The pastor at St. James Lutheran Church in Northrop has been charged with possessing child pornography, a felony.
Robert Cairl Trueblood, 56, of Fairmont is charged with possession of pornographic material on a work computer, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
According to the complaint:
On March 7, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension received a tip from the company Chatstep. According to company representatives, a user identified as “PervyPastor” accessed a chat room through the service and uploaded a photographic image identified to be consistent with child pornography. Chatstep provided information about the user’s IP address, and indicated the incident occurred on March 7, at about 4:14 p.m.
The Bureau received information from Frontier Communications in response to a subpoena that indicated the IP address was assigned to a subscriber identified as St. James Lutheran Church and School in Northrop.
The agent accessed the website for the church and school and located the staff directory. Given the name utilized by the reported user as “PervyPastor,” the agent identified Reverend Robert C. Trueblood as the school’s superintendent. The agent noted that all other staff consisted of females.
The Bureau received information from Chatstep that indicated the identified user of “PervyPastor” had accessed the chat room in question at various times on March 6-7, and utilized the previously reported IP address on both dates. Chatstep officials also provided historical data from Nov. 4, 2016, through April 19, 2017, for access to their site from the reported IP address. The agent reviewed the comprehensive list of data and confirmed that on numerous occasions user “PervyPastor” accessed chat rooms on the service, and also noted that additional users “TrueRev,” “Kyle” and “Robert,” also accessed Chatstep chat rooms from the reported IP address, and the rooms were the same or similar to the ones accessed by “PervyPastor.”
In an undercover capacity, the agent accessed Chatstep, located a chat room and noted that “TrueRev,” was present and active in the room. The agent took the opportunity to engage in correspondence with the active participants.
The agent initiated correspondence with a greeting “Hi from MN.” “TrueRev” responded with “Minnesota here as well,” and indicated he was from Fairmont. During the conversation, the agent questioned “TrueRev” with regard to his username, and asked if it meant that the reference to “Rev” was related to his occupation as a reverend. “TrueRev” responded, “yes”
The agent asked “TrueRev” what his preferences would be given his occupation, and “TrueRev” replied that the “job itself has nothing to do with the preferences.”
The agent then engaged “TrueRev” in a private correspondence during which “TrueRev” provided his cell phone number and email address, indicating the information was to be used for “clandestine conversations.” The email given was “firstname.lastname@example.org,” and the agent confirmed that the telephone number given is a VOIP service number and that tutanota.com is an encrypted email service that provides end-to-end encryption of a subscriber’s email contents and attachments. This information led the agent to believe that “TrueRev” is actively engaged in taking steps to conceal his identity.
The agent conducted an open source search of the name “erastes” as noted in the email, and found that erastes is a noun to refer to an adult male in ancient Greece who courted or was in a pederastic relationship with an adolescent boy who was called an eromenos. The reference to erastes gave the indication that “TrueRev” has potential interest in adolescent boys.
The agent continued in an undercover capacity, and engaged in communication with “TrueRev” through the email address. “TrueRev” advised that his name is “Kyle” and stated that he was 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, red hair and goatee, and sent an accompanying photograph. It was noted that the physical description matched that of Trueblood. The photograph depicted a nude male seated in a chair pictured from the chin down, and matched the general physical description of Trueblood.
In email communication, “TrueRev” indicated he had been propositioned for sexual contact by individuals under the age of legal consent, but indicated he had not followed through with physical contact.
On April 24, “TrueRev” established a privated chat room with Chatstep, and the agent corresponded with “TrueRev,” who was in the room under the username “Pastor.” During this time “TrueRev” sent several sexually explicit photographs of young males. Many were of young boys whose ages were questionable as it relates to them being 18 years of age.
During the chat, “Pastor” stated he taught elementary and secondary levels at a local parochial school, consistent with Trueblood’s position within St. James Lutheran School.
A trial date has been set for February 21, 2018. (link no longer active)
Rowland Foster is the pastor of Faith Tabernacle Congregation in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Believing that God alone heals the sick, Foster teaches congregants to pray and seek God’s divine intervention in their medical maladies. This belief has led to several deaths, including the pastor’s two-year-old granddaughter. Foster was charged in the death of his granddaughter, but last month the charges against him were dismissed. (Please see previous post on Rowland Foster.) Last Friday, prosecutors refiled charges against Foster.
Less than two weeks after a district judge dismissed the counts, Berks County prosecutors have refiled the charges against a pastor accused of failing to report neglect of his 2-year-old granddaughter who died of a treatable bacterial pneumonia.
The refiling was done Friday in District Judge Andrea Book’s office in Jefferson Township, but District Attorney John T. Adams said Monday that Book won’t hear the case against Rowland Foster. Adams said Book has agreed to step aside so another judge can hear the prosecution’s case.
Foster, 72, remains free pending his hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, Adams said.
Foster is charged with failure to refer child abuse to authorities in his role as pastor, which makes him a mandatory reporter under the child protective services law.
Foster is pastor for the Faith Tabernacle Harrisburg District, Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County. The nondenominational church eschews the use of medicine.
On Nov. 8 about 1 p.m., troopers, tipped off by a funeral director, said they responded to the Tulpehocken Township home and found Ella Grace Foster dead on the sofa, with her family in the same room.
At the April 19 hearing, which was packed with supporters of the pastor, Dr. Neil A. Hoffman, a forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, testified the child died of bacteria pneumonia and tracheitis, infections that almost certainly would have been cured with penicillin or a similar antibiotic. He said the need for medical intervention would have been obvious to any reasonable person at least a day or two before her death, and medicine administered even within hours of her death may have saved her.
