Stephen Morris, pastor of Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church in Four Oaks, N.C., was arrested July 5 and charged with five counts of statutory rape and five counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.
The victim, now 19 years old, reported the alleged crimes to police last month. The victim was 13 at the time of the abuse that allegedly occurred between June 2013 and June 2014.
According to WRAL, authorities did not disclose whether any of the alleged acts occurred at Oliver’s Grove or through its programs or ministries.
ABC11 reported Morris is “off of the job” and remains in the Johnston County jail under a $2.5 million bond.
Earlier this year, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) committed to act in accordance with a “Statement of Principles on Abuse” as part of an effort across the Southern Baptist Convention to prevent sex abuse and care for victims. Churches can contact BSCNC consultants for assistance with safety and prevention procedures.
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Source: Baptist Press