Ministers in the news.
It’s been a while since we’ve run our column on ministers under arrest. Here’s a bit of the recent arrests in the news.
Rev. John Graier, youth minister at the First Christian Church in Moffat County, Colorado was arrested for sexual assault on two teenage girls. He posted bail, went home and apparently killed himself.
In Port Richey, Florida police have arrested Rev. Ronald Smart of the Union Missionary Baptist Church. One male member of the church says he came to see the minister after working a night long shift. He was sitting on the couch and fell asleep but woke up to find that the minister had pulled down his pants and was sitting on top of him. The minister was arrested for sexual assault.
Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus was actually arrested but he deserves an honorable mention. The Polish archbishop was recently exposed as having been a willing informer for the secret police of the previous Communist dictatorship. A new book to be published claims that 39 priests in the Krakow area were police informers.
Bishop Margaret Wanjiru of Jesus is Alive Ministries called a press conference. Then, in what is described as a stage-managed power blackout, her bodyguards attacked and beat a journalist. A bodyguard of the minister was arrested.
Joshua Allen was a minister at the Tyler Street Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Texas. He is now going to federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography including sadistic images.
Rev. Tyrone Moore of Full Word Ministries in North Charleston, South Carolina was arrested for molesting 7 underaged male members of his church. In a previous incident he pled guilty to molesting two young girls from a church where he was choir director. One girl, age nine, was given a venereal disease by the minister. He also admitted to a previous incident where he molested three girls.
Dennis Bowling is a high school drop out but that was no draw back when it came to being a minister. He has led the Kingdom Harvest Church, a Baptist congregation in Riverside, Ohio, for 19 years. He will probably serve a long period of time in prison for sexual assault on up to a dozen underage female members of his congregation.
Keith Brooks was a bishop at the Power of Deliverance Temple, Lebanon, Ohio, was arrested. He is facing charges for helping a cocaine dealer launder his income. In one incident the drug dealer purchased a car with income from his sales and the car was then registered as being owned by the church.
In Australia a senior elder of the Exclusive Brethren sect was arrested for sexual assault of two young girls. Church leaders pressured the parents of the victim to hide the incident and forced the girl to issue a letter of apology to her attacker. After the assault was reported church members began harassing the family of the victim in retribution.
In northern Kentucky a Catholic priest, Thomas Gaeke, was arrested for possession of illegal drugs. In Virginia Father Rodney Lee Rodis was arrested for embezzling something like $600,000 from the church. In San Paulo Brazil Father Aparecido Bianchi was arrested for drunk driving after driving his car into a crowd. He taunted police who arrested him, made obscene gestures and tried to offer them a bribe.
In Deltona, Florida two Catholic priests were implicated in a scandal. It is alleged that the two priests invited a 35-year-old man for dinner and then plied him with alcohol. It is then claimed that the one priest physically restrained the man while the other priest performed oral sex on him.
In Chicago Father Mark Sorvillo is facing charges for stealing close to $200,000 in funds from the St. Margaret Mary Church.