Rowland’s attorney, Christopher A. Ferro of York, said investigators made that argument in hindsight with the benefit of the autopsy report, not on actual observations.
Furthermore, he said, there was no evidence to show “willful” failure to report neglect on Rowland Foster’s part.
Jonathan H. Kurland, chief deputy district attorney, argued that despite Rowland Foster’s religious beliefs, he is obligated under the state’s child abuse reporting law to report neglect or any other form of child abuse to ChildLine.
A former associate pastor at an Arlington Heights church was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday for distributing child pornography, according to court records.
Clovis Vilchez-Parra, 36, also was ordered to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to the charge during a hearing in Cook County’s Rolling Meadows branch court. Numerous other pornography charges were dropped in exchange for his plea.
Vilchez-Parra was a priest at the Mission San Juan Diego Catholic Church at the time of his arrest in 2015 by police in Palatine, where he lived in housing provided by the Archdiocese of Chicago, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Vilchez-Parra used computer file-sharing software to locate, download and distribute pornographic images of children younger than 13. The computer activity was traced by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, prosecutors said. Authorities obtained a search warrant and found the images on a laptop computer and a flash drive at his residence, prosecutors said.
After his arrest, the archdiocese said in a statement, Vilchez-Parra was withdrawn from ministry “pending the resolution of this matter.”
The hammer has finally dropped on Jacob Malone, one time pastor at Calvary Fellowship in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Malone was sentenced Friday to three to six years in prison for “institutional sex assault, corruption of minors and child endangerment.” The New York Daily News reports:
A suburban Philadelphia pastor accused of sexually assaulting and impregnating a teenager has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to three to six years in prison after a judge rejected an earlier plea agreement as too lenient.
Thirty-five-year-old Jacob Malone, of Exton, was sentenced Friday after entering guilty pleas to institutional sex assault, corruption of minors and child endangerment. He also must register as a sex offender for 15 years.
Malone and prosecutors had reached an earlier plea deal that called for a two-year minimum jail term, but Judge Jacqueline Cody rejected that deal a month ago.
Malone was working at Calvary Fellowship, a nondenominational church in Downingtown, when authorities say he began sexually assaulting the girl in the fall of 2014, when she was in her late teens. She gave birth a year ago to their daughter. She maintained he took advantage of her “mentally, physically, spiritually.”
In court, Malone admitted he gave the girl alcohol but said the sexual encounters were consensual. He apologized, saying his “failures and weaknesses” had hurt her, her family and his family.
“She admired me and trusted me, and I betrayed that,” he said.
Cody called the case “one of the times when the court system fails” and said even with the stiffer sentence in the new plea agreement Malone would be “serving a sentence much lighter than the crime deserves.”
The original charges against Malone included rape. His defense attorney Evan Kelly said in a statement that Malone “has always been adamant” he did not rape the teenager but has admitted to other crimes. “And for that he is embarrassed, ashamed and truly remorseful,” Kelly said.
A number of people, myself included, believe that Malone’s sentence is way too lenient in light of the crimes he committed.
Benjamin Tweedt, a youth leader for Parkview Church in Iowa City, Iowa was arrested yesterday and charged with “one count of sexual abuse third degree, two counts of lascivious acts with a child, three counts of indecent contact with a child, and two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.”
32-year-old Benjamin Craig Tweedt, of North Liberty is charged with one count of sexual abuse third degree, two counts of lascivious acts with a child, three counts of indecent contact with a child, and two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.
According to police, it is alleged that Tweedt had multiple one-on-one sessions as a youth church leader with four victims over 10 years. Some of the sessions occurred on church retreats or in victims’ bedrooms. Parkview Church removed Tweedt from their student ministry as soon as they were aware of the situation.
“We’re grieving for the families of the victims that have been involved in this situation” said Doug Schillinger, the lead pastor at Parkview Church.
Schillinger said he wants the truth to be exposed, justice carried out and compassion extended to the victims and their families. Church leaders told the congregation what happened, who was responsible and what they were doing about it. The lead pastor said when he first heard of the abuse, he was shocked because it does not reflect their values or policies at all.
“Again, of the hundreds of volunteers in our school districts, teachers that do it right, that even in spite of good policies there’s one that could go off and it’s very troubling to me” said Schillinger.
Coralville and North Liberty Police have been working together on the case. So far, there’s no evidence to suggest that other people knew the abuse was happening. North Liberty Police Chief Diane Venenga said the victims were very brave to come forward.
In early February we were made aware of incidents that occurred involving a volunteer in the junior high ministries prior to 2012 and immediately contacted state and local authorities. We also notified the church community about the situation. Parkview has cooperated with law enforcement and will continue to do so, and we ask that any questions be directed toward these authorities. Our desire is to see truth exposed, justice executed, and compassion expressed to those who have been impacted. We care deeply for students and families in our community. We ask that you respect the privacy of all who are involved at this time. Thank you.
Juan Gomez, former pastor of Iglesia De Dios (Church of God) in Wimauma, Florida, was convicted today of “sexual battery upon a minor between the ages of 12 and 18 and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.” The Bradenton Herald reports:
A former Wimauma pastor has been found guilty in the 2015 sexual battery of a 17-year-old boy during a hunting trip.
Juan Gomez, 53, was convicted by a jury Thursday afternoon of sexual battery upon a minor between the ages of 12 and 18 and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. The jurors deliberated for just under an hour at the conclusion of a four-day trial.
Gomez, who is facing up to life in prison, will be sentenced on June 16.
