.

RPD says the church has cooperated with the investigation, which remains active and ongoing.

Britt was booked into the Fulton County Jail on nine counts of sexual exploitation of children. Officials said more charges are forthcoming.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan was at the Dunwoody Baptist Church Tuesday, where church leaders said the news hit the congregation hard.

“We are shocked and devastated,” Pastor Allen Taliaferro said. “This is someone we have known for decades.”

Taliaferro said Britt was most recently involved in a drama production and was involved with several different ministry departments.

Church leaders broke the news to their 2,000 members in an email and conversations.

“This was tough to sit down and say to the church,” Taliaferro said.

Pastor Alan Jackson said there is no evidence that the crimes happened on church grounds.

“No evidence has been brought forward that any person-to-person contact took place, and no parent has brought any suspicious memories either,” Jackson said.

Church leaders said they did regular, rigorous background checks on Britt and have measures in place to protect children.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 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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5 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Karuna Gal

    I tell ya, if I were a church going parent and read any of this Black Collar Crime series I would think twice about letting my kids go to any Sunday School program or any child or youth church events. And I’d educate my kids about self-defense and good self esteem from an early age. Too many creeps out there, in either secular or religious organizations.

    • Avatar
      Matilda

      Till 2014, I led Sunday School and a church kids’ club in our UK village. Both were well-attended, leaders had the mandatory police checks and I think we were quite well thought of and trusted. Then I was ill and out of action for 9m and deconverted. During that time, the IFB-style church plant here. (Sent from the USA to preach the True Gospel to us welsh heathens), put on FB that they were starting an AWANA. Inappropriate culturally from what I know of this group. (e,g.KJV only. A child once told me the AWANA memory verse ‘Walk worthy to them that are without.’ I’m not a fan.) Anyhow, 2 local parents commented on the FB post, ‘My kid won’t be coming, religious indoctrination is child abuse’. I was really shocked – though approving – that was the first time I’d come across the sentiment. Daughter’s church, trying to start a kids club that year was also told by parents they gave invitations to, ‘my child won’t be coming, they’re all paedophiles in churches.’

      • Avatar
        John S.

        It’s an interesting paradox for me personally. In my adolescence and teenage years I attended an Assembly of God church, which is a modern charismatic Pentecostal denomination, also with a big focus on missions to the “unsaved” (i.e. third world Catholics). I was involved in a boys camping ministry called “Royal Rangers” which is basically Boy Scouts with a lot more Pentecostal religion (they have since expanded outside of just the AoG, however).
        I have very fond memories of the camp outs, learning how to pack a back pack, survival camp, use and care for my equipment. I also learned life values like the importance of being honest, kind, respectful. The adult men (called “Commanders”) were some of the best adult role models I could ever have wished to know.
        A lot of my Christian formation occurred during this time. However looking back there was religious instruction, which I actually have no problem with. But there was also indoctrination which I do find problematic for an impressionable child.
        However, my own story complicates the modern “religious indoctrination is child abuse” narrative. I was subjected to verbal, physical and a degree of sexual abuse when I was a young teenager, not in my church but by my secular peers in the public school system. My Pentecostal fundamentalist church actually became a refuge for me to get away from these boys. My parents didn’t know about the abuse, and at that time (the mid 1980s) my concerns would not have been taken seriously.
        That said, looking back, the religious indoctrination I endured was also harmful later in life. This took the form of an expectation of “speaking in tongues” as “evidence” of Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Look it up on YouTube and you’ll get an idea of what it is. As an intellectual introvert, this was a big ask for me as a teenager, but it kept being pushed, along with the more IFB-like practice of altar calls. This would be at church and the Royal Ranger camp-outs. There was however no sexual, verbal or physical abuse like I was experiencing in the “world”, so I put up with it. However, like kids who were homeschooled with the IBLP material, my childhood religious experience left me ill-prepared for young adult life, especially once I began being interested in dating girls. This was not prohibited in the AofG, but it was certainly discouraged.
        The irony is that I left Pentecostal religion when I turned 18. I later practiced Zen Buddhism, and in 2018 converted to Catholicism.

        • Avatar
          Matilda

          I am sorry to learn of the abuse you suffered.
          Hubby and I did over 40 x-tian youth camps over many years and though wanted the teen campers to get saved, were always careful, I believe, not to hype up the atmosphere, to make it too emotional and pressured during daily devotionals etc. Then he became a pastor in a traditional baptist church and we had the experience of several families from the local pentecostal church joining ours. This was the 1980s when folk didn’t move denomination much. The local pentecostal church got a new minister whom we would now describe as spritually abusive. He ordered that couples couldn’t get engaged without seeking his permission. One man, a gas engineer came to us confused when the pastor’s tongues-laden prophecy said the town was soon to come under jesus’ control. Even the gas and electricity providers would have new names like ‘the jesus gas board’. I salute my hubby’s loving counselling and acceptance of these very hurt pentecostal x-tians. He never tried to score points or boast at our gains. It was a valuable lesson, if one were needed not to be abusive in any way in his ministry – and that the danger was there in many ways.

          • Avatar
            John S.

            Thank you Matilda. Your husband did a great service to the parishioners from the Pentecostal church.

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