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Tag: United Methodist Church

Black Collar Crime: United Methodist Pastor Rick Haberland Pleads No Contest to Child Pornography Charges

rick haberland

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.

Rick Haberland, pastor of Oneida United Methodist Church in Oneida, Wisconsin, pleaded no contest last Friday to charges of child pornography possession. Haberland previously pastored United Methodist Church in De Pere, Suring and Hickory United Methodist Churches in Suring, Phillips United Methodist Church in Phillips, and Tabor United Methodist Church in Eden

The Post Crescent reports:

Rick E. Haberland, former pastor of Oneida United Methodist Church, pleaded no contest to all five charges Friday morning during a plea hearing in Outagamie County Circuit Court. A no-contest plea accepts a guilty verdict without admitting or denying any guilt.


He was arrested in February following an investigation in response to a Cybertipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

During the course of the investigation, police linked Haberland with a Skype account and email address involved in multiple exchanges of child pornography.

On Feb. 23, police executed search warrants at Oneida United Methodist Church and Haberland’s nearby residence, during which they seized his phone. A digital forensic examiner estimated Haberland’s phone had more than 150 videos depicting sexual abuse of children, in addition to written statements about sexual abuse of infant to 12-year-old boys, according to a criminal complaint. 

During the search at Haberland’s residence, investigators found 1.2 grams of meth in his bedroom closet, the criminal complaint said.

Haberland was initially charged with 13 counts of possession of child pornography, but nine were dismissed.

Haberland’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14.


Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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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Black Collar Crime: United Methodist Pastor Charged With Sexually Assaulting Five-Year-Old Girl

pastor david akin

Texarkana fire fighter and United Methodist David Akin has been charged with sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl. THV-11 reports:

Texarkana fire captain and pastor has been arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.

According to the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office, 49-year-old David Michael Akin turned himself in after a warrant for his arrest was released.

On January 28, deputies responded to reports of a sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl. Her parents said on November 12, 2016 their daughter was being watched by Akin’s daughter as a babysitter.

A week later, the mother of the 5-year-old noticed her daughter had an infection near her vagina. The mother took her daughter to the doctor where it was later found the 5-year-old had contracted gonorrhea.

The mother contacted the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas. Deputies in Morris County closed the case because they couldn’t develop a suspect but had a sexual assault kit as well as an interview with the daughter.

Later in the investigation, the father of the child said she had told him that Akin pulled a blanket over her head and touched her.

Akin, a captain with the Texarkana Arkansas Fire Department, has been put on administrative leave from the fire department. He has been with the department for 23 years.

At the time of the assault. Akin was the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Texarkana,Texas.

Bruce Gerencser