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Church youth worker arrested on molestation charges

The Ledger newspaper in Florida reports:

LAKELAND — A church worker has been arrested on charges he inappropriately touched two girls whose families attended the church.

Michael David Winborn, 45, of 3512 Urband Lane, Lakeland, was arrested at his home by Polk County Sheriff’s special victims detectives Thursday. He is charged with three counts of lewd molestation, according to an arrest report released Friday. He was taken to the Polk County Jail, where he remains until a first appearance hearing.

Winborn is a youth worker and song leader at the Church of Christ at 1807 S. Florida Ave., where he also attends the Florida School of Preaching. The arrest report says Winborn is unemployed but receives $100 per week to attend the school at the church.

The story describes Churches of Christ this way:

The Churches of Christ is a small, theologically conservative denomination without a central office or officers, and its congregations are autonomous.

Small? I guess that’s a matter of relativity.
According to the latest statistics from the National Council of Churches, a cappella Churches of Christ rank as the 16th largest Christian group in America with 1.6 million adherents.
I wonder if the writer would refer to the 15th largest group — one that receives no shortage of mainstream media coverage — as a small denomination. I am referring, of course, to the 2.1 million-member Episcopal Church.
But I digressed. Back to the story. We asked this earlier this week, but will ask again:
Does your congregation have procedures in place to protect children from potential predators? Please leave a comment.

  • Feedback
    We have child safety training for leaders and teachers and do background checks as well. Mostly we follow the rules by our insurance Church Mutual. We also work with our young people to talk about boundaries.
    Ron Clark
    May, 9 2010

    My prayer is that our reaction to this story would focus more on our response to the victims of the abuse than on how we felt our fellowship was slighted by the article. As a former prosecutor for 20 years, I have seen first hand the horrible effects and trauma associated with child molestation. The world does not need another church that seems unsympathetic to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of leaders in the church, or at least seems more concerned about the reputation of the church than we are about the victims. Let us offer prayers for these young girls and their families. They came to church to find grace, but instead found evil.
    Perry Sims
    Early Church of Christ
    Early, Texas
    Perry Sims
    May, 11 2010

    Perry, I certainly agree with you. That’s why the post included the question at the end concerning what steps churches are taking to protect children from predators.<em> The Christian Chronicle,</em> as you probably know, has <a href=”https://christianchronicle.org/article2042712~Sexual_misconduct_demands_action” rel=”nofollow”>editorialized on this subject</a> as well and will probably do so again soon in light of this case and others.
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    May, 11 2010

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