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Tag: Riverview Church of God

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Blaine Faircloth Accused of Sexually Assaulting Church Teenager

blaine faircloth 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.

Blaine Faircloth Jr. (BJ), former youth pastor at Riverview Church of God, in Riverview, Michigan, has been charged with “two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.”

Michigan Live reports:

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI – A Tennessee man is charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl on a train during a church trip to Michigan five years ago.

Blaine Faircloth Jr., 33, appeared Thursday, July 6, in Pittsfield Township’s 14A-1 District Court, where Judge Elizabeth Hines set a preliminary examination for July 27. There was no other discussion about the case in court Thursday.

Faircloth is accused of using a position of authority as a youth pastor in a church group to coerce the teen into a sexual relationship, according to the warrant.

Faircloth was 28 years old at the time of the alleged offenses, which police say took place between July 17, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2012 on a church trip, specifically on a train from Chicago to Dearborn. That’s according to Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Edward Price, who presented that information in testimony before a magistrate when swearing to the arrest warrant.


“The sexual contact started originally on this trip overseas in Bangkok, and continued on a plane ride overseas to Chicago,” Price told the magistrate. “The sexual assault continued to take place on a train ride that started in Chicago .. with that train passing through Ann Arbor … ”

Price said Faircloth was a “person in a place of authority over this child, and fondled her multiple times during this train ride … on her genitals, and also her breast area.”


Court records show Faircloth was charged June 21 with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Faircloth most recently was living in Tennessee and was extradited to Michigan, according to the Megan Hawthorne, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office. The felony warrant lists Faircloth as a Southgate resident, however.

Faircloth was a youth minister at the Riverview Church of God, in Riverview, Michigan at the time of the alleged assault, according to Hawthorne.

The Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes Task Force investigated the incident because it’s alleged to have occurred on a train, Hawthorne added. It’s being investigated as an isolated incident, according to Hawthorne.

Faircloth, Jr. is a pastor’s son. His father pastors Dexter Lake Church — affiliated with the Church of God — in Battle Creek, Michigan.


On January 9, 2018, John Counts, a reporter for MLive, reported:

A 33-year-old former Church of God youth pastor accused of sexually assaulting a girl on a mission trip had his trial postponed when he appeared in the Washtenaw County Trial Court Monday, Jan. 8.

Blaine Faircloth’s jury trial was initially set for Jan. 29. It’s now been rescheduled for May 14.

The postponement came at the request of Assistant Attorney General Robyn Liddell, who is prosecuting the case. Faircloth’s defense attorney, Marc Hart, did not object. Judge David Swartz granted the request.

Faircloth is charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The case dates back to 2012, when Faircloth was a 28-year-old youth pastor at Riverview Church of God in Riverview, Michigan.

He is accused of having sexual contact with a then-14-year-old girl on a church mission trip to Bangkok, Thailand. The woman, now 19, testified at a preliminary hearing that she had recently joined the church when she decided to go on the trip with Faircloth’s group.

She said she trusted him and looked up to him.

“I thought it would help me with my relationship with God,” she said. “I … looked at him like a youth pastor. I trusted him.”

The inappropriate contact started during a game of truth or dare in a Thailand hut, according to her testimony, when the youth pastor rubbed the 14-year-old’s back. The woman testified that she and Faircloth grew closer during the trip.

The criminal charges stem from incidents that allegedly occurred on a train between Chicago and Dearborn on the way home from the trip, which is why the case is being prosecuted in Ann Arbor.

The woman testified that Faircloth told her repeatedly that he wanted to have sex with her in a train bathroom, and that he wanted to find a place where she could give him oral sex.

He touched her breasts and genitals throughout the train ride, she testified, while showing and reading the 14-year-old “raunchy” texts from his wife, she testified.

Faircloth’s wife found out about the relationship after the trip and told the girl to switch churches, according to the teen’s testimony.


Update October 17, 2018

Faircloth was acquitted of all charges.

Bruce Gerencser