Menu Close

Category: Evangelicalism

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Jerred Peacock Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor

jerred peacock

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.

Jerred Peacock, a youth pastor at Living Waters Church in Estero, Florida, was arrested last October on charges of sexually assaulting a minor church girl. Months later, Peacock violated the judge’s no-contact order and had his bond revoked.

The Naples Daily News reported at the time:

A warrant affidavit from the State Attorney’s Office alleges Peacock, 34, was in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl between March 2018 and August 2018 while he was still a youth pastor at Living Waters Church in Estero.

Lee County deputies arrested Peacock on Oct. 12 and he was released the next day on a $100,000 bond. On Oct. 13, Lee Circuit Judge John Duryea issued a no-contact order, court records show.

On Jan. 28, Lee Circuit Judge Bruce Kyle denied a motion to set aside the no-contact order.

….

A hearing to revoke Peacock’s bond was held Monday at 1:30 p.m. and Peacock was arrested later that afternoon. Peacock remains in custody at the Lee County Justice Center.

….

Special Victims Unit detectives interviewed the girl in August, and she at first denied any sexual relationship. In a second interview later that month, she told detectives that Peacock on several occasions had touched her genitals and made her touch his, including at his home when his wife was at work.

After Peacock’s original arrest, Wink News reported:

A former youth pastor in Lee County, who once hosted an event preaching purity to teens, has been accused of sexually assaulting a girl. The pastor led the spiritual lives of children at his church for months. He has been released from jail and faces trial this month.

….

Living Waters told WINK News in a statement, “[They are] extremely saddened and express our deepest sympathy to any and all victims of sexual misconduct. All employees at [Living Waters Church] go through an extensive background check with character references.”

Dustin Lotz, a congregation member at the church, is looking for more evidence to be made public before he makes a personal judgment call on the actions the former pastor is being accused of.

“I don’t know anything about the facts,” Lotz said. “I know lately there’s been a lot of media, a lot of sexual accusations, so it’s hard … It’s really hard just to have a knee-jerk reaction to the news.”

Lotz and his family attend the church, and he is worried about how it may impact the congregation.

“If it is true, it’s not something that would be good for the church,” Lotz said. “It’s something they would have to talk against.”

Peacock’s attorney spoke to WINK News and said the allegations against his client are not true. He is “pretty convinced [Peacock] will be absolved of any wrongdoing in the end.”

On May 20, 2019, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years state probation with no additional jail time. As part of his plea agreement, Peacock will have to register as a sex offender and enroll in a sexual offender treatment program.

Black Collar Crime: Pastor Naasón Joaquín García Charged with Human Trafficking and Child Rape

naason joaquin garcia

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.

Naasón Joaquín García, pastor of La Luz del Mundo, a Mexico-based Evangelical church with branches in the U.S. claiming more than one million members, was charged Tuesday with human trafficking, child pornography production, and child rape.  (Church website)

KTLA-5 reports:

García, 50, faces 26 felony counts that range from human trafficking and production of child pornography to rape of a minor. The charges detail allegations involving three girls and one woman between 2015 and 2018 in Los Angeles County.

The fundamentalist Christian church, whose name translates to The Light of the World, was founded in 1926 by García’s grandfather. It has been the subject of child sex abuse allegations for years but authorities in Mexico have never filed criminal charges. It has more than 15,000 churches in 58 countries, according to its website. The church’s followers must adhere to a strict moral code in exchange for the promise of eternal salvation.

García — who was a minister in Los Angeles and other parts of Southern California before becoming the church’s leader — coerced the victims into performing sex acts by telling them that refusing would be going against God, authorities said. He allegedly forced the victims, who were members of the church, to sexually touch themselves and each other. One of his co-defendants also allegedly took nude photographs of the victims and sent the pictures to García.

García told one of the victims and others in 2017, after they had completed a “flirty” dance wearing “as little clothing as possible,” that kings can have mistresses and an apostle of God cannot be judged for his actions, the complaint states.

La Luz del Mundo and Garcia have faced previous allegations of sexual misconduct.

David Correa, a spokesman from the headquarters of La Luz del Mundo in Guadalajara, Jalisco, said in a phone call:

We categorically deny those false accusations. We know him personally and he is an honorable and honest man.

Black Collar Crime: Methodist Pastor John McFarland Charged with Molesting Seven Children

pastor john mcfarland

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.

Previous posts about McFarland can be read here and here.

