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Category: Black Collar Crime

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Dan Broxterman Pleads Not Guilty to Additional Charges

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.

Dan Broxterman, the former pastor of FUN CHURCH (now closed)  in Hamilton, Ohio, was indicted recently on ten counts of rape. One alleged victim was under the age of thirteen. Local 12-News reports:

A Butler County grand jury indicted Dan Broxterman, 56, on Aug. 8. According to the indictment, the rapes occurred from 2014 through July 2019. Broxterman was a pastor and the lead singer of a tribute band. He also faces charges of gross sexual imposition and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

Tammy Mercer attended one of Broxterman’s churches from 2010 until 2013. She believes many people were fooled by him. But, she said she became suspicious after learning he was ordained by paying $50 online. She also said she found out he was allowing teenagers to sleep over at the church and engage in sexual activity.

According to Local 12-News, Broxterman served time for gross sexual imposition in 1990 and 1994.

fun church

Broxterman previously pastored Tree of Life Church (now closed) in Hamilton, Ohio. A church listing website had this to say about Tree of Life and its pastor:

We have church in the Hamilton Family Fun Center and always have a reason to laugh. Pastor Dan makes sure of that! The kids love us because of our 222 CLUB. The music is powerful and energetic. Come worship with us! Turning Hamilton Downside Up From The Outside In!

“Kids love us”, and our pastor loves kids too. He’s a pedophile who pays close attention to church children.  Praise Jesus!

On Tuesday, Broxterman pleaded not guilty to additional charges of rape, gross sexual imposition and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. According to Local-12, at least one of the victims is under the age of thirteen.

According to Linkedin, Broxterman is the business development manager for Ohio Valley Insurance and Financial Group in Fairfield, Ohio. I suspect he is not doing much “developing” since he is sitting in jail with a $1 million bond.

dan broxterman 2

Broxterman is the lead singer for PUSH — a DIO tribute band.  Broxterman’s Twitter account mentions he is the lead singer for a called Holy Diver.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Benjamin “Gus” Harter Accused of Molesting Girl

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.

Benjamin “Gus” Harter, pastor of Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church in Sandy Springs, Georgia, stands accused of repeatedly sexually molesting a girl under the age of sixteen.

11-Alive reports:

An arrest warrant details how Harter is charged with molesting a girl under the age of 16, touching her inappropriately as she lay in his bed on multiple occasions across at least three years, from 2012 to 2015.

Harter was arrested on Friday, and is being held without bond.

….

Church officials confirmed parts of a winding, expansive biography: Harter and his wife joined religious communities in Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Texas and even as far away as the Philippines.

They have five adult children in addition their adopted children and more than 20 grandchildren.

Before joining Ebenezer Primitive, Harter worked at several other churches in the Southeast, and most notably spent three decades with Bethany Primitive Baptist Church in Suwanee until 2000.

At that time, Harter left the church and moved with his wife to the Philippines.

While there, he led two churches and helped build many more. He and his wife also built an orphanage. They returned to the U.S. in 2008.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

In a 2012 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the pastor [Harter] explained that the word primitive means original.

“We worship like they did when they came over from England. We’re very fundamental, and not charismatic,”Harter said. “The closest to us theologically is a reformed Presbyterian church.”

A Florida native, Harter completed undergraduate studies at Southeastern Bible College in Alabama, where he began serving as pastor of a small Methodist church, the AJC previously reported. He continued his education at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky, where he first attended a Primitive Baptist church. Harter served as a pastor in Kentucky for two years and in Florida for seven years before moving to the Atlanta area.

In addition to their adopted children, the Harters also have five adult children and more than 20 grandchildren, he previously told The AJC.

In 2014, Reporter Newspapers reported:

I came here to make this historic church work,” he[Harter] said. “I don’t want to see it die.”

Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church has fallen on hard times. First established in 1829, it sits on the corner of Roberts and Spalding Drives. But whereas it had over 1,000 people attend service in 1928, its membership dropped to an all-time low this spring.

“When I came, Edward Cagle [the previous pastor] was the only active member of the church,” Harter said. “But 27 people joined with me so we’ve got a basic start.”

Patsy Froy is one of the members who moved with Harter from Bethany Primitive Baptist Church to Ebenezer. “I’ve known him my whole life, basically,” she said. “He’s been there for funerals, babies being born, weddings. He’s a very influential person in my life.”