The assault first came to light July 21, 2015, after investigators received information Gomez sexually assaulted the boy earlier that month at a hunting ranch in northern Manatee County.
The victim was very thankful on Thursday after the verdict was read, according to Assistant State Attorney Brian Chambers. “The biggest fear that these victims have is that they won’t be believed, and to be believed by this community, for the jury to recognize the heinous act committed upon him while the defendant was entrusted with his care, makes that courageous act of coming forward worthwhile,” Chambers said afterward.
The incident was not isolated, however. The jury heard from another victim who said he was first sexually battered by Gomez in 1990 at a church camp in another county in Florida, and later again during a college visit in Tennessee in 1994.
“He waited for 25 years for justice of that,” Chambers said. “This case is a highlight for what happens, because he wasn’t listened to 25 years ago it only allowed the perpetrator to have another day and another victim.”
Walter Chuquimia, pastor of Beth-El Farmworker Ministry in Wimauma, Florida was arrested yesterday and charged with three counts of sexual battery. Chuquimia allegedly sexually abused a girl for six years, beginning when the girl was eleven years old. Fox-13 reports:
Walter Chuquimia, 59, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office after detectives said they found Chuquimia raped a 17-year-old on April 24, 2017.
During their investigation, detectives found the suspect has sexually battered the victim several times dating back to 2011.
HCSO said Chuquimia was the pastor at Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc. during part of this time. Detectives said Chuquimia admitted to several of the offenses and was arrested and booked on April 24, 2017.
He was charged with three counts of sexual battery.
Detectives have not identified other victims, however, anyone with information concerning Chuquimia is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 813-247-8200.
According to Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc.’s Facebook page, the church’s focus is giving assistance to farm workers and their extended family members through worship with the Hispanic community.
Chuquimia’s bio on Beth-El Farmworker Ministry’s website states:
Rev. Walter F. Chuquimia is a native of Bolivia, South America, and is a child born in a non-Catholic household. His grandfather was a descendant of the Inca Empire and the first Bolivian native ordained onto the ministry. Pastor Walter has two brothers and a sister graduated from Theological Seminaries in the United States. He remains in touch with his mother, brothers and a sister living in his native Bolivia. In Bolivia he had earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education, and though in rural area elementary schools. Walter attended Universidad Adventista de Centroamerica (Central American Adventist University) in Alajuela, Costa Rica. He worked as Bible Teacher and Literature Evangelist in several Central American Countries. In the United States he graduated from McCormick theological Seminary with Mater of Divinity Degree. Walter was ordained in 1996 at his hometown church, Valley Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale, Arizona, Grand Canyon Presbytery.
Walter played professional soccer for Alajuela Football Club, Costa Rica. In United States encouraged by elders of his first congregation he had learn to play golf and racquetball, his daily routine includes outdoor walking or biking. Walter has an excellent command of the English and Spanish language, an effective public speaker and skilled translator from English to Spanish and vice versa. He is sensitive and respectful of the long-standing traditions of the church and community; open enough to a dialogue that can invigorate our worship and service to the Lord. Formal education received in South America, Central America, Puerto Rico and in the United States of America.
Walter is married to Lorraine, raising together a daughter and son, and is also a very proud father of Kelly Adelina Chuquimia (Arizona) and Sally Maria Chuquima (Pennsylvania), whose mother is also a pastor.
Rev. Walter Chuquimia is the pastor of the worshiping community at Beth-El Mission.
Authorities announced on March 28 that they had charged a member of the clergy with stealing approximately $700,000 at his side job at a local repair company.
Robert Keith, a 46-year-old West Orange resident, was charged with credit card theft, money laundering, forgery, theft by unlawful taking, and unlawful use of a credit card, according to the official statement.
It all stemmed from his employment at RupCoe, the South Plainfield company where he was apparently a bookkeeper despite not being a licensed certified public accountant.
“During the investigation it was determined that the defendant, while working as the bookkeeper for a South Plainfield plumbing, heating and air conditioning company, stole the money in various amounts between February 1, 2015 and February 7, 2017.”
But Keith is also apparently a pastor in Essex County, going by the name R. David Keith and serving as the public face of a Newark church. Prosecutors allege he played up his status as a “religious leader” to “add legitimacy” to his bookkeeping services.
The official statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) did not mention the company that Keith allegedly victimized, nor did it indicate which church he preached at.
But it wasn’t hard to figure out he was the preacher at Newark’s New Ebeneezer Baptist Church, where a banner with his face is hanging from the building, according to a NBC television report.
Some people told reporters that Keith had claimed to own a car dealership, and that they never knew about his bookkeeping job.
“The investigation began after company officials discovered the thefts and contacted police,” read the MCPO release.
“It has been determined during the course of the investigation that he sought to add legitimacy to his bookkeeping services by describing himself as a religious leader.”
Mike Holloway, pastor of Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo, Indiana issued a statement today denying Dawn Price’s claim that he knew about Price’s father molesting her and did nothing to stop it. Deven Zimmerman, a writer for The Kokomo Perspective, reports:
After declining to speak at length with the Kokomo Perspective prior to last week’s publication, Temple Baptist Church spoke out via social media last week in response to the story published concerning allegations made by former member Dawn Price.
In a statement on the church’s Facebook page, the church addressed the allegations leveled at it by various sources, including Dawn Price and her ex-fiancé, Andy Thornton. The church confirmed that an altercation occurred in 1991 just prior to Thornton and Price’s wedding. However, the church argued that no confession was made by Dawn’s father, Don Croddy, in regards to the accusation of his sexual abuse of her in front of Temple Baptist Church Pastor Mike Holloway.
