Friday, February 24, 2012
Christ Tabernacle baptist church, in Jacksonville Fl, recently decided to ban children from Sunday services. No, not because they're unruly or disruptive. But for the sake of pastor Darrell Gilyard, who just so happens to be a registered sex offender not allowed unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18, as a condition of his parole. Though Gilyard's lawyer is currently working to alter those conditions so that children can again attend his services. So, ya know, if you were somehow harboring some hope that the church was trying to protect the kids rather than the creep, you can go ahead and let that go.
In a text message to a Jacksonville reporter, Gilyard had the following to say about his current circumstances:
"Somehow I will prove that life isn't over when one has committed a crime for which he receives this heinous label,"
Presuming Gilvard was using the term to imply it was somehow unfair for him to be labeled a "Sex offender", which, he clearly was. I think it's safe to say that, while there may arguably be a number of ways in which one could end up labeled a sex offender in a "heinous" or unfair way -public urination, nudity, ETC- being convicted of having had sexual contact with a fifteen year old, is not one of those circumstances. Particularly when you admit to having committed the crime in question.
Not surprisingly, allegations of "sexual misconduct" against Gilyard, didn't begin with the crimes for which he was ultimately convicted. According to the website, The Christian Post, the first accusations of "sexual impropriety" against Gilyard, came in 1993, while he was serving as pastor for Victory Baptist Church in Texas, one of the nation's 10 fastest-growing congregations.
After successfully dodging the bullet at Victory babtist, Gilyard then went on to Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, in Jacksonville Florida. Where, by 1996, a new sexual misconduct allegation made against him, presumably for the acts of which he was ultimately convicted, had to be settled.
In 2004, Darrell Gilyard allegedly admitted to having fathered a child with a woman who accused him of raping her during a counseling session- though the pastor was never actually charged with any crimes relating to this particular incident.
And finally, in 2009, after admitting to having molested one fifteen year old girl in his congregation, and sending a dirty text message to another. Darrell Gilyard plead guilty to one charge of Lewd conduct, and another of "Lewd" molestation -which is presumably worse than, well, whatever other kind of molestation Florida apparently thinks exists.
So why would a church choose to hire a registered sex offender, and then go so far to try and preserve his freedom, as banning children from church services? Members of the church insist of course that Gilvard's presence is all about forgiveness and second chances. But that's all pretty much standard operating procedure whenever any church is caught harboring a known and repeated sexual predator.
Sadly, yet predictably. The real reason for Darrell's new position at the church seems much simpler than any quest for redemption. Cause everyone seems to agree, He's a real good preacher. Why, he even preached on Jerry Falwell's TV show once! In fact, despite any objections from the community. Since the self-confessed-molester's arrival late last month, weekly attendance at the church has jumped from a mere 5-10 parishioners at a time, to a far more respectable 150 plus. Which, it should go without saying, means not only a lot more people to preach to, but a lot more cash in the collection plate.
Oh, and BTW, those increased donations also represent how the church plans to pay Darrell in order to avoid actually having a registered sex offender on the church payroll.
Source: Reality Check