A Southern Baptist pastor indicted on a rape charge continues as the senior pastor of Metro Grace Community Church in Pearl, Miss., and as a staff member of the Rankin County Baptist Association (RCBA), the pastor’s attorney told Baptist Press Monday (Nov. 25).
Joe Floyd Steverson, in an indictment the Rankin County grand jury returned Sept. 5, allegedly “did willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously have forcible sexual intercourse with C.S., a female human being, without her consent,” on or about Aug. 26, 2018.
Steverson denies the rape charge, alleges consensual sex and is fully supported in his denial by his church members, trustees and a deacon, his attorney Ed Rainer told BP.
“He denies the charge. He’s not denying that they engaged in sex,” Rainer said. “His church, the board of trustees, the deacon at his church unanimously voted to support him in this … within the past couple of weeks.”
The RCBA identifies the alleged victim, “C.S.,” as Steverson’s former spouse.
“On November 14th, 2019, the Rankin County Baptist Association was informed that one of its employees surrendered to Rankin County authorities, and made an initial court appearance concerning criminal allegations made by the employee’s former spouse,” reads a press release another RCBA employee read to BP when BP called the RCBA Monday.
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Source: Baptist Press