“I first became aware of a potential family problem in 1990 when Dawn and her father were interviewed by Child Protective Services (CPS), though I was not informed of the topics being discussed at that time,” read the statement said to be authored by Temple Baptist Church Pastor Mike Holloway. “The authorities chose not to pursue any legal actions as a result of that investigation.
“My first knowledge of Dawn’s molestation accusation came in 1991, when Don, Dawn, and her then-fiancé, Andy Thornton, came to me five days before Dawn and Andy were to be married. In this meeting, I was informed of the alleged event that had occurred 14 years earlier. While no confession was made by Don, I immediately sought legal counsel, turning over all information to the Christian Law Association (CLA) [CLA is operated by David Gibbs and is widely known as the cleaner — someone who makes things go away — for IFB churches and pastors.] I was encouraged by the CLA to take the precautionary measure of restricting Don from all children and youth programs in our church, which I did. Since that decision and up to this present time, I have received no information indicating concern about Don’s behavior.”
The church also confirmed that its leadership became aware Dawn’s YouTube video, which she posted in February 2017 as a confessional of her alleged abuse at the hands of her father.
“In February 2017, Dawn posted a video to Facebook making additional accusations against her father, claiming Don had admitted his behavior to me during the 1991 meeting,” said Holloway. “This accusation is completely false and an attack on both the truth and my character. Given the allegations made in Dawn’s video, I sat down with Don and our church deacons for an in-depth discussion. After this discussion, I asked that he resign as a member of our church.”
Price, however, stuck to her claim about that meeting in 1991.
“The incident five days before my wedding was to take place happened exactly as my then-fiancé, Andy Thornton, and I said,” said Price. “I am simply stating the truth as Andy Thornton and I know it. Andy asked Holloway why he was allowing an admitted pedophile to remain in the church, and Holloway said that my dad had repented, so therefore no action was required, and there was no reason to tell anyone. Why he would seek legal counsel and not report to the police is just mind blowing to me and the actions of a guilty man. He never once asked me if I was OK or needed anything.”
Additionally, Price shed light on Holloway’s comment on the CPS call made to the Croddy household.
“While attending Temple Christian Academy, CPS was called,” said Price. “I have always been forthcoming with this. While CPS was called, Mike Holloway also called my dad, Don Croddy. I was terrified of my dad. Try to put yourself in my position. While my abuse was sexual, my brother’s was physical, severely physical,” said Price. “While I was in one room being questioned by CPS, my dad made a commanding presence right outside the door. I lied to the CPS worker. I was a child. I didn’t want to be beat like my brother, I was in self-preservation mode.
“I had to go home with this man if they didn’t believe me, and I didn’t know what to do. So I did the safest thing I knew to do, especially with him being the commanding person he was; I lied. The authorities didn’t pursue legal action because I was a child who was terrified and had those around me who failed me. The system failed me. Follow-ups should have been made. Questions should have been more pointed. My dad shouldn’t have been allowed to be there. My pastor failed me. I do not believe that Mike Holloway didn’t know what topics CPS were called about that day.”
The fate of controversial pastor Kenneth Adkins has been decided. Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett sentenced him to 35 years in prison for eight counts of child molestation.
Prior to becoming a pastor in Brunswick, the 57-year-old spent many years in Jacksonville as a public relations and political consultant, raising the ire of many when he called gays sinners and attacked his critics on social media with crude anti-gay rhetoric and cartoons.
At 9:35 a.m. Tuesday, Adkins walked into a courtroom a very different-looking man. Gone were his tailored suits he wore during his trial. Gone was his confident and pleasant-looking face. Instead, a handcuffed Adkins emerged in a forest green jail-issued jumpsuit. His hands clasped a Styrofoam cup of coffee. His face sullen.
Moments later he learned the state wanted the judge to follow strict interpretations of Georgia law that would mandate that Adkins receive the maximum sentence with no chance of parole because of his past convictions in Florida. At a minimum, that maximum would be life plus 30 years. Scarlett called for a recess at 9:50 a.m. and headed into chambers with a stack of paperwork detailing Adkins’ various prison and jail sentences.
Adkins, a former drug addict, has been arrested dozens of times in Florida, the last time was in the early 1990s. After the judge said he was not taking into account his past record because he did not have the indictments and other information about the crimes, Adkins rose and spoke in court for the first time. He said prior to being arrested in August on the molestation charges, the biggest battle he faced was to change the life he was living as a crack addict. Now, he said, he’s facing an even bigger demon.
“We’ve been in this community for 10 years and we’ve worked hard,” Adkins said.
Adkins told the judge that through his ministry he stressed to never allow a moment in time to define a whole person.
“Most certainly I did not do the things I am accused of,” he said. “… I did not do it, yet I respect the jury’s decision.”
By 10:45 a.m. Scarlett made his decision. The 35 years was for aggravated child molestation while he was sentenced to 20 for child molestation and enticing. All are concurrent. Adkins will be eligible for parole, but he will be a very old man should that ever happen.
His accuser, a 22-year-old man now in the military, came forward a year ago and told investigators in Georgia that the pastor used to watch him and his girlfriend have sex when they were teens. The young man explained how he offered up his girlfriend, also a member of Adkins’ church, as a gift to the pastor for allowing the young couple to have sex without repercussions.
He told investigators the guilt of giving his former girlfriend to Adkins for sexual pleasure bothered him and that’s why he came forward some six years later. He also told investigators eventually he and Adkins formed a sexual relationships and that both he and his girlfriend were 15 at the time. Adkins was later lent large sums of money from his accusor and paid only a fraction of it back.