Harter plans on renovating the church as his first order of business. The current brick building stands across the street from the original church, which Harter said was taken apart by Union soldiers during the Civil War. The building as it is now is the church’s fourth reconstruction.

“I want to dress it up, but I don’t want to lose the antiquity of it,” said Harter. “It’s a beautiful church.”

He thinks that this beauty alone, coupled with the improvements, will help attract new members. But Harter also believes that the church offers something different.

“We are not contemporary, but we are unique,” he said. “Every service has 30 minutes of a capella singing, and about 45 minutes to an hour of expository preaching. And we have a potluck lunch after church.”

Primitive Baptists are known for the simplicity of their worship. No musical instruments are allowed in church, so members engage in Sacred Harp singing, a tradition where singers use their voices as instruments in four-part harmony. There are also no divisions by age or gender. This means that children attend services and are encouraged to participate in all activities.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Professor David DeHaven Accused of Unlawful Photography

david dehaven

Dr. David DeHaven, an adjunct professor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, stand accused of filming and photographing minors in a state of undress.

The Richmond Times-Telegraph reports:

DeHaven, 49, taught for Liberty University Online as an adjunct instructor of business. Scott Lamb, senior vice president of communications at Liberty University, said DeHaven has been suspended pending the outcome of the charges. DeHaven also operates D3 Coaching, an executive coaching and strategy consulting business.

DeHaven is a former president of the Parent Teacher Student Association at James River High School, Principal Jamie Talbott said.

DeHaven’s Linkedin profile makes no mention of his work at Liberty University.

DeHaven’s business, D3 Coaching.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Cesar Guerrero Charged with Sexually Coercing a Minor

pastor cesar guerrero

Cesar Guerrero, pastor of Mision Cristiana el Calvario Church in Sharonville, Ohio, is facing federal charges in connection with his alleged coercion of a minor female.  He also faces allegations of rape and sexual assault.

The Highland County Press reports:

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, the Sharonville Police Department received several complaints on Aug. 7 regarding the pastor of Mision Cristiana el Calvario Church and a minor female victim.

Guerrero allegedly contacted the 17-year-old victim through the Facebook Messenger app and told the victim he had dreamed of her dressed in white and walking in a dark place. The victim told the pastor she had been sexually molested in Guatemala.

It is alleged Guerrero told the victim that God was speaking to him and the only way to get out of the dark place was for her to have sexual relations with Guerrero. The pastor allegedly referred to this as a “cleansing process.

The affidavit details that Guerrero allegedly requested a nude video call with the victim as well as photos of her genitalia. He cited several biblical verses while making the request.

Further, it is alleged the victim met with the pastor at the Sharonville church on July 30. The pastor allegedly raped the victim.

On Aug. 9, officials with the FBI and Sharonville Police received information from a second alleged victim. According to the affidavit, the second victim had allegedly been sexually assaulted by the pastor on more than one occasion, beginning when the victim was 14 years old.

Guerrero allegedly told the second victim to show him how she kissed her boyfriend before assaulting her and telling her if she was a child of God she would obey him.

It is also alleged that Guerrero sexually assaulted this second victim on another occasion at his home.

The victim’s father stated:

“Angry, frustrated, can’t believe. You don’t believe in God no more. He’s been using God’s Word to tell the girls to do sexual things and the girls was really thought that was coming from God.”

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Brian Couch Accused of Sex Crimes

brian couch

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.

Brian Couch, family pastor at Yorktown Church of the Nazarene in Yorktown, Indiana and a school nurse for Yorktown Community Schools, was arrested on the suspicion of ” 20 counts of child molesting, a Level 4 felony, eight counts of child molesting, a Level 1 felony, and one count of rape, a Level 3 felony.” (RTV-6) Couch is no longer employed by the church or school.

Couch’s Facebook page also lists him as a pastor at R.I.O.T Family Ministries — Righteous Invasion of Truth.

Yorktown Church of the Nazarene pastor Marty Ballard released the following statement:

The Yorktown Church of the Nazarene is crushed by the recent situation regarding one of our former ministers and church member. We pray for healing. We will cooperate with all legal authorities and continue to pray for our schools, our children, our community and our churches.

We condemn all inappropriate behavior or action that does not condone to legal authorities and the laws which God has given.

According to news reports, the abuse began when the victim was as young as six-years-old.

In a surprising move, law enforcement arrested Couch’s wife, Londa, on charges of failure to report child abuse and neglect of a dependent. These charges suggest Brian Couch likely abused a family member. The Couch’s have two teen daughters.

