Police arrested a pastor of a South Nashville congregation on allegations of molesting several children across two decades.
On September 24, 2017, the accused suddenly resigned, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. The next day, on September 25, a church member shared allegations of sexual abuse with the church leadership.
Members of the congregation came to the police precinct with complaints that the pastor made requests to "engage in strange activities" with children. Adult members of the church said children told them that the pastor "had asked them to sit on his face and stomach, sometimes in their underwear," according to a police statement.
After allegations were first reported, the church leaders told the pastor, who lived in the parsonage next door for about a week after he resigned, that he was no longer allowed in the church. They also took his church phone and laptop and sealed his office.
On September 26, church leaders consulted an attorney who advised them to report the incidents to the police. The leaders filed a report on September 27 and turned over the pastor's phone and computer and gave police access to the church property.
After detectives interviewed several church and staff members for six months, they were able to identify several victims, most of whom were boys who were molested from 1998 to 2017.
The church, according to its spokesperson, felt "betrayed". Members of the congregation were informed about the incidents and were given updates on the investigation. Church leaders have encouraged other victims to come forward. Police are also urging anyone with information about the pastor to contact the department's Youth Services Division. Adam Tamburin and Holly Meyer "Nashville pastor molested at least 8 children during 20 years as church leader, police say" www.tennessean.com (Mar. 30, 2018).