A victim impact statement from the young man was read out loud in court by Assistant District Attorney Katie Gropper.
“Throughout this time I’ve felt nothing but shame and guilt which later led to depression,” it read in part. “There is never a time I wish I could stop thinking about it. Constantly depressed and never feeling like the shame or guilt would leave, I considered multiple easy outs. Once I figured out who Kenneth Adkins truly was, it hurt and I didn’t want to believe it.”
Let me conclude this post with Adkins’ words about the Pulse Night Club shooting:
Indeed, Pastor Adkins. You have gotten what you deserve.
I previously mentioned that Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) luminaries Bob Gray Sr., retired pastor of Longview Baptist Temple, Longview Texas, and Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona are currently in a pissing war over whether homosexuals are “born that way.” Accusatory winds have blown the conflict into far corners of the IFB universe. The burning question facing these defenders of the one true and holy Baptist faith is this: Are homosexuals genetically born homosexual (nature or nurture)?
That IFB preachers are even considering this question is astounding, a sign that LGBTQ people are making themselves known in IFB churches and families. (Please read The Jonathan Nichols Story: Growing Up Gay in the IFB Church.) While there have always been gays in IFB churches, these tortured souls were buried so deeply in the dark recesses of church closets that there was little chance they would be discovered.
In the years since I left the ministry and Christianity, I have reconnected with several men who were children in one of the churches I pastored. These men are proud, out-of-the closet, sexually active gays. My mind goes back to the days when these men were young boys and teens who were forced to listened to preaching — not only mine, but that of evangelists and other guest speakers — who regularly excoriated homosexuals for vile, deviant, reprobate sexual behavior. While I have apologized to these men for my hateful, bigoted preaching, I can’t help but wonder how much damage my words did to them.
Over the years, a handful of LGBTQ people wandered into many of the various churches I pastored. While they didn’t announce their sexuality as they came through church doors, over time it became clear that they were physically attracted to the same sex. Sadly, once the whispers of gossips turned into accusations, I was put into unenviable position of deciding how to deal with them. At the time, I believed that LGBTQ sexual behavior was sinful, and, in some instances, a sign that people were reprobates. (Please see Out of the Closet, Into the Light: According to Steven Anderson, I Am a Sodomite.) I regularly preached against sexual sins, giving adultery and fornication as much attention as homosexuality. The difference was how I went about preaching against homosexuality. Shamefully, I must admit that I used derogatory labels when preaching against homosexuality — words such as queer, homo, sodomite, and fag. I refused to use the word gay because I believed that there was nothing “gay” about the homosexual lifestyle. I remember — oh, I wish I could forget! — when the AIDS epidemic came to light that I let congregants know that AIDS was God’s judgment of homosexuals. Had I remained an IFB preacher, I have no doubt that I would have been staunchly opposed to same sex marriage.
LBGTQ people didn’t stay around long in the churches I pastored (with the exception of the men mentioned above, who were forced by their parents to listen to my preaching for years). When whispers turned to accusations, I confronted these “perverts,” demanding they leave the church. In one church, a gay man visited for months before it was discovered that he was a pedophile. Several fathers came to me and said this man was inviting their young sons to spend weekends with him at his nearby farm. Livid, I went to this man and told him he was not allowed to attend the church. When he objected, I threatened to physically throw him out of the church. He left, never to return. In retrospect, I deeply regret how I handled the matter. If the man was indeed a pedophile, I should have reported him to law enforcement. If he wasn’t, I should have tried to help him, though I doubt that there was much I could do because of my homophobic beliefs. That he was accused of being a pedophile was enough to reinforce the stereotype believed by many congregants: homosexuals are child molesters.
Thirty years later, some LGBTQ people in IFB churches are no longer willing to sit by and silently suffer while their preachers rail against homosexuality and same-sex marriage. I have always wondered why anyone would willingly submit themselves to psychological assaults by supposed “men of God.” Children and teenagers have no choice, but adults are free to flee the verbal assaults and attacks on their person. Why stay?
As American society becomes more LGBTQ-friendly, IFB churches are confronted with how best to minister to people whom they consider to be sexual deviants. The Steven Andersons of the IFB world think attacking LGBTQ people in their sermons is the best way to “reach” them. I highly doubt such preaching is reaching anyone for Jesus. In fact, I doubt that reaching “sodomites” for Jesus is the goal of men such as Steven Anderson and Bob Gray Sr. As anyone raised in the IFB church movement can attest, attacking homosexuals from the pulpit is a surefire way to get lots of rounds of “amen!” Preaching against certain sins will always invigorate the righteous, and sexual sins are crowd favorites (even though we now know that IFB congregants are not immune from all of the behaviors they deem sexual misconduct, including homosexuality, pedophilia, incest, adultery, and fornication).
Realizing that the cultural tide is turning against IFB churches and their incessant prattle against sexual sin — particularly homosexuality — men such as Johnny Nixon and Bob Gray Sr. have cooked up a novel reinterpretation of what the Bible says about homosexuality. Now, these men still believe engaging in homosexual sex, or any sex outside of marriage, for that matter, is a sin, but they now admit that homosexuals are “born that way.” These “eunuchs” are expected to refrain from same-sex sexual behaviors and relationships, and if they are willing to do so, they will be considered Christians. I suspect that the greater goal is to “convert” homosexuals, helping them to see that only by switching sides can they ever know true sexual fulfillment and romantic love. I am left to wonder why, if it is God who determines sexuality, does he make some people homosexual while at the same time saying that homosexual sex is a criminal act worthy of execution. (I refrain from using the LGBTQ acronym because the IFB preachers in question do not consider all sexual identities equally. Their primary focus is on gay men. I know of no IFB church that is accepting of bisexuality or transgenderism.)
