30+ Alabama church personnel on Southern Baptists’ abuser list
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - This week, top Southern Baptists released a previously secret list of hundreds of pastors and other church-affiliated personnel accused of sexual abuse. This nationwide database contained more than 700 entries with cases largely spanning from 2000 to 2019.
At least 35 entries on that list are from Alabama or have Alabama ties. There may be more names that are not known, as several entries are redacted.
Below are the names and summaries provided in the list. All of the information comes from the Southern Baptists’ list, which can be viewed in its entirety here. Some additional information was found via court records and news reports.
- Ralph Lee Aaron – In 2009, Aaron, pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship and former pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Andalusia, agreed to consecutive life terms in prison for production of child pornography and first-degree sodomy of multiple 8-12-year-old males. He is a registered sex offender. Aaron was investigated in 2005 while pastor of a Southern Baptist church.
- Daniel Montague Acker Jr. – In 2012, Acker, a schoolteacher and school bus driver, who retired in 2009, admitted to sexually abusing 20 girls during his 25-year tenure. He was sentenced to serve 17 years in prison for eight counts of child sexual abuse. His release date is scheduled for Jan. 1, 2029. In 1992, Acker was accused of touching a minor for sexual gratification. However, the grand jury did not indict him. In 2016, he admitted to the 1992 abuse. In 1992, Acker was also serving as youth pastor at Westwood Baptist Church in Alabaster. He was also music and youth minister at Mayberry Baptist Church in Montevallo and served as a camp counselor at the Alabama Baptist Boys Camp.
- Charles Kyle Adcock – Adcock was youth minister and worship pastor for Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals. In 2014, he was charged with 29 counts of rape and sodomy against a teenage girl. Investigators say the incidents happened between 2010-2012. He pleaded guilty in 2016 and was sentenced to a 10-year prison sentence, split with 15 months to serve in state prison.
- John Lankston Anderson Jr. – Anderson, a former pastor at Carbon Hill First Baptist, was charged with three counts of first-degree sexual abuse of juveniles under the age of 12. He pleaded guilty to all charges in 2002 and sentenced to three years. He immediately transferred to Arkansas, where he pleaded guilty to another sex abuse charge and was sentenced to 10 more years. Anderson served prison sentences in both states. Anderson was a pulpit preacher at Southside in Russellville, Natural Bridge Baptist, West Blocton Baptist, Hartselle Baptist and other churches in Mississippi. He is on the sex offender registry in Tennessee.
- Charles Andrews – In 2006, Andrews, an ex-teacher and minister of a Baptist church in Jefferson County, received a sentence of probation after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a student in 2005. In 2008, after failing to respond to a lawsuit that accused Andrews, a federal judge ordered him to pay $2.5 million in punitive damages and $500,000 in compensation.
- James L. Bevel – Bevel was a civil rights leader, an architect in Alabama’s civil rights history, and was with the American Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2005, Bevel was accused of abuse and later arrested. He was tried in April 2008 and convicted of unlawful fornication. News reports show this conviction was incest. Pursuant to the jury’s recommendation, which could have sentenced him to anywhere from five to 20 years, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $50,000. He was freed after seven months while waiting for an appeal. He died of pancreatic cancer in December 2008 and was buried in Eutaw.
- Howard Blattel – This former Bolingbrook resident and Marquette Manor Baptist Church deacon was charged in Alabama with sexually assaulting an 89-year-old woman in 2004.
- Walter John “Jay” Bowen – In 2010, Bowen, former minister of music at First Baptist Church in Spanish Fort and radio station owner and personality, was arrested for sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 and sentenced to 10 years in prison based on a plea agreement. That agreement dropped a second sex abuse case involving another child younger than 12. He has since been released from prison and is listed as a registered sex offender in Alabama.
- Gregory “Lee” Bowman – In 2010, Bowman, a health and wellness minister for both adult and youth recreation programs at Eden Westside Baptist Church in Pell City, pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse of a teenager and was sentenced to serve a 12-month split sentence and required to serve 24 months on supervised probation. He is a registered sex offender in Alabama.
- Charles Brown – In 1987, Brown, of London Baptist Church in Evergreen, was convicted of abusing a teenage boy in 1986. Brown was convicted of a reduced misdemeanor charge. He was given a suspended sentence.
- Fred Robert Chambers – In 1998, Chambers was convicted of four counts of second-degree sodomy with a 14-year-old boy. Chambers is possibly a volunteer church leader, but the church was not named.
- Stanley Daniel – In 2008, this pastor at El-Bethel Baptist Church and Pearls of Promise Girls Academy in Rock Stand pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy and two counts of distribution of obscene material.
- Mack Allen Davis – In 2015, this former youth minister at Lakeside Baptist Church was sentenced to 35 years for three counts of sodomy and four counts of sexual abuse with victims in three different counties.
- Garret Albert Dykes – In 2006, this former pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Wetumpka pleaded guilty to 13 sex-related charges against two girls under age 10. He was sentenced to 262 months in a federal child porn case in the Middle District of Alabama.
- Jeffery Dale Eddie – A children’s minister at Highland Park Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals who pleaded guilty to 20 charges, including sodomy, sexual abuse of a child under 12 and possession of child pornography, according to federal civil court documents. He is serving a 30-year sentence in state prison.
- Zachary Reed Emerson – A part-time youth employee at East Memorial Baptist Church in Prattville was convicted of enticing a child for immoral purposes in 2011 in Alabama. He is a registered sex offender in Florida.
