Tag Archive: Sex Crime

Black Collar Crime: Pastor Cameron Giovanelli Resurrects From the Dead, Found in Florida

cameron giovanelli

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 May 2018, Cameron Giovanelli, the president of Golden State Baptist College — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution operated by Pastor Jack Trieber and North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California, was accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a church teenager when he was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk, Maryland. Giovanelli denied the allegations and exited stage right to points unknown. ( Please read the previous post titled, Black Collar Crime: IFB Preacher Cameron Giovanelli Accused of Sexual Assault)

You can read Giovanelli’s side of the story here.

Today, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Giovanelli is now the associate pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Giovanelli also plans to help Immanuel Baptist’s pastor, Greg Neal, start a new unaccredited IFB secondary institution called North Florida Baptist College. Neal, himself, was caught up in a sex scandal in 2011 when he was accused of video voyeurism. You can read more about Neal’s brush with the law here and here. Neal, unfortunately, escaped prosecution.

Video link to North Florida Baptist College announcement.

I have no doubt that a number IFB pastors and churches will recommend North Florida Baptist College to its students. Neal is a graduate of Hyles-Anderson College. Deeply influenced by disgraced pastor Jack Hyles, I am sure that both Neal and Giovanneli subscribe to the Hyles rule: If You Didn’t See It, It Didn’t Happen. (Please see Sexual Abuse and the Jack Hyles Rule: If You Didn’t See It, It Didn’t Happen)

Giovaneli’s college bio page states:

Cameron Giovanelli was born on June 29, 1977. He was saved on September 20, 1990, while living in Rohnert Park, CA. In 1994, he surrendered to preach while attending a youth conference in Santa Clara, California. Following his graduation, he attended Golden State Baptist College where he met his wife, Sarah, and they both graduated in 2000.

After graduating from Bible college, Cameron Giovanelli served as a youth pastor for several years in Napa, CA; as an associate pastor in Manteca, California; and then, as a pastor in the fall of 2003. He pastored a growing church on the east coast for eleven years before accepting a position at his alma mater as the president. In 2018, he and his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and began serving as an assistant pastor at the Immanuel Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Greg Neal. Now, with the announcement of North Florida Baptist College, Cameron Giovanelli has been asked and has accepted the role of president.

Cameron and Sarah Giovanelli have three children. Together, the Giovanelli family has seen the Lord work in remarkable ways, and they are excited about this next phase of their ministry life. Cameron Giovanelli is a seasoned servant and soldier of the cross, and it is with great excitement that North Florida Baptist College has called him to lead the way of training up the next generation of church leaders.

No mention of the allegations against him. I wonder why?  Sadly, the IFB church movement tends to be a shameless lot, and the latest escapades of Neal and Giovanelli only reinforce that notion. As I perused North Florida Baptist College’s twitter account, I noticed that IFB luminary Bob Gray, Sr. is a follower. No shock there. Gay is a Hyles loyalist, and has stood by several IFB preachers accused of sexual misconduct. I followed North Florida Baptist, and it took less than sixty-seconds for them to do the following:

north florida baptist college twitter

They also reported my account and got it temporarily blocked. I wonder what Giovanelli, Neal, and Company are trying to hide?

Sorry boys, but I ain’t going away.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor John Schouten Resigns Over Past Sex Crime

pastor john schouten

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.

John Schouten, pastor of Vineyard Grace Fellowship (VGF) in Newark (Heath), Ohio, recently resigned after it was discovered that Schouten had a sex crime in his past. While neither Schouten or VGF is willing to name the crime, an email sent to congregants stated Schouten did something that was “wrong, evil, and illegal.” The use of the word “illegal” narrows the field to: rape, sex with a minor, sexual assault of a minor, and a handful of other underage sex crimes.  According to the Newark Advocate, since the incident occurred 30 years ago, the statute of limitations has passed.

Much has been made of the fact that the crime in question was committed years ago, before Schouten was a Christian. VGF congregants are split over whether Schouten should stay or go. The former group believes that past sins are under the blood, cast into the sea of God’s forgetfulness. The latter group believes that Schouten’s crime is such that he can no longer be their pastor. Both groups, according to the Newark Advocate, are threatening to leave if they don’t get their way. Currently, VGF has 1,500 members — the largest church in Licking County.

My wife and I lived in Newark from September 2004 to July 2005. We attended VGF six or so times. We enjoyed the preaching and the music and found the congregation to be friendly. They were too charismatic for us, so we did not stay.