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I just completed making changes to the backend of this site. Readers may experience outages or intermittent availability until the changes propagate to every DNS server. If you continue to have access problems, please clear your browser cookies and flush your browser cache.

If you have any problems accessing this site, please let me know.

As always, I value your support.

Bruce

Black Collar Crime: Baptist Pastor Camerius Mills Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Sex Crimes

camerius mills

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.

Camerius Mills, pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in Abbeville, Alabama, was sentenced last Friday to twenty years in prison for having sex with a fifteen-year-old church member.

The Christian Post reports:

A repentant Alabama pastor who confessed to luring a 15-year-old member of his church into sexual acts with the promise of teaching her how to play the piano was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday.

Pastor Camerius Mills was the 29-year-old leader of St. Paul’s Baptist Church when he was arrested in 2015 and charged with rape, sodomy, and traveling to meet a child for the purpose of unlawful sex. He had served in the position for about three years.

“He was a pastor and he had befriended this young lady in his congregation,” Sheriff’s Investigator Keith Cauthen, who arrested Mills, told the Dothan Eagle in the summer of 2016. “He picked her up under the pretenses on teaching her the piano.”

Cauthen said Mills first met the teenager when she started attending his church in November 2014. It wasn’t until February 2015 that Mills initiated unlawful contact.

“He knew better, he was a pastor. He befriended her and he took advantage of her,” Cauthen added. “With the Henry County Sheriff’s Office our goal is to protect the citizens, and we’re going to make sure he does not prey on anyone else again.”

….

Mills, who is a married father with two young children, admitted to having sex with the teenager and even showed remorse, officials said.

“I just want to say that I apologize and I hope God can forgive me,” Mills had publicly confessed after his arraignment.

Investigators say at least one instance of the unlawful sex between the pastor and the minor occurred at The Hardridge Creek Campground in Henry County. Federal investigators were brought in to investigate the case because the campground is government property.

….

Thank You and A Personal Note

 

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I want to take a few moments to thank those who have financially supported me during 2017. I appreciate each donation. Donations are used to pay for server, software, and general site costs. Any excess donations are used to take Polly out on the town.

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PayPal donations (monthly and one-time) in 2017

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Patreon Monthly Donations in 2017

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If you would like to make a donation via PayPal, please go here. If you would like to become a monthly supporter via Patreon, please go here.

Personal Note

Another year has passed and God still hasn’t taken me out or stopped me from blogging. I am starting to think that maybe God doesn’t exist or perhaps he approves of my writing. Either way, I plan to continue writing in 2018, health-willing. I make no promises, but I do hope to have the strength necessary to continue critiquing Evangelical Christianity, along with exposing to the light of day stories about predator preachers through the Black Collar Crime Series. If there is a specific subject you would like me to cover, please let me know and I will see what I can do. Questions are always welcome, as are guest posts.

If I can ever be of help, please let me know.  You can contact me via the contact page. If you would like to text me, please let me know and I will gladly give you my text number.

Your Fellow Voice of Reason,

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Are You Interested in Writing a Guest Post?

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I am always interested in having people write guest posts for this site. If you are interested in writing a guest post, please use the contact form to email me. You can choose any subject. If you are a Christian, you can even write a post telling me how wrong I am about God, Christianity, and the Bible.

Have a story to tell about your life as Christian and subsequent deconversion? Testimonies are always welcome. I have found that readers really appreciate and enjoy reading posts about the journey of others away from Evangelicalism. Perhaps you are someone who has left Evangelicalism, but still believes in the existence of a deity/energy/higher power. Your story is welcome too.

If you worried about grammar or spelling, don’t be. Carolyn, my ever-watchful editor, edits every guest post before it is published. If she can turn my writing into coherent prose, trust me, she can do the same for yours.

Anonymous posts are okay.

Several readers have emailed me in the past about writing guest posts. I am w-a-i-t-i-n-g. Seriously, if you have something you would like to say, I am more than happy to post it here. The ball is in your court.

Reader Poll: Do You Listen to Podcasts?

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I have been asked to consider producing podcasts of some of my posts. I’ve also had readers ask me if I would consider doing a Question and Answer Podcast. I am interested in doing so if there is sufficient interest. Please use the polls below to express your infinite wisdom and opinion. If you have extended comments you would like to leave, please leave use the comment section to do so. You can also send me a private e-mail via the contact form.

This poll will remain open for two weeks.

Would You Be Interested in Listening to a Podcast Featuring Bruce Gerencser?

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What Do You Think is the Ideal Podcast Length?

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A Note From Bruce

I have been sick with some sort of stomach flu since Sunday. I feel a bit better today, but it will likely be Thursday before I return to my regular writing schedule. I wanted to let readers know this just in case they took the lack of posts as a sign that Jesus had raptured me away or the judgment of God had finally fallen on my sinful, wretched soul.

Bruce

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor John Scheline Charged With Attempted Rape

John Scheline

John Scheline, executive director of Ignite Youth Mentoring in Richland, Washington and former pastor at  Faith Assembly in Pasco, Washington and  Bozeman Christian Center in Bozeman, Montana, was charged today with attempted second degree rape.