Black Collar Crime: Civil Suit Against Temple Baptist Church in Kokomo, Indiana Dismissed

pastor mike holloway

Please read previous posts on this scandal: Black Collar Crime: Woman Claims Evangelical Pastor Mike Holloway Knew She Had Been Sexually Abused and Did Nothing, Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Mike Holloway Denies He Knew Anything About Woman’s Sex Abuse Claim, Black Collar Crime: Another Victim Comes Forward in Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo Sex Abuse Scandal, Black Collar Crime: The Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo Sex Abuse Scandal Continues, Black Collar Crime: Alleged Victim Count Up to Ten in Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo Sexual Abuse Scandal, Black Collar Crime: The Cover-up Continues at Temple Baptist Church in Kokomo, Indiana and Black Collar Crime: Jane Doe Files Civil Suit Against Temple Baptist Church and Pastor Mike Holloway.

In 2017, a civil lawsuit was filed against Temple Baptist Church in Kokomo, Indiana, alleging the church and its pastor, Mike Holloway, covered up sexual abuse. Last month, Cass County Superior Court II, Judge Richard Maughmer ruled in favor of the church, saying the suit fell outside the bounds of the statute of limitations and that evidence being submitted by the alleged victime was inadmissible.

The Herald Bulletin reports:

In an effort to eliminate future legal fees and end any doubt of innocence regarding what it refers to as unsubstantiated allegations, Temple Baptist Church in Kokomo has entered into a “nuisance” settlement with a former member.

That woman claimed church officials did not take proper action when they discovered allegations of sexual abuse against her that took place nearly 30 years ago.

During a hearing on the civil case last month in Cass County Superior Court II, Judge Richard Maughmer actually ruled in favor of Temple Baptist, stating there was an absence of evidence to support the woman’s allegations, a church press release stated.

The nuisance agreement — which essentially means the plaintiff won’t be able to take the church back to court for this matter in the future — came as a result of a recommendation by the church’s insurance company, a Temple Baptist press release stated.

According to the release, Temple Baptist’s insurance company is set to pay the woman $7,500 for attorney fees and related expenses, and any remaining balance will be paid to the woman’s creditors as she filed for bankruptcy prior to filing the civil lawsuit.

“We intended to see the process through and continue defending what was being said about our church,” Temple Baptist Pastor Dr. Mike Holloway said in the release. “After much deliberation, we eventually decided to accept our insurer’s decision, which allows us to return to a singular focus of reaching our community for Christ and continuing to spread the Gospel around the world.”

….

“As a church in operation for more than 50 years, we understand some people disagree with our beliefs, and we accept that detractors will sometimes provide information critical of our church and those beliefs,” Holloway noted in the release.

“However, the campaign far exceeded all decency in an attempt to ruin the lives of innocent people and the testimony of the church. … I am grateful for the steadfastness of our church members and supporters during this time. Let us continue to show sympathy to those involved, while being grateful that our church has been vindicated.”

We will likely never know for certain what happened at Temple Baptist Church. I will leave it to readers to decide if the church and its pastor aren’t as “innocent” as they say they are. I am of the opinion that something smells in this sordid story. What, exactly, remains unknown. Yes, sometimes people make false allegations. Is this a case of a vindictive woman going after an IFB church and its pastor? I don’t think so. That said, the Superior Court has ruled and the woman has agreed to a financial settlement. This effectively puts an end to this story.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Teacher Austin Greenway Charged with Sexual Abuse

austin greenway

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.

Austin Greenway, a teacher at North Valley Early Learning Center in Margaret, Alabama, was charged earlier this week with sexually abusing a 9-year-old child. The Center is a ministry of North Valley Church in Odenville, Alabama.

AL.com reports:

In June, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office Investigators were contacted by the Margaret Police Department to look into allegations of sexual abuse of a 9-year-old child at North Valley Early Learning Center in Margaret. The center is a ministry of North Valley Church.

The suspect, Austin Blake Greenway, had been employed at North Valley as a teacher for the past two years. After an extensive investigation, the case was presented to a St. Clair County grand jury, resulting in an indictment for sexual abuse of a child under 12 years old, and school employee engaged in a sex act with a student under the age of 19.

Greenway was released on a $50,000 bond.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Shannon Coutouzis Charged with 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.

Shannon Coutouzis, a youth pastor and administraive assistant at The Crossing Church of the Nazarene in Houston, Texas, stands 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.