I was surprised today while listening to a sermon by Pastor Steven Anderson (website). There is an ungodly book (published in 2015) titled, “BORN THAT WAY AFTER ALL,” authored by Dr. David J. Nixon and R. G. Hamm. They also have a website at BornThatWay.org. The book is unscriptural and promotes a wicked philosophy of tolerance for sin. What surprised me is that the website lists Dr. Bob Gray Sr., Pastor Jeff Owens and Pastor Paul Chappell, as being supporters of the book and ministry. The book is an ungodly perversion of the Scriptures!!!
I am trying to understand why Dr. Gray and Pastor Owens would approve of something evil like this. Both of these good men have counseled tens of thousands of people combined throughout their church ministries. So I tread lightly and don’t want to criticize them in my article, this is not my intent. However, I will voice my opinion of this ungodly book “BORN THAT WAY AFTER ALL” and their ungodly “BORNTHATWAY.ORG” website. The book is clearly a sinful attempt to bridge the gap between the ungodly homosexual community and the New Testament Church. Dr. David Nixon and his co-author are trying to straddle-the-fence on the issue of homosexuality. As far as I’m concerned, they are pulling on the same rope as the Devil.
David J. Nixon and R. G. Hamm base their strange doctrine on Matthew 19:12, “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Being a eunuch from a mother’s womb simply means, for one reason or another, that a man is born impotent. The Greek word for “eunuch” in Matthew 19:12 is eunouchos, meaning, “a castrated person (such being employed in Oriental bed chambers); by extension an impotent or unmarried man; by implication a chamberlain (state officer).” Here’s some helpful Bible commentary on the topic, “EUNUCH.”
The Bible mentions eunuchs, who are born “THAT WAY” from the womb, which is equivalent to castration. This is not homosexual lust! A eunuch “FROM THE WOMB” cannot procreate, that is, cannot have children. A homosexual can procreate (with a woman if they so choose). Obviously, homosexuals do not come “FROM THE WOMB”! And as I will evidence to you later, many people who profess to be “heterosexual” admit to committing homosexual acts at times. This tosses a monkey-wrench into David Nixon’s retarded hypothesis! Homosexuality is a sin, and Christians won’t be able to help sodomites unless they address the issue as such. God only saves THE UNGODLY (Romans 4:5-6). It is evil to tell homosexuals that there’s really no problem, because God made them “THAT WAY AFTER ALL,” intending for them to become celibate as eunuchs for God. That doesn’t solve the problem, which is, HOMOSEXUALS ARE SINNERS in need of the new birth. Unless a homosexual is willing to confess to God, “I AM A SINNER,” they cannot be saved. You’ve got to admit that you are a sinner to believe the Gospel. You need to know what you’re being saved from!
On their “BORN THAT WAY AFTER ALL” website, they say:
“The gay community is not the battle field, they are the mission field. They are not the enemy, they are the mission itself. We are in a spiritual battle, but if you view them as the enemy, you are fighting the wrong war (Ephesians 6:12). Our book “Born That Way After All” explains God’s unique design and purpose for those who are not attracted to the opposite sex.”
Although I agree that the gay community is a mission field, from a soul-winning perspective; I totally disagree when such reasoning is used to silence Christians about the evils of homosexuality which is targeting, recruiting and hurting America’s children. Hugh Hefner’s perverted Playboy business could be called “a mission field” too. We could say that the dirty magazine business is not the enemy as well. But does that mean preachers and Christians should be silent about such evils? Of course not. Now, more than ever, pastors and Christians need to expose the evils of homosexuality in our society. Silence is not golden, it is yellow cowardice. The false idea that exposing homosexuality as a filthy sin will hinder reaching the gay community for Christ is a big lie!
Homosexuality Is A Filthy Deathstyle (homosexuals account for 75% of all Syphilis cases!). Placing an adopted child into the hands of two homosexual parents (perverts) ought to be considered criminal child abuse! But our nation’s ungodly courts disregard God’s Word. Americans can legally commit adultery, film themselves in bed having sex and upload it to the internet, get drunk, murder their children by abortion, homosexuals can marry and children are forced into their care by adoption, et cetera. In eternity, God will hold people accountable for even their words (Matthew 12:36).
The insane notion that believers will never convert homosexuals to Christianity by calling them “perverts” is totally untrue. When the rich man in Hell begged Abraham to send Lazarus from the dead to warn his five brothers, “lest they also come into this place of torment” (Luke 16:28). Abraham plainly said that if people won’t listen to the Word of God, THEY WON’T GET SAVED, even if they see miracles and supernatural signs. “Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:29-32).
The ungodly book effectively attempts to silence Christians to the evils of homosexuality, portraying sodomites as a needy group who ought to be ministered to (informed that God really made them to be eunuchs) and otherwise left alone. So while naive preachers are spending the rest of their life reaching out to gays with the Gospel, America’s children are being homosexualized. If churches must become worldly to attract the homosexual community, then they’re coming to apostate religion, not Jesus Christ.