The Tri-City Herald reports:

All 26 men swept up in a five-day Tri-City operation to combat online child predators have now been charged, with five more appearing Wednesday in court.

William J. Barrett and Andrew L. Sanders both face Sept. 5 trials in Benton County Superior Court, while John M. Scheline, Darren J. Kerbyson and Gabriel Saenz have Oct. 2 dates.

Four of them are charged with attempted second-degree rape of a child and have been released from jail after posting $10,000 bond each.

Barrett is locked up on $25,000 bail because he has additional charges, including bringing methamphetamine and a glass smoking device to the meet-up.

They were arrested as part of a multi-agency effort, dubbed “Tri-Cities Net Nanny Operation,” between July 5 and 9.

Undercover detectives answered postings on various websites and placed their own ads claiming to be kids as young as 11 or parents who were offering their children for sex. Some of the suspects showed up to the predetermined location with condoms and sex toys.

The first three men arrested when authorities were still setting up the operation had Tuesday court hearings. The remaining 18 men are scheduled to appear Thursday.

Scheline, 40, was fired from his job as executive director of Ignite Youth Mentoring after the allegations surfaced. The Pasco father previously served as a pastor at Faith Assembly in Pasco and lead pastor of Bozeman Christian Center in Montana.

Investigators found an advertisement Scheline placed June 13 on Craigslist suggesting that a married dad was looking for a young boy, court documents said.

When a detective responded July 5 as a father offering up his 13-year-old son for sex acts, Scheline allegedly discussed in explicit detail what he would do with the boy.

Scheline eventually was given the address of an apartment. When “the (undercover) son” answered the door, Scheline turned and left and was taken into custody as he tried to get out of the complex, documents said.

….

Gone For the Month of July

gone fishing

I have decided to take a month-long break from blogging. I plan to start writing again on August 1st; that is if Donald Trump hasn’t caused a nuclear war by then. If he has, it has been good knowing you.  It’s been two and a half years since I have taken a break, so I am due. Physically and psychologically I am worn out. Throw in a recent car accident — Bambi’s Dad ran into the left front of our 2015 Ford Escape — a fall that broke my relatively new iPad Pro — which Apple will replace for a mere $600 — a mounting financial problem due to medical debt, and one of my sons inexplicably and stupidly walking out on his wife and four children, well, I am ready to go over the rainbow with Dorothy and Toto. Since my wife prefers that I remain among the living, I thought it best to take a break, not only from blogging, but also social media.

Polly and I have a short trip planned for July 14-17 — our thirty-ninth wedding anniversary. We plan to stay at the historic Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea, Kentucky. While there, we plan to travel nearby back roads looking for trouble and suitable photography subjects. On the 16th, we plan to visit the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg, and on the 17th we have tickets for the Cincinnati Reds vs.Washington Nationals baseball game. Our youngest son and his girlfriend will be house-sitting for us, along with babysitting Bethany, our dog, and our cat.

I also plan to do some seriously needed work to my photography site, Defiance County Photo. I have been trying to get a photography business up and running, but so far the gods are working against me. I need to invest some time in doing some promotional work, along with expanding my portfolio. I also plan to morph into Santa Claus come November and December, hoping that between this and my photography business to make some much-needed cash.  I just received the pattern for my Santa suit. Polly and my youngest daughter, both of whom are excellent seamstresses, have agreed to make the suit for me. I have the beard and the build, now all I need is the suit. I have some thoughts about merging the Santa gig and my photography business during the Christmas season, offering area residents personal access to the man from up North — and no I don’t mean Michigan.

I hope to come back from my sabbatical reinvigorated, ready to take on the Evangelical horde and the Trump administration. I do plan to re-post several posts every few days from 2015 and 2016 while I am gone. Hopefully, these posts will keep readers engaged until I return August 1st.

Until then,

Bruce

Mary Ellen Mayo Has Died

mary ellen mayo cat

Mary Ellen Mayo, a friend and loyal reader of this blog died June 19, 2017 of congestive heart failure. Mary Ellen was 56. Mary Ellen infrequently commented, often choosing to comment when she felt I needed encouragement or moral support.  Some long time readers may remember her using the Amazonfeet moniker. Mary Ellen, a resident of Florida, battled a number of health problems. (She had Marfan Syndrome.) I was Facebook friends with Mary Ellen. We shared not only our experiences with chronic illness, but also a commitment to progressive political values and a love of cats. A few days before Mary Ellen died, her last post to Facebook was the cat meme posted above.

Mary Ellen will be missed. I am blessed to have been her friend.  Mary Ellen was a member of First Unitarian Church in Orlando, Florida.  Her church family will hold a memorial service for her on Monday, July 3rd.

Would You Like to Write a Guest Post?

guest-post

I am always interested in having people write guest posts for this site. If you are interested in writing a guest post, please use the contact form to email me. You can choose any subject. If you are a Christian, you can even write a post telling me how wrong I am about God, Christianity, and the Bible. Anonymous posts are okay. Several readers have emailed me in the past about writing guest posts. I am w-a-i-t-i-n-g. Seriously, if you have something you would like to say, I am more than happy to post it here. The ball is in your court.