No further details are available at this time. When they do become available, I will update this post.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Bret Welty Charged with Sexual Abuse

bret welty

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.

Bret Welty was formerly a sound tech at Calvary Chapel in Boise, a pastor at Common Ground Biker Church in Meridian, and currently the pastor of Hard Rock Revival Church (a home church) in Boise, and the operator of Sound Harvest (all in Idaho) — a business that set up audio equipment for churches and events. (According to Linkedin, Sound Harvest is owned by Michelle Welty.) Welty also sold real estate.

Hard Rock Revival Church describes themselves this way:

We are a new church with old roots!  Doing our best to recapture and revitalize Jesus’ mission here in Boise.  We have started off as a home based church and plan to grow as the Lord ads [sic] to us and we would love to serve you and your family.  Our Pastors Bret and Kelly Welty have served as ministers and Worship Leaders for over 30 years and worship is a center point here at Hard Rock Revival.  So is connecting people with Jesus and God’s word!  We endeavor to give our utmost towards raising up God’s people to be active, healthy, and loving people who want to make a difference in this crazy world.

Earlier this month, Welty was charged with “sexual abuse of a minor younger than 16 years old, and lewd conduct with a minor younger than 16 years old.”

The Idaho Press reports:

One of the members of his congregation was a 15-year-old girl who was having family troubles and living with anxiety. The family felt it might help her to spend a weekend at the Welty household, where Welty lived with his wife, 15-year-old son, and 24-year-old stepdaughter. She was at the home Aug. 9.

Police and prosecutors say that night Welty entered her room and touched her inappropriately. He continued to touch her for between 30 minutes and an hour, until he was interrupted by his wife, Fouts explained in court.

“The defendant confessed to his conduct,” Fouts said. “He stated that he’d struggled with such behavior before, although not with victims of this age, this young age.”

Fouts asked Magistrate Judge Michael Lojek to set Welty’s bail at $350,000. Smith asked for far less.

“He’s been a pillar of…various churches that he was ministering at, and I would just ask the court to set bond at $25,000,” Smith said.

Lojek set Welty’s bond at $250,000. He also ordered Welty stop ministering, until given permission from the court “so as to protect any other…vulnerable potential victims he may come into contact with in that capacity.”

Lojek said he considered the nature of the relationship between Welty and the girl. It was unique, given that he was her pastor, and the pastor for the rest of her family. He issued two no contact orders in the case, barring Welty from having contact with the girl, as well as with her father.

Matthew Fouts, of the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, stated “The defendant confessed to his conduct. He stated that he’d struggled with such behavior before, although not with victims of this age, this young age.” This tells me that there is likely more to this story than has been reported. I suspect there are more victims.

Bret Welty is also a muscian. His bio page states:

Bret Welty is a blues rock singer, songwriter, and guitar player with an inspired approach to blending the soul of blues with a variety of musical genres. Bret has been playing in bands for over 25 years, in a variety of roles.

Born in California and raised on a variety of music, Bret spent his formative high school years split evenly between Oregon and later California, where he was exposed to blues and rock. “The first time I heard guitar and blues put together, I was hooked,” Bret explains. As a young man, Bret tried his hand at 11 instruments before settling on the guitar. He received his first real guitar at age 15, and by the summer he had saved up enough money to buy his first electric guitar. Within 6 months, he was in his first band, and his love of performing live grew from there. Bret studied jazz in college, and has worked as a guitar teacher and faith music leader.

A true musician in every sense of the word, Bret plays drums, bass, lead guitar and mandolin. He has played all over the Northwest at both intimate and large venues, including state fairs and music festivals. Bret has played shows with Daryl Mansfield and has performed with Dennis Agajanian in concert.

Bret will release his album in 2014 “Unlimited Edition” a collection of rock and blues originals, is due to be released August 23rd 2014. It features a song dedicated to wounded service men and women whohave been hurt in the service of our country.  Coves of Bill Withers and the Marshal Tucker band can be found on this release.