Although I disagree with Pastor Steve Anderson’s lack of love for the homosexual community, I must say that Brother Anderson COMES MUCH CLOSER TO BEING RIGHT than today’s compromised preachers who hobnob with gays and won’t preach against them!!! HOMOSEXUALITY IS EVIL. You’re NEVER going to win sodomites to Christ by tolerating their sins. A fundamentalist preacher ought to be a balance of grace and truth, of strength and beauty! Jude 1:22, “And of some have compassion, making a difference.” John 7:7, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” The Word of God condemns the sinful world. That’s why gays reject the King James Bible, changing it into a lie (Romans 1:25). All of the modern PERversions of the Bible completely remove the word “sodomite.” The unscriptural website “BORN THAT WAY AFTER ALL” says they “do not necessarily endorse the term… ‘homosexual’ for several Biblical reasons.”  These are wicked people, who are trying to silence fundamentalist Christians about the evils of homosexuality. The idea that preaching and standing against open public wickedness, is a form of hate, is as satanic as can be!!!
I love Pastor Jeff Owens and Dr. Bob Gray Sr. I promote their sermons and ministries, because my heart’s desire is to help others in the Lord. I don’t throw people away because I disagree with them on something. I don’t stop promoting someone because they don’t agree with me. My faithful web visitors know that I often promote and expose someone at the same time. Most preachers won’t do that. Dr. Hyles invited Dr. R. G. Lee to preach at Pastor’s School in Hammond, knowing that Dr. lee was in the compromised Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Hyles didn’t demand that someone agree with him 100% on everything, to be his friend. I like that! There’s not one man that I promote whom I agree with on everything. I want to help others. If I find something that helps me, I want to share it with you also, to help you too. YOU are my Epistle. YOU are the book that I am writing. 2nd Corinthians 3:2, “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.” YOU are my treasure!
Having said that, I love the preaching and teaching of Dr. Bob Gray Sr. and Dr. Jeff Owens. Albeit, I do not agree with them in their support of the “BORN THAT WAY AFTER ALL” book and “BORNTHATWAY.ORG” website, where they are listed. I am 100% in agreement with Pastor Steven Anderson on this issue, because I believe Brother Anderson’s position is 100% Biblical. Romans 1:24-32 plainly condemns the homosexual deathstyle!!! No one is born with a Sodomite tendency. Homosexuality is abnormal, against nature. We are all born with a sin-nature. If the sin-nature is allowed to flourish, uncontrolled and unbridled by moral restraint, anything evil is possible. America was doomed the day in 1963 that the King James Bible was removed from our nation’s classrooms.
All human beings are born with a sin-nature. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” We are ALL sinners by nature and by choice. A child doesn’t have to be taught to steal. They have to be taught to be honest. Children must be trained and taught the Word of God. And yet, even having grown up in the best home, with the most faithful Christian parents, enrolled in a great Christian school, attending a strong Bible-believing church—They may still ruin their lives and choose to go into a reckless deathstyle of sin. Having good Christian parents does not guarantee godly children. Certainly, training up a child in the admonition and nurture of the Lord stacks everything in their favor when they become adults, but they are still sinners by nature and by choice. What a proper upbringing DOES give a child is a strong FOUNDATION for the rest of their life. So if the house of their life burns down one day, it can be rebuilt!!! Amen!
No one is “BORN THAT WAY AFTER ALL.” I am not trying to be mean or unkind to anyone. If you are not saved, you’ll never get the victory over sin. Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” If you have homosexual desires as a believer, then there is a Bible verse for you. 2nd Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
You can read all of Stewart’s homophobic rant here.
Stewart’s website features countless articles against this or that sexual sin, leaving me to say “The [man] doth protest too much, methinks.” I so wish that there were a God and I wish there really were a Jack Chick-like This Was Your Life final judgment. Can you imagine what would come rolling out IFB closets come judgment day? All of us have things that we have done that we never want to be brought to light. All of us have done things that we regret or wish we had done differently. The good news is that our embarrassments are safely stored in the back of our closets right next to our white buckskin shoes, platform shoes, frayed blue jeans, maxi dresses, and our dad’s collection of old Playboy magazines.
With one exception, I oppose prying open the closets of others, revealing secrets long buried in the dark recesses of people’s lives. We all have a right to have secrets, things that are no one’s business but ours. I do my best to write openly and honestly about my past and present life. But, there are some things that I can’t or won’t talk about (such as being sexually molested as a boy and kissing a boy as a teenager) because I find these events embarrassing, even fifty plus years after the fact.
The one exception I make is for preachers, politicians, and church leaders who deign to be the voices of moral authority; those who demand the Ten Commandments be posted on school walls and self-righteously demand their fellow citizens obey the anti-human moral code found in the Bible (as interpreted by them according to a literalistic, Fundamentalist hermeneutic). These defenders of virginity, the anus, and all things sexual, often don’t practice what they preach. While these “men of God” are preaching against adultery, fornication, pornography, homosexuality, masturbation, short skirts, tight pants, teenage petting, and lustful glances, they are often wallering in the very sins they condemn. (Behaviors they call sins, anyway. I wouldn’t call these behaviors sins, depending, of course, on context. Sins? No. Bad Behaviors? Maybe.) For these self-absorbed preachers of God’s plan of intercourse — Evangelical, heterosexual, married, missionary position only — I am all for exposing their secrets. It is for this reason I write the Black Collar Crime series. The sooner the truth is known — that preachers are no different from the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world — the better. Imagine how different things would be if Evangelical preachers swung wide the doors of their closets and openly talked about what is buried deep within. I am not talking about criminal behavior here. Sexual predators who hide in plain sight as pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and church leaders should be aggressively pursued and prosecuted. The secrets I am talking about are the things that are common to man. Imagine how different Sunday morning church would be if preachers admitted that they are human, burdened with the same desires, wants, needs, emotions, and feelings as everyone else. Granted, Evangelicals would have to re-write the Bible and abandon previously held certainties for them to truly reenter the human race. As long as they maintain that the Bible and Christianity are morally superior and demand everyone live according to their interpretation of a bronze-age religious text, preachers shouldn’t be surprised when people take delight in their moral failures.
