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Zachary Wachholz, a middle school/high school ministry volunteer at Community Bible Church in San Antonio, Texas, stands accused of inappropriate behavior with numerous church teens. Ed Newton, pastor of Community Bible, released the following statement:
In recent days, my heart was broken when I was informed that a part-time employee admitted to our executive pastor that the employee had engaged in inappropriate behavior with several minors in our youth ministry. We believe that this was limited to less than 10 victims, but clearly, even one victim is too many.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved in this tragedy.
We immediately notified law enforcement authorities, and the detectives limited what we can say at this time due to their ongoing investigation.
However, what I can share is that the acts involving all but one of the reported victims involved inappropriate electronic communication on electronic devices through social media platforms. One victim who was identified in the employee’s confession involved more than electronic communication. But whether it is inappropriate electronic communication or inappropriate physical contact, it is wrong and illegal and will not be tolerated at all!
Our primary concern right now is for all victims and families. They have all been contacted by our pastoral staff for the purpose of coming alongside them with love, support, counseling and prayer. Please pray for them.
The perpetrator has to remain nameless due to the ongoing investigation at this time. But, as I said, this person was a part-time employee. Prior to hiring this person, our church conducted a full background investigation, references were interviewed and numerous interviews of the potential employee were conducted. There was absolutely no reason to believe that this person posed a risk. Let there be no misunderstanding, this part-time employee was immediately fired from our staff upon learning of this information; this person has been issued a trespassing warrant, so as to prevent access onto our campus or attend any CBC related events.
In closing: This is a difficult time for the victims, the families and our church. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities. We are praying and doing our best to provide compassionate support to the victims. Also, we are praying for the perpetrator. We ask to join us in prayer.
Community Bible is an Evangelical multi-campus megachurch.