Church Bans Children From Attending To Keep Child Molesting Pastor
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
The Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church is not your typical black Southern Baptist gathering spot. Most churches don’t knowingly keep convicted child molesters in the pulpit, but this church seems to feel that it’s OK to break with tradition. The church’s pastor, Darrell Gilyard, is a registered sex offender who was just three years ago, pleaded guilty of lewd conduct and lewd molestation of two underage girls.
The incidents took place while Gilyard was the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church. Gilyard admitted to molesting a 15-year old girl and sending lewd text messages to another. The plea agreement says that Gilyard cannot have “unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old.”
Gilyard’s new church is not only sympathetic to his “condition,” it has also taken extraordinary steps to protect their new pastor from his temptations. Children of all ages have been banned from Gilyard’s church so he can remain in the pulpit. After being released from prison just two months ago, Gilyard is now leading another flock in the quest to praise the “lawud.”
“Somehow I will prove that life isn’t over when one has committed a crime for which he receives this heinous label,” Gilyard said through a text message. “You don’t have to languish on the fringes of society.”
It’s both painful and interesting to learn the depth of our selfishness as it pertains to how our children are treated. Rather than thinking about all the little girls who’ve been harmed by R. Kelly, we sing along with his songs as if he is some kind of hero. Those who follow Bishop Eddie Long think almost nothing of those little boys to whom he’s done irreparable harm. In this case, the people of the congregation are so anxious to keep their
charismatic preacher that they’ve given up on the idea of trying make righteous decisions.
Pastor Gilyard is not beyond forgiveness or redemption, that is clear. But to place him as the spiritual leader of a flock so soon after his release from prison is nothing short of pathetic. With its actions, the church is sending a clear signal that while the courts may choose to punish Pastor Gilyard for preying on young children, his community refuses to penalize him for his behavior. To simply keep the kids away while Pastor Gilyard continues with business as usual is to punish young children for the actions of a sick human being.