TENNESSEE: Pastor Held On Suicide Watch After Allegations He Molested Two Underage Boys [VIDEO]

The Christian Post reports:

Ronnie Gorton, a married father and lead pastor of The Awakening Church in Atoka, Tennessee, has been taken in for a psychiatric evaluation after he allegedly threatened to take his life over accusations that he raped two underage boys.

Tipton County investigators told WMCActionNews5 that a 17-year-old boy came forward last week to allege that Gorton, 39, who has been married to his wife Rhonda for 15 years, sexually assaulted, molested, and raped him on multiple occasions. The Atoka Police Department also reported receiving a similar charge from a 20-year-old man who alleged that Gorton sexually assaulted him when he was underage.

Tipton County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Billy Daugherty told The Leader that the latest instance of alleged assault by the preacher took place on Jan. 31 and the case is a multi-jurisdictional investigation. Daugherty explained that no criminal charges have been filed against the pastor but he was taken into custody after he met with detectives last Wednesday. A friend reported that he was armed with a handgun and had threatened suicide.

The church has reportedly locked its doors and disabled its website and social media accounts.

  • Anastasia Beaverhousen

    I will be more than happy to hand him a rope.

  • Will Parkinson

    Yes, disable the website and social media accounts, because you know what’s going to happen.

    • DaddyRay

      They are afraid others will come forward and they just don’t want to hear about it

      • Todd20036

        I thought it was because he would commit suicide on YouTube.
        That is what suicide watch means, right?

        • AC

          oh girl

      • Will Parkinson

        This. In spades.

    • ColdCountry

      I’m a bit surprised, actually. Usually they are all behind their beloved child molester/murderer/embezzling pastor.

  • TuuxKabin

    The church has locked its doors. Oh my sides. Hope he lives for the hearings, trial and sentencing.

    • Gustav2

      I hope these fine Christianist Republicans are not claiming “sanctuary.”

  • alc2018
    • DaddyRay

      Could you pick up some rope, razor blades and plastic bags while you are out – asking for a friend

      • SilasMarner

        And some D-Con too please.

  • Karl Dubhe

    Sounds like he’s admitting he did it to me.

    It would be nice if he just admits guilt in court, and gives some sort of apology before being sentenced to prison. Of course, that presumes that he is actually guilty.

    Suicide won’t help things. Not really.

    • Colonel Panic.

      Something something weakness, something something pray for forgiveness..

      • Bluto

        gawd has forgiven him, why can’t you?

        • Todd20036

          Really? God told me to carve his heart out in the middle of the courtroom.
          Hmm. Maybe God needs a memo minder.

          • SilasMarner

            With a spoon, because, you know, it will hurt more.

        • Colonel Panic.

          Because I’m better than god (I exist, for one thing).

          • Bluto


      • kareemachan

        And lo! jeebus forgave him!!!11!

  • Todd20036

    An innocent man would be outraged at the accusations.
    An innocent man would deny the accusations stridently and demand his day in court to face his accusers.
    An innocent man would not threaten to kill himself.
    Funny that.

    • Jake Stevens

      Really? Without having any opinion on the veracity of these charges, I think it is hard to judge someone by their public responses. Many guilty people have lately beed outraged the accusations, demanded their day in court, etc. We really can’t know what motivates people.

      • Todd20036

        An innocent would not threaten to kill himself.
        A guilty man would not demand his day in court. Trump didn’t demand a day in court against his accusers, he just shut them up

        • swimboy

          Mind you, I’m not trying to defend this guy, but you don’t always know what makes a person suicidal. Someone could have other things going on in their lives and a false, public, humiliating accusation could just be a trigger to something that’s completely unrelated.

          So I have to vehemently disagree with your statement “An innocent man would not threaten to kill himself.”

        • ColdCountry

          If an innocent man sees his whole life crumbling around him and there is nothing he can do to prove he is innocent, I can see it happening.

          But some of your other points are valid. I remember watching some crime show with my brother in law, who was a CSI, and it was the usual scene of cop knocks on door asks to come look around just to “clear” the guy, and the guy says, sure. He said innocent people don’t do that, they don’t want cops poking around their houses. They tell the cops to fuck off and get a warrant. Who doesn’t have something in their home that they don’t want a stranger to see, even if it’s just a messy bathroom?

