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Tag: Pastor William Tim Smith Jr

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor William “Tim” Smith, Jr. Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Attempted Child Rape

pastor william tim smith jr

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 2018, William “Tim” Smith, Jr, pastor of Palmer Church of God in Palmer, Tennessee, was arrested after he was found parked in a remote area engaging in sexual activity with a twelve-year-old girl. Smith was also found in possession of Schedule II prescription drugs.

The Herald-Chronicle reported at the time:

The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office has arrested William E. “Tim” Smith, Jr., 48,  for rape of a child, possession of legend drugs, and possession of Schedule II drugs.

Sheriff Clint Shrum explained that Smith, Jr. was taken into custody after Sheriff’s investigators found him and a 12-year old female in a remote wooded area engaged in sexual conduct in Smith’s truck.  He was also found in possession of Legend and Schedule II prescription drugs.

According to the report, Smith, Jr. identified himself as the pastor of a church in Palmer, the Palmer Church of God.

“This is very disturbing and heartbreaking,” stated Sheriff Shrum. Bond has not been set. Smith, Jr. has an initial court date of July 12th.

Incident Report

The incident report states that the incident occurred in Gruetli-Laager, near Ross Creek Road. The arresting officers were on Ross Creek Road looking for a stolen four wheeler when they decided to check an area that had issues with drug use and selling. When pulling up to the area, they saw a maroon Chevrolet pickup truck. It appeared no one was in the vehicle, but deputies noticed the vehicle was running. They saw an arm raise up and confirmed someone was in the vehicle.

When deputies approached the vehicle, they saw a male and female lying down in the seat. When deputies knocked on the window, the male, who was laying on top of the female, jumped up and tried to pull up his pants. The female tried to pull her skirt down. The deputies noticed the female appeared young and asked her age. The male answered that she was 18. The male then tried to persuade the female to tell the deputies she was 18. The female then stated she was 13.

Deputies found several different pills in a pill bottle in the male’s pants. The male was identified as William Smith and said he was the pastor of the Church of God in Palmer.

“Mr. Smith was placed under arrest and read his Miranda warnings at that time. Mr. Smith only stated that he had done nothing wrong and showed no remorse about the situation.”

With further questioning, the female stated she was 12.

When interviewed by deputies at the Sheriff’s Office (with the permission of her grandparents) the female stated that she and a cousin went riding with Smith to Ramsey’s Lake for several hours. They took her cousin home and went to Smith’s house to pick up another truck so that he “could go to Winchester and get brake pads for his vehicle.” The female stated Smith was supposed to drop her off at home.

The female further stated “Smith stated he had to use the restroom and drove down Ross Creek Road” where they were later located by the Sheriff’s Deputies.

The incident report goes into more detail of the female’s report of what happened, but the Herald has decided to not publish that information at this time.

In 2019, Smith pleaded guilty to attempting to rape a child. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

WKRN reported:

A Grundy County pastor pleaded guilty on Friday to attempted child rape in a case involving a 12-year-old girl.

Authorities arrested William E. “Tim” Smith, Jr. of the Palmer Church of God in June of last year. 

Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum says Smith, Jr. was taken into custody after investigators found him with a 12-year old female in a remote wooded area engaged in sexual conduct in Smith, Jr.’s truck. 

The deputies were looking for a stolen 4-wheeler on Ross Creek Road near Gruetli-Laager when they discovered the truck with Smith, Jr. and the girl inside. Sheriff Shrum says he was also found in possession of legend and Schedule II prescription drugs. 

At the time of the arrest, Tennessee Church of God officials announced he would be placed on administrative leave.

In court on Friday, Judge Justin Angel sentenced Smith, Jr. to 9 years and 6 months in prison. Smith, Jr. also must not make any contact with the victim.

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