John McFarland, pastor of Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton, California, was charged Monday with sexually assaulting seven children. Prior to his tenure at  Orangethorpe, McFarland was the pastor of Surf City Church in Huntington Beach from 2011 to 2016, Fountain Valley United Methodist Church in Fountain Valley from 1988 to 2016, and from 1981 to 1988, he was the pastor of Calexico United Methodist Church in Calexico — all located in California. McFarland was also a chaplain for 20 years for the Fountain Valley Police Department until his retirement a few years ago.

Fox-11 reports:

John Rodgers McFarland, who has been the head pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton since 2014, was arrested on a warrant Thursday charging him with seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14 and four counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor 14 to 15 years old.

The 56-year-old Fullerton resident is accused of molesting the children between 2003 and 2017, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, which did not release the genders of the alleged victims.

….

McFarland, who’s being held in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail, faces up to 179 years to life in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

In San Diego County, McFarland was arrested and charged in December with molesting a girl younger than 14 in Escondido between 2012 and 2013. The alleged molestation occurred when he was visiting relatives, said Lt. Chris Lick of the Escondido Police Department.

McFarland is due in court in San Diego June 18 for a pretrial hearing and July 9 for a preliminary hearing, according to Tanya Sierra, a spokeswoman for the D.A.’s office in San Diego County.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Gordon Griffen Charged with DWI and Vehicular Homicide

pastor gordon griffen

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.

Gordon Griffen, pastor of Moore’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church (Website currently offline) in Currie, North Carolina, was charged Tuesday with driving while impaired and two counts of vehicular homicide. The News Reporter reports Griffen allegedly hit head on a car carrying Jolena Long Timmons, 51, and her husband, Donald Timmons, 41, killing them both. The Timmons’ daughter, Tiffany, and her fiancé Adrian Conley, were seriously injured and remain hospitalized.

Black Collar Crime: Street Preacher David Lynn Arrested and Charged with Disturbing the Peace

pastor david lynn

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.

David Lynn, a Canadian street preacher, was arrested Tuesday while out doing the work of the Lord and charged with disorderly conduct. Lynn is the founder of Christ’s Forgveness Ministries in Toronto, Canada.

CP-24 reports:

A pastor who was charged with disturbing the peace while preaching with a loudspeaker in the Church-Wellesley Village on Tuesday night is out on bail, and says he is the victim of state discrimination against Christians.

Police responded to a call about a disturbance in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Video posted online shows pastor David Lynn speaking into a microphone at Church and Wellesley streets and saying that he is “coming out as a Christian.”

Through nearly two hours of footage, Lynn is seen saying that he doesn’t hate anyone, that some people hate Christians and that some people want him to “stay in the closet” as a Christian.

He begins approaching various people to ask if they would tolerate him. When one man asks him to go away, Lynn calls him a bigot.

When others approach to tell Lynn that he is disturbing them, he calls them “hateful.”

After more community members arrived, Lynn was seen arguing with them and his supporters, before police eventually arrested Lynn.

After his release, the 39-year-old pastor said being at Church and Wellesley was just another stop on his map of Toronto, and he and his supporters had been at Kensington Market and Queen and Sherbourne earlier.

….

He said he feels as if he is being discriminated against for being Christian.

“It’s unfortunate that I am subject to this kind of discrimination and bullying and marginalization simply for saying God loves you, there is hope for you, I accept you and tolerate you. I shouldn’t be in this position, I didn’t do anything illegal.”

He said that he was assaulted during the encounter Tuesday but police at the scene refused to hear his complaint.

“It looked as though they had an event waiting for me, and they had some form of hatred against me,” Lynn said.

….

The pastor spent the night in custody and appeared in court at College Park on Wednesday, where a judge released him on bail under conditions he not be anywhere in an area bounded by Bloor Street, Yonge Street, Carlton Street and Jarvis Street.

He also cannot use an audio amplifier that would allow his voice to be heard in that area.

He must also stay away from any location where a Pride Month event is taking place.

Lynn’s bio states:

David J Lynn is a Planting, Pastoral, and Evangelistic figure who has been used to ignite the fire of Evangelism amongst believers and plant Churches and Para-Church Ministries throughout the world.  He was born and raised in Toronto, ON, in Feb 1980 and is a 6th generation Canadian of both Irish and Jamaican lineage. David came from a non-denominational Evangelical background and has been in Planting ministries and Pastoral Ministry for 19 years.  He studied theology and pastoral care at both the University of Toronto and Tyndale University and Seminary, has obtained a Master’s Degree in Theology, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Religious Studies.  He also serves as a Chaplain within one of Toronto’s major Hospital’s.

Bruce Gerencser