Why do some people lack a desire for the opposite sex? They feel weird, like an outcast, often getting bullied or ridiculed for being different. Sometimes they feel trapped in their own bodies with nowhere to turn as they search for answers. Society tells them that they must be gay. But is that the only sensible explanation? In Born That Way After All, you will see the Biblical fact of men and women who were created different and special—unique servants of the Lord. God has created every human being with a unique purpose: do you know yours? TO PASTORS AND CHURCH LEADERS: How would it feel growing up and knowing there is something different about you? You might be surprised if you knew how many families and friends in your own congregation struggle. They don’t want to. They despise it. They need your help. Are you willing to provide that help? Are you prepared to answer their questions? This book can help you learn how to help them—we guarantee it. Remember God’s declaration in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Let’s destroy the void and help the hurting.
Nixon’s book has a two-star rating. Sixty-seven percent of reviewers gave the book a one-star review. However, proving yet again that IFB zealots lack reading skills, only one of the negative reviews came from someone who bought the book. No need to read the book, right? Just read the B-i-b-l-e, yes that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-i-b-l-e. BIBLE!!.
A transgender Bluefield man who worked in youth ministry at local Episcopal churches was arrested Tuesday and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of a juvenile.
James Lilly, 24, was charged with one count of incest, one count of second-degree sexual assault and 31 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, Detective K.L. Adams, with the Bluefield Police Department, said.
Adams said the victim in the case is a juvenile female. He said the abuse began in 2009 when the victim was 9 to 10 years old, and continued until she was 16.
The alleged abuse in the case took place at a home, and not a church, Adams said.
“Mr. Lilly, by his own admission, is transgender,” Adams said. “He is in the process of becoming a woman.”
Adams said Lilly has a degree in religion from a Virginia college and has worked at numerous churches. Locally, he worked at Episcopal churches in both Bluefields.
Lilly is also in the process of getting a teaching degree at Bluefield State College, Adams said.
A transgender man pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree in Mercer County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon.
James Lilly, 25, of Bluefield, will be sentenced on Nov. 17.
Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope accepted a plea agreement in the case, which dropped 28 counts of sexual abuse in the first degree as well as charges of sexual assault third degree and incest.
Each count brings one to five years in prison, but with the plea, Swope said two counts are “probated” (no prison time) and the third count carries the possible one to five years at the discretion of the judge.
Swope also said the plea agreement includes a mandatory lifetime registry as a sex offender as well as 10 to 50 years of enhanced supervision.
Assistant Prosecutor John McGinnis told Swope that the plea agreement was reviewed by the victim as well as the victim’s guardian ad litem, Cathy Wallace, and both agreed to it.
Lilly’s sentencing hearing was delayed so a diagnostic evaluation could be completed. Yet to be determined is Lilly’s classification as a prison inmate. The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports:
A diagnostic evaluation was completed recently for a former youth pastor and admitted transgender sex offender who is facing a prison term after pleading guilty last year to sexual abuse first degree.
James Lilly, 25, of Bluefield pleaded guilty in August 2016 in Mercer County Circuit Court to three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. Raleigh County Judge John A. Hutchinson, who was assigned to the case after Mercer County Judge Derek Swope recused himself, delayed Lilly’s sentencing on Dec. 21, 2016 and remanded him to the state Department of Corrections so a diagnostic study could be completed with regard to how he would be classified as an inmate.
During the December 2016 hearing, Hutchinson spoke of Lilly’s pre-sentencing report and emphasized that gender disorientation is a recognized condition, saying that he psychologically identifies with being a female.
In mid-April, Hutchinson informed the court that he had received the report resulting from the diagnostic interview, and sentencing was scheduled for a later date. In his order, Hutchinson instructed the Department of Corrections (DOC) to send a representative to Lilly’s sentencing hearing to inform the court about the policies, procedures and protections at DOC facilities “in the event the court determines a sentence in the penitentiary is appropriate for this defendant.”
A transgender man who pleaded guilty to three charges of first-degree sexual abuse is now serving his sentence in a northern West Virginia prison, officials with the state Division of Corrections said Friday.
James Lilly, 26, formerly of Bluefield, is currently an inmate at Northern Regional Correctional Facility in Moundsville, according to the state Division of Corrections Inmate Search website. Prison officials confirmed Friday that he was among the facility’s inmates.
A former youth pastor, Lilly was arrested Jan. 12, 2016. A Mercer County grand jury indicted him on 28 counts of first-degree sexual abuse as well as third-degree sexual assault and incest. He pleaded guilty to three charges of first-degree sexual abuse. After being arrested, he told Bluefield Police detectives that he was a transgender who was in the process of becoming a woman.
The victim, a female juvenile, came forward after learning that Lilly was pursuing a teaching career and student teaching at a school. The principal at Bluefield Intermediate School said later that Lilly was a student observer in 2015, but had little interaction with the students. Bluefield Detective K.L. Adams said after Lilly’s arrest that the abuse began in 2009.
In May, Special Judge John A. Hutchison of Raleigh County sentenced Lilly to a pair of one- to five-year sentences that will run concurrently. These sentences are running consecutively with the third charge of first-degree sexual abuse. This gives Lilly a sentence of two to 10 years in prison. He will be subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender after he is released, and he will be under 30 years of supervision.