Blues is at the heart of Bret’s music, but listeners will also enjoy elements of jazz, rock, funk, Latin, R&B, southern rock, and country. His albums feature original song writing and topics that listeners can easily identify with: love lost, hard times, triumph, freedom, and patriotism.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Dan Broxterman Charged with Rape

Dan Broxterman, the former pastor of FUN CHURCH (now closed)  in Hamilton, Ohio, was indicted recently on ten counts of rape. One alleged victim was under the age of thirteen. Local 12-News reports:

A Butler County grand jury indicted Dan Broxterman, 56, on Aug. 8. According to the indictment, the rapes occurred from 2014 through July 2019. Broxterman was a pastor and the lead singer of a tribute band. He also faces charges of gross sexual imposition and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

Tammy Mercer attended one of Broxterman’s churches from 2010 until 2013. She believes many people were fooled by him. But, she said she became suspicious after learning he was ordained by paying $50 online. She also said she found out he was allowing teenagers to sleep over at the church and engage in sexual activity.

According to Local 12-News, Broxterman served time for gross sexual imposition in 1990 and 1994.

fun church

Broxterman previously pastored Tree of Life Church (now closed) in Hamilton, Ohio. A church listing website had this to say about Tree of Life and its pastor:

We have church in the Hamilton Family Fun Center and always have a reason to laugh. Pastor Dan makes sure of that! The kids love us because of our 222 CLUB. The music is powerful and energetic. Come worship with us! Turning Hamilton Downside Up From The Outside In!

“Kids love us”, and our pastor loves kids too. He’s a pedophile who pays close attention to church children.  Praise Jesus!

According to Linkedin, Broxterman is the business development manager for Ohio Valley Insurance and Financial Group in Fairfield, Ohio. I suspect he is not doing much “developing” since he is sitting in jail with a $1 million bond.

dan broxterman 2

Broxterman is the lead singer for PUSH — a DIO tribute band.  Broxterman’s Twitter account mentions he is the lead singer for a called Holy Diver.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Kyle Harrison Accused of Absconding with $50,000

pastor kyle harrison

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 2017, Kyle Harrison, pastor of Harvest Church in Starke, Florida, was accused of misrepresenting himself as a licensed contractor. Harrison later pleaded guilty and was ordered to repay the victim $26,009.25 he took from her as payment for the work he never completed. Harrison was fired from his job with Harvest Church and now lives in Orlando, Florida.

Last week, Mike and Charlene Oliver accused Harrison of not returning a $50,000 investment loan. News 4-JAX reports:

A Starke couple turns to the I-TEAM after they say their trusted pastor failed to pay them back after loaning him thousands of dollars.

….

At the time of the loan, Harrison was the senior pastor at Harvest Church in Starke. Mike and Charlene Oliver trusted him so much, Mike agreed to loan Harrison $50,000 as an investment into Harrison’s business, Transformation Ministries

As a member of Harvest Church, Mike had turned to Harrison for spiritual guidance when Mike was diagnosed at age 40 with lung disease. He was given just three to five years to live and wanted his family to benefit from the investment if he died.

“I wanted to have money come back for my family in case something happened, and I was no longer here,” Mike explained.

The only cure was a lung transplant, but because of Mike’s deteriorating medical condition, he says two hospitals had already denied enrolling him as an organ recipient.

“He was the pastor, so why wouldn’t you trust the pastor,” said Mike.

“He made us feel like he genuinely loved us,” said Charlene.

….

Mike says he was forced to take medical retirement as a Corrections Officer, and Transformation Ministries — which employed ex-offenders as car mechanics — appeared to be a viable business.

“We had a whole bunch of business,” said Mike, who spent time working at the shop himself.

The Olivers drew up a lengthy contract, which has Kyle Harrison’s signature. It detailed a monthly payment plan of $488 and included a list of collateral that would become the Olivers’ property if Harrison failed to repay the loan.

“At first he paid us,” said Mike.

But that didn’t last. The Olivers said the monthly payments became more inconsistent.

“He’s the pastor, so we were like, ‘We will give you a little more time,'” Mike said he told Harrison.

….

The Olivers now say they believe Harrison took advantage of Mike’s medical condition and never thought he would have to pay back the money because Mike was so sick.

….

They said they have not heard from Harrison in more than a year and said Harrison’s phone has been disconnected.

While the Olivers said they know they probably won’t get their money back, they reached out to the I-TEAM because they want to warn anyone else who might come in contact with Harrison.

“He has the gift of gab,” said Charlene.

“He is not what he pretends to be. He’ll make you feel like everything he’s doing is Godly and, ‘I’m trying to help you,’ and that’s not the case.” Mike added. “I don’t want nobody else to be hurt by him or anyone else. I want people to be careful, be careful.”