          • juanjo54

            Only an idiot just opens the door and lets the cops in when a cop indicates he is looking into the person. That’s when you tell the cop to get a warrant and contact your attorney. I have been a lawyer for 35 years. I can assure you that if a cop is just wanting to “cross you off the list” or “clear” you or any other such words, that means he thinks you did something bad and he is intent on finding evidence. He will twist everything you say and misinterpret everything you do.

            I remember cross examining a cop who we knew was doing a little racial profiling. Around 15 different attorneys went back through all heir cases and found police reports the cop had written. His probable cause for stops were things like:

            1. The suspect was driving in the lane next to me and did not look at me.

            2. The suspect was driving in the lane next to me and looked at me.

            3. The suspect was driving in the lane next to me andt looked at me and then looked away.

            4. The suspect was overly dressed .

            5. The suspect was under dressed.

            6. The suspect seemed nervous, most people are not nerous..

            7. The suspect was too calm and collected, most people are nervous.

            My favorite was the report which said the officer knocked on the suspect’s room door, announced himself as police officer, and asked him if he could speak to him. The suspect invited him into the room. On the table in view of the door, the suspect had a scale and around 1 kilo of marijuana in plain view that he was packaging for sale.

        • I’m tempted to agree with you, except that such accusations, true or not, could rein someone’s life. If the charges are true there will be corroborating evidence. (Probably not witnesses, obviously, but evidence that they were checked into a motel on a certain date, or of people noticing them spending a lot of time alone together, etc.) But others are correct. It’s possible for innocent people to be distraught over the loss of their reputation and for guilty people to proclaim their innocence and demand a trial.

      • Jonty Coppersmith

        Yep, case in point, the orange Nazi. Lies, all lies. Fake news, unAmerican, treason, greatest witch hunt in history, sad-very,very sad. Etc….

    • JCF

      I really think that’s too broad a statement. People who feel powerless before the police, often threaten, and do, take their lives in the face of horrible charges even if they are innocent of them. Historically, I bet this sad reality has applied to a LOT of innocent gay men. [Note, I’m not saying that applies in this case. Only that being suicidal isn’t a good indicator of guilt or innocence to specific charges.]

  • Bluto

    Imagine the list if we compiled every evil that religion has committed in the previous 2000 years.

    • narutomania

      Such a disturbing image

      • Todd20036

        And yet, the RWNJs would be all over this.

      • Schlukitz

        And what’s with the closed-eyes thing that worshippers like this always employ?

        Are they supposed to be in some euphoric state as they pray or something?

        • Yes. They are in a euphoric state. These religious events are highly emotional. Emotional manipulation is standard and is more overt the further you move away from mainline protestant churches. Charismatic churches in particular have highly emotional experiences in church. It’s a kind of high. They aren’t faking it. You’ve probably experienced something like it in a concert or watching a play or movie. Only they try to achieve that ever week.

    • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly


      • glass

        You can always use… “Ra-men”.
        Or my favorite “Gay-Men”!

    • Librarykid

      That they are loose and need screwing.

      What’s with the look of the place? It looks like a back room or dungeon.

      • Kevin Smith

        Perhaps it’s symbolic of his S&M tendencies.

    • Working_Quarterhorse

      Balance that against the good religion has done.
      No contest.

      • Bluto

        Thoughts & prayers don’t count.

        • Working_Quarterhorse

          how about the influence that ancient Jewish law has had on every part of the Western world’s views of right and wrong?

          If you’re a moral person you literally live it, and don’t realize it…

    • David Walker

      -And they are dead if they tell anyone.

    • #DJTK5F

      Just start with documenting the last 5 years. It’s appalling.

      Religious organizations should be regulated and taxed, and their employees should be degreed, licensed, and subjected to annual background checks. Unregulated religion is a license for fraud and abuse, which is the current state in the United States.

      I would support capital punishment for religious leaders who sexually assault children and minors.

      • Many churches run background checks, but if someone has never been criminally charged then their past behavior won’t show up. So the background check doesn’t work if each subsequent church covers up the criminal activity.

        • #DJTK5F

          They should be doing more, and background checks should be both required and rigorous, not left to the discretion of individual institutions. And annual background checks not just one-timers, with annual psychological assessments. As it stands, I would never leave any child or teen of mine unsupervised with some touchy-feely-priesty arrested adolescent type.

          I know of churches that hold concealed carry permit certification classes. For real.

          • I’m sure there are people who will be surprised by your last paragraph. I would not be one of them. My thought was, “You mean there are churches that don’t?” *sigh* Someone please offer me a job in a sane state!

          • janey

            how about chaperones? that is what I thought with the gymnasts who were molested by a doctor. There should be chaperones!!!!

        • Marie

          The Catholic church is expert at coverups.

    • Ninja0980

      The server would crash.

  • liondon#iamnotatraitor

    Let me guess.. they support “traditional marriage “.

  • Michael R

    Why can’t he just have a three way with the
    Benham brothers like everyone else does ?

    • Todd20036

      Yuk on so many levels!!

    • AtticusP

      Not even with a full-body condom.

      • Kevin Smith


    • The Milkman

      I wouldn’t do it. But I might watch someone else do it. But I wouldn’t tell anyone I did that.

    • Bambino

      Predators only prey on the naive and innocents. Scum bags repulse each other.

  • Rex

    This is what happens when people deny their natural attractions under the guise of religion.

    • Todd20036

      No. This is what happens when pedophiles find a way to get access to victims without recriminations.

      • GayOldLady

        If this guy was 17, that’s not pedophilia, but it’s statutory rape of a minor.

        • TominDC

          He’s 17 now, but who knows how long it’s been going on?

          • GayOldLady

            That’s true!

        • Bambino

          My take is the victims only came out now. The abuse could have happen a few years ago. The metoo movement encourage more victims to come forward.

          • Mr. Ric

            We don’t know, but pedophilia is a sexual attraction toward pre-pubescent children and that’s not what was going on here. I think it’s an important distinction.

      • Rex

        I’m not overlooking his abuse and rape of minors, I’m just saying that the church has created a situation where individuals with same sex attractions go to great lengths to deny those attractions and then act out in some tragic way. It’s like not allowing priests to marry – sex is a natural part of life, to require celibacy is just wrong. I probably didn’t say any of this correctly, I’m not at all saying what he did was OK, far from it. I’m just saying that many people get totally fucked up by trying to be something they’re not.

        • skyweaver

          I agree. People who are damaged seem to find places that support their damage and even reinforce it. Churches seem to support very damaged people, gay or straight, in a number of different ways as do many religions – but the support is not good support. It’s the support of repression, of denial, of damage, of pain and self-loathing. It’s a bad time we’re living through for this. OR if it’s good support, like counseling, it can often have this creeping sense of pressure on the victim to love their victimizer even if the crime is horrific. I could write for days on this, it’s truly mind-fuckery at its worst. Anyway, I understand what you said

          • Rex

            Like the “I’m not gay no more” guy they paraded around in front of the cameras. They did this poor guy no favors and hurt him. Love accepts people as they are and doesn’t try to change them to fit their idea of what’s right.

          • skyweaver

            I agree. It’s so sad and it’s bad enough to lie to yourself but surely that gets worse out in the echo chamber of the world in front of cameras

        • Card

          In a 2014 interview, Gorton, whose father is a pastor, explained how he met his wife at Bible College when they were both backup singers on the same worship team. His roommate, he said, was her fiancé and he would constantly ask her: “Are you sure he is the one for you.”

          Eventually, he said, Rhonda revealed that the engagement was off and he made his move.

          He further explained that even though he was a pastor, the title meant nothing because he still saw himself as a struggling man who would be “completely lost” without Jesus.


          • Chuck in NYC

            So — he’s been manipulating people for a long time. And his pastor father likely shares some responsibility for teaching him he’d be “completely lost” without Jesus.

        • Librarykid

          The financial reason for celibate priests is so that they would not have family to leave any assets to upon their demise. The wealth of the church must not be diluted or dispersed.

  • greenmanTN
  • Jay Silversmith

    One church down, 33,000 more to go.

    • OdieDenCO

      you are off by 633,000

      • GayOldLady

        And that’s just in Tennessee

  • LovesIrony

    What’s taking god so fucking long to forgive him?

  • DaddyRay

    Thank goodness the church is exempt from paying taxes

  • My gaydar went off when I saw his picture…when will these closet cases stop being closet cases????

    • DaddyRay

      Being a pedophile has nothing to do with being gay

      • Silver Badger

        He sounds more of a rapist than pedophile. In some countries, 17 is over the age of consent.

        • Mr. Ric

          That’s what I was thinking. The ‘P’ word is being thrown around way too much right now.

          • thatotherjean

            As someone upthread said, pedophilia is sexual attraction to prepubescent children. The term for attraction to sexually mature but still underage children is ephebophilia.

          • Mr. Ric


        • Cuberly Deux

          Sounds like rape and assault to me.

  • Cuberly Deux

    “The Awakening Church…”

    More like the Predator Church.

    • GayOldLady

      Is there any other kind? They all prey on the weaknesses and fears of their followers.

      • Cuberly Deux

        Yep, and they’re paid to do it too.

        • Christopher

          “Yep, and they’re paid extraordinarily well to do it too.”

          FIFY 😉

    • kareemachan

      The South, a (yes, I’m guessing here) southern baptist-type church, and lots of hypocrisy. What’s it spell? Pedophiles!

      Speaking of which, I wonder what good ol’ boy Moore is up to these days….

      • Silver Badger

        Nothing wholesome.

      • Cuberly Deux

        Heh, last I heard ole Roy was grifting for his “defense” fund.

  • Silver Badger

    Christian children are not usually kind. His kids must be going through hell.

  • LovesIrony

    Question: Does he have to marry his rape victim to avoid stoning?

  • Andymac3

    The church put it’s fingers in it’s ears and went ‘la la la not listening la la la’.

    • Bambino

      The church put its fingers everywhere where it should not.

  • Cuberly Deux
    • greenmanTN

      Religion, the original “Get Out Of Jail Free” card.


      • TuuxKabin

        Often needed. Frequently sold.

    • glass

      See what happens when you let people cum on your face? You end up looking all glossy and you cry from the saltiness.

      • Todd20036

        Don’t laugh. That stuff BURNS if it gets in your eye!

        • 🐾vorpal🐾

          Try getting it right up your nostril.
          (At least, that’s what my boyfriend reported when I accidentally did it to him.)

    • Librarykid

      Yeah, usually with the “little lady” standing beside the disgraced SOB.

  • Dan M

    I’m shocked

    • ChrisMorley

      I’m delighted and rather surprised that two young men have both gone to the police to report the assaults. Many don’t report abuse until decades later.

  • greenmanTN

    And religion racks up a few more victims…

    • Bambino

      The numbers will be shattering if all of them are expose. The churches abuses is as much if not more than what we have been seeing from the entertainment industry. It’s basic human corruption when given the wealth and power with no oversight.

      • Librarykid

        Power and greed, thy name is religion

  • Gustav2

    Here is a nice mess for our friends in PA:


    • David


      • Gustav2

        That was from yesterday, the streets in Columbus OH were ice in the morning.


          They were horrible. Hour and 45 from Clintonville to downtown.

          Edit Clintonville ‘adjacent’

          • Gustav2

            Lesbians are the only LGBT folks allowed to actually live ‘in’ Clintonville.


          • djcoastermark

            Back in the early 80’s when I lived in Cols, I had a friend at work who was very secretive about her sexuality. Everyone thought, hmm? Then she bought a home in Clintonville. The questions were answered.

    • Jamie Brewer

      Tracking down the youtubes it is Conway, Missouri.

      • Gustav2


        “The Conway Volunteer Fire Department in Pennsylvania reported a large accident along I-44 near mile marker 106 with possibly 40 people in need of assistance”

        Damn! can’t trust YouTube!

        • Jamie Brewer

          I have driven through PA too many times and I-44 did not seem right…There is a Conway, PA in the western part of the state not far from the Ohio border…

  • Jefe5084

    He had something awakening in his trousers, apparently. What a douche. A good Evangelical, from what I can piece together. Following his own calling of deceit, debauchery, and victimizing innocents.

  • djcoastermark
    • greenmanTN

      I’m assuming there will be an appeal?

      • ChrisMorley

        Of course.
        The judge is a local Kern county justice in Bakersfield (Bakersfield is the eighth-most-conservative city in the United States and the most conservative city in California).
        The state has anti-discrimination laws. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_California#Discrimination_protection

        • William

          To call Bakersfield a shithole is an insult to shitholes.

          • ColdCountry

            Thirty-seven years ago there was a really good Basque restaurant there….

      • djcoastermark

        I certainly hope so.

    • TuuxKabin

      ^ for the info, not the bad news. Thank you.

  • Silver Badger

    I don’t quite understand what is wrong with allowing him to commit suicide.

    • Bambino

      I wonder if someone who threaten to kill himself under such circumstances would actually follow through.

      • Dazzer

        The likeliest indicator that someone will commit suicide is if they’ve threated to commit suicide in the past.

        • Bambino

          I figure he is just doing it now to get the authority to back off from the investigation. A desperate attempt to escape justice.

          • Librarykid

            shame 45 doesn’t try that. That way no innocent persons would be harmed.

        • Dale Snyder

          I’ve had one loved one in my life commit suicide and he did just that.

    • Dazzer

      It’s wrong because if he’s assaulted other people, they need their time to look him in the eye and accuse him and see him punished.

      If he just commits suicide, it derives others from having their moment of justice with him.

      In a way, his suicide is yet another way of controlling his victims.

  • Bambino

    God is too busy looking after the regular folks. He had been appointing Grammy winners, Super Bowl team and the upcoming Academy Award. God send his sorry but not sorry apology.

    • HZ81

      His thoughts and prayers, too, I hope.

      • Bambino

        Somewhere in God’s kingdom, there is a warehouse of thoughts and prayers that will rival the fortune cookies industry on the planet.

    • Librarykid

      and, according to Michele Bachman, throwing elections

    • Chuck in NYC

      God worked overtime the year “Dreamgirls” talent won Tonys.

      • Bambino

        God’s been giving that Meryl Streep bitch too many Oscar !

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    It’s almost like being a religious leader / pastor / priest is a red flag warning to keep your kids FAR the fuck away from them !!

    • Librarykid

      No unaccompanied minors admitted–like old movie policies.

  • Boreal
  • OdieDenCO

    sometimes I wish the victims or their champion would be granted 15 minutes alone with cretins like this “worship leader”. I truly felt for the father, of the abused gymnast when he asked for alone time with his daughter’s abuser.

  • Christopher

    Sometimes I get to the point of “Do we REALLY need to stop these monsters from offing themselves?”

    And sometimes I think “Maybe the victims should get to dole out whatever punishment they see fit?”

    And then I remember that when these people get to prison, their sort are considered the lowest of low, and in a way it makes me feel better knowing that they will have an even more miserable time behind bars.

    • Librarykid

      remember the play “short eyes”?

      • Christopher

        I was unaware of that.

        Looked it up on Wiki, and yep.

  • M Jackson

    Good grief, another one. It just never gets old, does it?

    • Jonathan Smith

      Oh, it’seems old. These “gay’so must die” people just keep resurrecting it

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    I wonder if the man was considering suicide because he was afraid more people were going to come forward.

  • ceeenbee

    “I’d be completely lost without him man. Just knowing some of the things that I have dealt with in my life and some of the struggles I deal with, I can imagine the type of hell that I’d be living in today without Him. So it’s only by His grace by His mercy why I’m here today,”

    If the rev didn’t possess such s pathological self-loathing spurred on by the mythological teachings of a Bronze Age sky faerie he could have lived a happy, sexually fulfilling life with someone he truly loved instead of repressing his nature and settling on a beard. Religion is poison. It becomes more clear every day.

    • Longpole

      Maybe there is a different approach to reach the religynuts.
      “Masterbation and oral sex prevents the need for abortions”

      • thatotherjean

        Nope. If you’re an Evangelical, those things are forbidden, too.

  • northern_neighbour

    Fundamentalists and other types of Christians also are taught that virtually all sexual activity other than heteronormative matrimonial sex is wrong and is a grave sin. And even any form of sex other than missionary position between husband and wife, is prohibited as well as masturbation amongst the sexually mature usually 13 and over adolescents who are far off from marriage.

    These repressive “Christian” prohibitions against human nature are a GUARANTEE that we will see these situations arise over and over and over again within the Christianist segments of society.

    As they cannot find healthy outlets for their human needs, and thus turn to clandestine action which winds up being hurtful to vulnerable young persons who lack the power or life skills to resist.

    If he were not caught up in such a sexually negative religion this guy could have found himself a mutually consenting adult boyfriend rather than going the pedophile route. Maybe he is bi, maybe not, but it is a typical Christian self entrapment scenario which plays out when your religion demands you hate yourself for attractions that are not socially accepted by your religion.

    • Dazzer

      Nope. I think he’s just a paedophile.

      He gets off on having power over another human being. The gender of the other human being is probably less of a kick for him than the fact he has power.

      • TexasBoy

        I don’t think he is actually a pedophile, that usually applies to those going after pre-adolescents. These victims were older. In fact, most would be considered able to give sexual consent in some states if the person they were with were closer to their age, like with “Romeo and Juliet” type laws. I’m certainly not defending his hypocrisy or his alleged rape, but by definition, he isn’t a pedophile. The victims were not “children” they were legal minors, but sexually mature.

        • BobSF_94117

          Well, we don’t know from the story how old the boy and the young man were when the sexual relationship started. Though I would think the police/newspaper would say if the abuse had been going on for years.

          But to your point, you’re correct that pedophilia is not likely in this case. TN’s age of consent is 18, which surprises me.

          • TexasBoy

            It surprises me, too, for Tennessee. So many states do have Romeo and Juliet laws these days. Even Tennessee allows marriage at 16, Texas at 14, with parental consent.

      • northern_neighbour

        I take your point. But again these Christian leaders tend to get off on having power over other humans, whom they typically abuse in various ways, this being one of the most awful examples.

  • misterjack

    “Jee-ziz FORGAVE me, so WHAT’S THE PROBLEM???”

    • William

      It’s only forgivable when the victims are little girls. Confess that in church and they give a standing ovation.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    I hope the people reporting the crimes had supportive parents. I’ve read too many stories where people actually do tell their parents only to have the parents choose the godman over them.

  • TexasBoy

    No one should ever be forced or manipulated into sex against their will, that is rape…but at the same time, we do see laws in states allowing consent for people as young as 15, under certain circumstances, and “Romeo and Juliet” laws. It has got to be confusing for young people these days. Teens aren’t the sexual innocents of the Victorian era. My concern is that, in this case, as a Pastor, this man was in a position of authority, like teachers, and that makes it wrong no matter the genders, or even ages, of those involved. Let alone the hypocrisy involved.

    I do truly hope this man does not commit suicide…that would be tragic on so many levels, and even more damaging to the victims, who would perhaps feel that they somehow caused the man to take his own life.

    • I’m in favor of legal reform over consent laws. You are right. The boy who turned 18 years old did not rape his girlfriend just because she won’t be 18 until next month. We also ought to rethink the predator watch lists. Yes, some people should be on them. But there are people whose “crime” was consensual sex in their car at night in a park. They shouldn’t be on a list with rapists and pedophiles.

    • Ninja0980

      IMO, the position of authority is what gets me.
      A 18 year old having sex with a 16 year old is far different then what this guy did.

  • fuow

    Let the monster off itself. Why this concern?

    • Reality.Bites

      I assumed suicide watch meant they were going to watch him do it.

    • Ben in Oakland

      Because we need to know if he actually did it. He and we are entitled to his day in court.

      • fuow

        We have known from the beginning that he did. He’s a christer, that’s what the filth do.

        • Ben in Oakland

          It’s what some of them do. It just stands in far greater relief when a holy holy does it,

  • Lakeview Bob

    His bad luck was that he isn’t a priest. It would have been covered up and he would have been sent to another parrish.

  • Winky

    An innocent man would not be bothered by this! He would let it play out in court and if his god is a just one, he will be vindicated. A guilty man worries and pulls this persecuted christian but that the evil fags are trying to get him.

    • Paul

      Ever hear of the McMartin pre-school case? Ray Buckey, one of the principal defendants in the case, spent five years in jail awaiting trial for a crime (most people recognize today) he never committed. When it was all over, the government had spent seven years and $15 million dollars investigating and prosecuting a case that led to no convictions.

      I’m not saying this guy is innocent or guilty, but even a spurious charge like this is going to ruin your life.


      • coram nobis

        It wasn’t just the McMartin case; that was part of a series of day-care and similar trials, a craze that went through the country in the 1980s and 1990s. Wenatchee, WA; Edenton, NC; others, including a couple in Miami-Dade by an ambitious states’ attorney name of Janet Reno. Most convictions later overturned, but the damage was still horrific.


  • David Walker

    Naked light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. No-plaster walls and ceiling. A scaffold for an altar. No pulpit to rest his …what? tablet?… on. But he’s wearing a wireless mic because the place is that big? It’s an interesting mix of money and no money, but as a church decor trend, I don’t think it has all that much of chance.

  • Schlukitz

    A pastor carrying a handgun? WTF

    And the church he belongs to locked it’s doors, disabled it’s website and social media accounts?

    What are they hiding, I wonder?

  • Richard B

    Another religious hypocrite – is anyone surprised?
    Doesn’t it just grate your skin t knowing you are carrying the tax burden of a guy that rapes underage boys.

  • dbishop75

    If he didn’t do anything wrong, he wouldn’t be thinking about killing himself. Period.

    • Steve Teeter

      At first blush this guy looks guilty, if his accusers are credible. But someday a truly innocent man is going to kill himself because he just cannot face the nightmare he’d have to go through to clear himself of false charges. That’s if he can clear himself. The prospect of going to prison as a convicted child molester for something he didn’t do might well be enough to drive a man to suicidal despair. Someday. If it hasn’t happened already.

      • dbishop75

        Sorry, but that doesn’t hold water with me.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Surprised he is/was not a youth pastor.

  • JWC

    Nawsty nawsty preacher man where are all the comments from the religious right huh huh??

  • SilasMarner

    Wait, you’re telling me that a Christian leader raped underage boys? That can’t be, they tell us they are such righteous people, they have the ear of God. Bwaahahaha. I say let him kill himself. Good riddance.

  • Back in the 80s when I was in the loop for Southern Baptist Church gossip in my state, about twice a year a pastor got caught screwing the church secretary and a music minister got caught having a sexual relationship with a HS boy. All of the above were quickly hushed up, but we humans are terrible at keeping secrets, especially when it involves a sex scandal. Maybe that was an anomaly of that era, but I doubt it. i think such things had always gone on. So none of this ever surprises me.

  • Mike Knife

    He most likely did it for Jesus like the Catholic priest who rape and abuse children tell them before they are raped. The Christian and Mormon pedophile cults need to be stopped before they rape another child.

  • edrex

    Likely already posted, but it bears repeating:

    “If kids got raped at Denny’s as often as they get raped at church every Denny’s in the US would be burned to the ground.” Dan Savage

  • KnownDonorDad

    Oh, to be on the suicide watch detail.

    “You wanna take five, Bob?”
    “Yeah, good idea.”
    “Mr. Gorton, please don’t touch your belt or the knife and pack of razor blades we left in your cell, ‘k?”

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    As someone who once attempted suicide (it was long ago and I’m fine now) I can tell you it’s a horrifying experience for anyone to go through…BUT…in this case, I find myself ambivalent as to what he does given the circumstance. Is that wrong of me?

    • Gianni

      His mind is in that condition because he’s been caught and lost all he has. If he hadn’t been outed, he’d be merrily continuing on the same path. I can understand his wanting to off himself, but he’d be doing that just to avoid the coming punishment and not have to feel that terrible guilty and shameful feeling. Not the same as the constant overwhelming sadness and hopelessness of clinical depression where ending your own life seems to be the only way to stop the horror. I reached that point one time and, thankfully, couldn’t quite bring myself to do it. Been on the meds ever since.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        One little Cymbalta a day keeps the nasty away.

  • ChrisInKansas

    When will people learn?????? Chances are ridiculously high that your pastor got into pastor-ing to bury urges. Whether those urges are normal or abnormal, he’s into religion because of something he feels is super duper wrong, and the only way to get rid of those urges is to put all of his focus onto God. Because God will save him.

    Except that never works and wives end up stunned and congregations end up gossiping and getting another one just like the first.

  • andrew

    I’m going out on a limb here, but I’ll bet he preached against marriage equality because it undermines traditional marriage.

    • Reality.Bites

      As limbs go, the one you’re out on could likely hold a herd of elephants.

    • Gianni

      And also likely against the sin of homosexuality.

    • TexasBoy

      Kind of goes without saying as The Awakening is considered a Baptist church.

  • BillysWilly

    “Worship Leader”. That just sickens me every time I hear it.

  • James

    I’m disturbed by the fact that people on these forums are increasingly wishing prison rape and suicide on the perpetrators of crimes. Just because we’re right to be outraged by what they may have done doesn’t make our side expressing these things any better than when the other side expresses the same hopes out of mere bigotry. Frankly, I’m surprised Joe allows it.

    • Gianni

      These forums are a place to vent and obviously Joe isn’t interested in being the ‘venting angry and upset feelings’ police. We’re like most other people. We get upset, angry/outraged, tired of all the bullshit going on in our world, and here, we have a place to let it out freely, and not worry about it.

      • James

        Yet wishing death or physical harm on public figures is disallowed. But also, your comment only underscores how disturbing this trend is. Wishing rape and suicide on anyone shouldn’t become acceptable.

        • Gianni

          I can agree that it shows a dark side of people’s dislike and/or hatred of our Prez, but it is fantasy. This is a safe space to do that. I get where you’re coming from, but this is the world and its people. In our frustration, we find a safe outlet here to let all the ill will out. People, in general, never were, are, or ever will be a near total collection of goody two-shoes. Plus the fact that Donnie the Disgusting fuels the dark side of our feelings.

    • SDG

      If someone feels that they wish to take their own life, in shame, who are we to stop them? It’s their choice, same as it was their choice to perpetrate the crime.

      • James

        There’s a difference between expressing a hope that they do it or gladness that they did and arguing that taking one’s own life is a right. Also, some of the people whose suicides people here have rejoiced in were only accused of crimes, not convicted. They may have been guilty, but if they weren’t, they certainly wouldn’t be the first innocent people to kill themselves over being accused of awful crimes.

      • It’s “allegations” until proven guilty. Until then, he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt. It wouldn’t be the first time that false allegations have driven an innocent person to suicide. Best to let the court determine guilt or innocence.

        • SDG

          Let’s be honest, when was the last time you heard of any of these “Christians” taking their own lives in jail?

          • Are you arguing that you know he is guilty and therefore there is no need for a trial because not enough Christians have taken their own lives?

            If on the other hand, you have evidence to this effect then surely it’s best for you to place it in the hands of the police.

            Please bear in mind that there have been gay men wrongfully accused of sexual congress with children, with horrendous consequences. Being merely accused of child assault is enough reason to end your life, regardless of whether you’re guilty or not. Even after acquittal, there remain a majority of the public who believe in the smoking gun.

          • SDG

            No, what I am arguing is that in my 30 something years of watching the US news… I keep seeing these pubic and semi-public folks all of a sudden being “distraught beyond belief” once their hands are caught in the cookie jar.

            But good for you to read all sorts of shit into what I wrote.

            And he is not a gay man, so I am giving 0 FUCKS about him. I am specifically talking about these super Christians (and those of other religions) that are out there pushing their “faith”, but in reality don’t practice what they preach!

  • Gianni

    Gee, he’s nice looking. If I was a teen member of his church and he had a go at me, I’d never rat him out. I’d likely blackmail him into continuing to keep me happy. AND I’d demand that he not touch any other boys or his ass would be in the slammer. It’s always interesting to see how even being a preacher of your religion can’t keep the skeletons in the closet.

    • TexasBoy

      I understand completely what you are saying. But the difference to me is consensual vs forced. I had what in my mind was a consensual relationship with a much older non-relative male when I was 14. I never told, not because I was ashamed, but because I didn’t want him to get into trouble, I have never felt I was abused, or tormented. And I know I could have simply said no, and nothing would have happened at all. I have fond memories of him to this day.

      But when you force yourself on someone, anyone, that is rape, and he needs to accept reasonable punishment if that is what happened. However, I don’t think prolonged imprisonment is an answer, a short term prison stay of say 3 to 5 years, registration as a sexual predator, and house arrest with a monitor for a prolonged probation seems appropriate…again, assuming the allegations are true and accurate.

      • Gianni

        Of course, you’re right and I agree . My apologies if my silliness indicated that I, in any way, thought forced sex is OK.

  • Dunkerblinker

    More of that christian love…hmmmm

  • Bobandus Zuccdious

    Do it….. pussy

  • JT

    One wonders whether if not for his psychological torture by religion, he might have been OK with being gay and in a healthy adult relationship.

  • Phillip Brandt

    SAve time and money…let the ass shoot himself…that’s one suicide that is a bluff for the sake of his congregation…he’ll suddenly repent and be back in the money with a new set of little boys.

  • sandollar_man

    For “some” religious leaders, it starts with the pretense that they know what happens when we die.
    That pretense serves to amplify their stature.

    But they don’t know what happens when we die. All they know is that they got adulation from that pretense of stature.
    So “some” of them stroke their ego’s, by taking it to the next step.
    They extend the “USE” of the unwitting among them – to abuse of the youth among them.
    All based on that false pretense. That’s what make it so much more egregious.

  • tommy5677

    Church is the most dangerous place you could ever imagine for your children.

  • gothambear

    He will running for the US Senate in a few months on the GOP ticket!

  • The Equalizer

    Give that man a rope.

  • TheManicMechanic

    He needs to live until he gets into prison. Then he needs to live a long, very miserable, painful life.

  • SDG

    I say + to the suicide. He will save the taxpayers a fortune in court and prison costs. All of the religious fanatics will say he went to hell. And the victims get just rewards. I say it’s a win win, all around.

  • It’s “allegations” until proven guilty. Until then, he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt. It wouldn’t be the first time that false allegations have driven an innocent person to suicide. Better to let the court determine guilt or innocence than “trial by media”.