- Luis Federico Garcia – Garcia, a former pastor of Spanish ministries at First Baptist Church in Pelham, pleaded guilty in 2007 to three charges of first-degree sexual abuse involving three girls younger than 12 years old. He is a registered sex offender and lives in the Dominican Republic.
- Jason Michael Hankins – This former staff member at Shades Crest Baptist Church and Family Life Center in Birmingham was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a child, plus 20 more years of possessing child pornography. He will remain on supervised release for the rest of his life.
- John Edgar Harris – Harris was an employee at Glynwood Baptist Church in Prattville. The church lists states he pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and facilitating the travel of a child for an unlawful sex act. Court records reveal he later pleaded guilty to assault instead.
- Henry Hobson – Hobson was a pastor at Moffett Road Baptist Church in Mobile. In 1993, he admitted guilt for abusing a 14-year-old girl in 1991. Attorneys reached an agreement between Hobson and the victim just before a civil case went to jury.
- Jerry Hutcheson – A pastor at Red Oak Baptist Church in Baker, Florida, Hutcheson was accused of sexually abusing an 86-year-old woman, He was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse in Alabama in 2007 and served four years in prison. He is a registered sex offender in Alabama. He previously registered in Tennessee based on a 2004 sexual abuse offense.
- Michael Likos – Likos was a registered sex offender while being the church piano player at Seventh Street Baptist Church in Cullman. Likos was registered as a sex offender after previous convictions in Louisiana and Mississippi. He was convicted there for crossing a state line to engage in sexual contact with a minor. In 2006, Likos was indicted on first-degree sexual abuse.
- Timothy Chun-Chuck Mann – He was a minister at First Baptist Church in Gaithersburg and choir director at Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover. He pleaded guilty to child abuse of a 14-year-old female in Maryland in 2008 and sentenced to 13 years with seven years in confinement with the rest suspended, according to Maryland court records. He is a registered sex offender in Alabama
- Billy Paul Masters – This pastor at Harvest Baptist Church in Boaz was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a boy under 12. He also faced a parole violation in connection with a 2001 conviction of sodomy involving three boys. Following his release from prison in 2007, Masters registered as a sex offender.
- James “Javie” Vernon McNeal – He was a children’s minister with Bethlehem Baptist Church in Hazel Green. He was convicted of two felony sex offenses and sentenced to 40 years in 2018, according to Alabama prison records. He is currently incarcerated.
- Ralph Randall Melton – He was a pastor at Prospect Baptist Church in Wilsonville, as well as at New Salem Baptist Church and Big Springs Baptist Church in Chilton County. In 12005, he and his wife, Cathy Melton, pleaded guilty to raping and sodomizing children in 1975-1987. Their victims were a 1-year-old male and 16-year-old female. They were sentenced to more than three months in prison followed by 36 months probation and were to register as sex offenders. He died in June 2018.
- Donald Brent Page – Page held multiple youth ministry positions. He was a youth pastor at Dogwood Grove Baptist Church in Montevallo, a youth minister with Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster and a youth worker for Hillcrest Baptist Church, which is now the River Church, in Birmingham. In 2007, he traveled from Alabama to Tennessee to have sex with what he thought to be a 13-year-old girl. It was actually a Memphis FBI agent. He was charged with traveling to Tennessee to have sex with a minor.
- Marshal A. Seymour – He was a volunteer youth minister at FBC at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida and former youth minister at Parkway Assembly of God in Mobile. He faced charges in 2007 of unlawful sexual activity and three counts of using a child in sexual performance. The victims were listed as a 17-year-old boy, 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old. As part of a plea agreement, he was convicted of three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and one charge of directing sexual performance of a child. He was sentenced to maximum of 10 years on each count. He was released in 2016. The church’s background check did not show a previous 1999 Mobile assault conviction, which was a misdemeanor. He is a registered sex offender in Florida.
- Gary Ladell Smitherman – A youth minister for Friendship Baptist Church in Clanton, he was found guilty of one count of sexual abuse of a child. He was sentenced to 20 years in August 2018 and remains incarcerated in an Alabama state prison.
- Jay Clair Strickland – This former administrative pastor for Sharon Heights Baptist Church in Brookside was convicted of first-degree sodomy in 2016. He is a registered sex offender.
- Christopher Cody Stutts – Stutts, a former youth minister at Birmingham’s Westwood Baptist Church, was accused of sexual abuse of a child under age 12 that lasted over three years. A grand jury indicted Stutts on the initial charges of sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 and second-degree sodomy. The grand jury also added additional charges of first-degree sodomy, second-degree rape and another second-degree sodomy charge. Stutts was fired following his arrest.
- Brandon Wade White – White was a youth group member and mentor at First Baptist Church in Pleasant Grove. He was accused of sending pictures of his genitals to half a dozen boys between ages 13-17 before being arrested in September 2016. He was convicted of possession of obscene matter in September 2018. He is a registered sex offender in Alabama.
- Patrick Jermone Whitehead – He is the former Huffman High School band director and music minister at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge stemming from having sex with a 17-year-old student.
- REDACTED NAME – In 2014, an unnamed assistant pastor at an unidentified church was charged with raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old. A second victim has led to additional charges. He also faced charges of parole violation. In 2001, he was convicted on a first-degree robbery change and served prison time from August 2002-2009. This was listed as being in Alabama.
- REDACTED – An unnamed youth pastor was arrested on charges of inappropriate sexual relationship in 2010. The church was also unidentified but was listed under Alabama.
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