Sadly, some congregants learn the hard way that pastors can be grifters, and just because they are charming and charismatic doesn’t mean they won’t fleece you if given the opportunity.

Transformation Ministries is now closed. It is highly unlikely that the Olivers will see their $50,000 again. Giving money to God and his representatives on earth is always risky business.

Kyle Harrison’s testimony:

During the foundational stage of our church, Harvest Christian Fellowship in 1998, I was seeking the voice of the Father concerning His plan and purpose for this ministry. My personal testimony concerning drug abuse is not that impressive compared to some. In the mid 80’s like many other high school students I drank, smoked pot, and experimented with powder cocaine. But by the time I graduated from high school I had given all that up, at the time I thought I gave it up for a girl, who six months latter became my wonderful wife. But soon after that I realized it was all in the plan of God.

In 1999 while praying on a park bench at 2 am, at a time where I felt that I was in desperate need of a word form God, the Spirit of God led me to Matthew’s gospel. There I saw the Jesus made the statement that basically said, if the multitude had not made the choice to follow Christ they would not have had a physical need. God began to show me that there was going to be people in our future that were going to make the decision to follow Christ, and because of that choice they were going to have needs that typical church ministry could not meet. So from that moment on my spirit was open to any opportunity that would bring that word into fruition.    Not long after Transformation Ministries was born.

As the years have rolled on we have done many  things wrong, and many right. All the while trying to hear the voice of the Lord. The need for this type of skill training ministry is undeniable, and as we look into the future, we see the need getting greater and greater.

Prior to becoming pastor of Harvest Church, Harrison was a worship leader. A 2001 Charisma article mentions Harrison:

Members of the ethnically diverse fellowship [Potter’s House] describe [Vaughn] McLaughlin as a spiritual father who has gone out on a limb to lead them. Kyle Harrison, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Starke, Florida, was a worship leader when he met McLaughlin. Now he is pastoring the only multiethnic congregation within three counties of his church.

Harrison, who is white, says McLaughlin has mentored him and even paid his debts. “This man who I call my bishop, if it weren’t improper, I’d call him father,” Harrison says.

And he [McLaughlin] “even paid my debts.” Warning, Will Robinson, Warning!

Black Collar Crime: IFB Preacher Cameron Giovanelli Charged with Sexual Assault

cameron giovanelli

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 May 2018, I wrote a post about the sexual assault allegations made against Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) preacher and college president Cameron Giovanelli. (Please see Black Collar Crime: IFB Preacher Cameron Giovanelli Accused of Sexual Assault)  Giovanelli resigned from Golden State Baptist College and did what disgraced IFB preachers often do: moved across the country, joined up with one of his preacher buddies, and continued on in the ministry as if nothing happened.

In May 2019, I received word that Giovanelli was in Florida working as the associate pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Giovanelli planned on helping Immanuel Baptist’s pastor, Greg Neal, start a new unaccredited IFB secondary institution called North Florida Baptist College. Neal, himself, was caught up in a sex scandal in 2011 when he was accused of video voyeurism. You can read more about Neal’s brush with the law here and here. Neal, unfortunately, escaped prosecution. (Please see Black Collar Crime: Pastor Cameron Giovanelli Resurrects From the Dead, Found in Florida)

cameron giovanelli charges

Earlier this week, Giovanelli was charged by Baltimore, Maryland County police with sexual abuse of a minor and several other sex crimes. If convicted, Giovanelli faces up to thirty-six years in prison. (Case Information)

WBAL-11 reports:

Police charging documents claim Giovanelli initially tried to teach her how to kiss which turned into a daily encounter and eventually sexual assault. Police say an associate pastor at the church became suspicious. The associate said he confronted Giovanelli and told him to stop and the associate got an email later that night from Giovanelli thanking him.

“[Thanks] for saving his life and saving his ministry …. He thought God sent him to stop him from doing something,” said Giovanelli in police charging documents.

An investigation was opened in May 2018 when the victim reported the abuse to police. The completed investigation was submitted to the office of the state’s attorney, at which time the decision was made to charge Giovanelli.

An arrest warrant was obtained and served on Monday. Giovanelli voluntarily turned himself in to police Tuesday. He was released on his own recognizance at an initial bail hearing under the condition that he have no contact with any minor.

Based on information provided by the victim, police believe it is likely there are additional victims who were abused by Giovanelli during his time as pastor at the church [Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk, Maryland] and school located in the 7300 block of Manchester Road.