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Tag: Chris Henderson

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Worship Pastor Jordan Henderson Accused of Sexually Molesting School Girls

jordan henderson

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.

“While some would have you focus on alarm bells and your greatest fears about what you do not know, I want to encourage you with confidence based on what I do know. I know Jordan to be of the highest character and quality as a man. He is a great husband, a great father, a great teacher. He and his family have the full confidence and support of our church. Please join us in asking that God reveal the full and complete truth regarding these allegations.” (In other words, trust me, my son didn’t do it.)

— Chris Henderson, pastor, and Jordan’s father

Jordan Henderson, a worship pastor at Wellspring Fellowship in Lakebay, Washington, and a fifth-grade teacher at Evergreen Elementary School, stands accused of sexually molesting and groping several school girls.

Gig Harbor Now reports:

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested an Evergreen Elementary School teacher on suspicion of first-degree child molestation on April 18, according to a statement from the Peninsula School District.

The teacher is in custody at the Pierce County Jail, the school district said. The district previously placed the teacher on administrative leave after learning about allegations of misconduct.

Attorneys representing a victim identified the teacher as Jordan Henderson. The online Pierce County jail roster lists a person by that name held on suspicion of eight counts of first-degree child molestation.

A public database of K-12 employees maintained by the state of Washington shows a Jordan Henderson employed as a teacher in Peninsula School District since at least 2018-19.

“Based on our initial investigations, we believe that Henderson likely abused many other young women over the years,” attorney Kevin Hastings said in a news release. Hastings, an attorney with Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, is representing the survivor of Henderson and her mother. “We anticipate more victims to come forward once news of Henderson’s arrest becomes widespread.”

The law firm’s statement said the victim reported being sexually abused by Henderson while she was his student during the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.

A statement from the sheriff’s office said it launched its investigation on Feb. 26, after an Evergreen student reported allegations of “molestation or groping” by a teacher. Detectives served a search warrant on the teacher’s Gig Harbor home and arrested him Thursday, April 18.

Fox-13 reports:

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) initiated the investigation after receiving a report from a student on Feb. 26, alleging inappropriate conduct by a teacher at the school. Acting swiftly, detectives from the sheriff’s office launched an inquiry into the matter.

During the ongoing investigation, the school district took immediate action, removing the accused teacher from his duties at Longbranch Elementary School.

On April 18, following the execution of a search warrant at Henderson’s residence in Gig Harbor, the suspect was arrested on first-degree charges and booked into Pierce County Jail.

The allegations against Henderson have sent shockwaves through the community, particularly among the families of the victims.

In a highly emotional court hearing Friday, parents shared the profound impact of the alleged assaults on their children, with one girl pleading with the judge to ensure her alleged attacker remains behind bars.

“We can’t drive past the school building without her hiding her eyes,” one parent said.

According to probable cause documents obtained by FOX 13 News, Henderson is accused of preying on fourth and fifth graders for years, using his position as an educator to gain the trust of his victims and convince them that the assaults were normal.

He’s accused of rubbing children’s backs, things, behinds and genitals. Court documents say the “brave little girls called Henderson out for the assaults.”

Henderson took advantage of his role as an educator, lying to the children and saying “touching was normal.” He also told the kids “not to tell anyone.”

The victims reported that sexual assaults would happen daily and even interfere with class. One girl stated if she spoke up, Henderson would punish her.

“I ask you, your honor, to consider her piece of mind when considering this evil, evil person,” one family member said.

The courtroom on Friday was filled with members of Wellspring Fellowship Church, where Henderson holds a leadership role alongside his father. The church released a statement expressing support for Henderson, further adding to the complexity of the case.

Despite requests from Henderson’s attorney for release without bail, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Barbara McCinvale set a $100,000 bond and imposed strict conditions, including prohibiting Henderson from being around children other than his own.

Jordan Henderson’s church bio states:

My name is Jordan Henderson and I have been the worship pastor here at Wellspring Fellowship since 2011.  I moved to the area with my parents (Chris and Susan) in 2000.  Music has always been a big part of my life.  My parents looked at playing the piano as a subject in school so when I was six I started piano lessons and continued them through college.  I also played in wind ensembles throughout my schooling (playing the baritone) and sang lead tenor in an opera at Olympic College.  I started playing piano for worship in church when I was 13.  In High school I learned the guitar and started playing for church.  When I finished high school I went to Olympic college to focus on music and elementary education.  From there I attended Northwest University earning my BA in Elementary Education.  While at Northwest I met my wife and we were married in August of 2013.  We currently live in Gig Harbor where I teach 5th grade at Evergreen Elementary.  

In June 2024, Henderson was charged with three more crimes.

KOMO reports:

A Pierce County elementary school teacher and volunteer worship pastor accused of child molestation is charged with additional counts after a new victim came forward.

Jordan Henderson, 34, who is already facing nine counts of first-degree child molestation has had three additional counts added. A new victim has come forward accusing Henderson.

The teacher was arrested in April after allegations of misconduct involving young students. Henderson was arrested by Pierce County Sheriff’s Department deputies at his home in Gig Harbor.

The allegations came after a student reported assaults to her parents in February. According to the PCSD, the allegations concerned molestation or groping of young students at school and during school hours.

Police said five Evergreen Elementary School students, all girls, came forward and told officials of the assaults that took place during school hours.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser