Christian Leadership & Pre-Teen Sex
I just skimmed this post on Vision 2020 this morning, where you will find the Moscow-Pullman Daily News’ reporting on the recent arrest of a local pastor, who is now also known as a sexual predator of children 7 to 14 years old. There are certainly some interesting peculiarities about this story, at least as reported. Here is the article:
From today’s (November 13, 2006) Moscow-Pullman Daily News –
Church works toward recovery following arrest; New Hope Baptist Church plans to renew its vision
By Ryan Bentley, Daily News staff writer Monday, November 13, 2006 – Page Updated at 12:00:01 PM
Moscow’s New Hope Baptist Church plans to reach out to the community and not fade away after being rocked by last month’s arrest and extradition of its pastor.
Dan Boone, of Pullman, chairman of New Hope’s leadership board, said the church recently met to accept William Malgren’s resignation. Church members also decided to move forward and renew the church’s vision.
Moscow police and Ventura County, Calif., sheriff’s deputies arrested Malgren on Oct. 4 after California authorities issued a warrant that alleged sexual abuse of a child.
Malgren pleaded guilty on Oct. 18 to two counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 and two counts of lewd acts on a child under 16.
Mueve Fox, senior deputy district attorney for Ventura County, Calif., said Malgren, 52, faces up to 11 years and four months in prison.
Boone said Malgren should take responsibility for his actions, but the church has not abandoned him. Church members continue to pray for both Malgren and his victim.
“What can you do?” Boone said. “When a building is burned down, you rise out of the ashes and rebuild. That’s what we plan to do.”
Boone said directors with the General Association of Regular Baptists will meet with church leaders this week to help form a new mission.
Boone said the congregation tentatively decided to focus its ministry toward college students. Boone said the church is perfectly situated near downtown and an empty building does not further its faith.
Boone started attending the church three years ago. He said he had no reason to suspect Malgren of any misconduct.
Boone said Malgren started at the church six years ago. Members of the hiring committee were aware of some situation in California, Boone said, but nothing came up [?] when they researched Malgren’s past.
“I don’t really know what happened,” Boone said. “The people that made the decision are not at the church anymore. We don’t know how they made their decision.” [Perhaps aliens zapped them up into their space ships before the journalist started investigating.]
Boone said the arrest and allegations have brought church members closer together. He said the congregation has reached out to provide support to the Malgren family.
Boone said people in the church try to look beyond their shock and emotions and focus on spreading their faith.
“There are a lot of people out there,” Boone said. “No shortage of chances to reach out.”
Moscow Assistant Police Chief David Duke said no one in the Moscow area has come forward with reports of sexual abuse by Malgren [Yet, apparently some of those who would have been closer to the predator have somehow disappeared from public comment].
“I’m optimistic,” Boone said. “We will continue to look toward the Lord.
“This whole situation may be a mystery to us, but it’s not a mystery to God.”
Although the sexual abuse happened decades ago, the female victim contacted the sheriff’s department in recent months, Fox said. Detectives then taped a conversation between Malgren and the victim and decided it was enough to arrest him.
A precedent set in another case allowed California prosecutors to overlook the statute of limitations and charge Malgren with the crimes.
Fox said the abuse occurred between 1983 and 1989 in California. The victim was a student at Thousand Oaks Baptist School while Malgren was pastor of Thousand Oaks Baptist Church.
The abuse began at the school when the victim was 7 years old and continued until she was 14.
Malgren resigned as pastor of the Thousand Oaks Baptist Church in 1989 and has since been involved with churches in Washington, Iowa and Idaho, Fox said.
Malgren’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5, Fox said. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
No comments yet.