Ex-youth minister charged with child seduction (updated)
The Journal and Courier in Lafayette, Ind., reports:
Elmwood Church of Christ has released a statement on its website regarding criminal charges filed Thursday against a former youth minister.
William “Lee” Porter, 53, of West Lafayette is charged in Tippecanoe Superior Court 1 with criminal deviate conduct, a Class B felony, and five counts of child seduction, a Class D felony.
He was first arrested last November, after an investigation by the West Lafayette Police Department. Porter immediately resigned from Elmwood Church of Christ.
He had been youth minister for 12 years.
“We are confident that God can bring good even out of awful circumstances,” Elmwood’s shepherds said in the full statement from the church Web site.
UPDATED AUG. 19: Porter pleaded guilty and faces six to eight years in prison.
FeedbackVery sad to hear this.B. Keith BrumleyJuly, 7 2010The Devil is rejoicing. I pray this minister repents and helps us understand the warning signs.Sandy Taylor-PaceJuly, 7 2010He’s been charged, not convicted. Let’s hope and pray that it’s not true.Roger BoydJuly, 8 2010I hope and pray that every minister, teacher, preacher, elder, deacon (every Christian) tries their best to live by the fruit of the Spirit instead of the desires of the flesh. Such sins as Porter was charged not only harm him but the entire body of Christ.Lord Have MercyJuly, 8 2010Let’s keep in mind what Roger said – he has not been convicted. I will not judge unless I spoke to him directly and saw the evidence for myself. All too often the church is the most judgmental faction in the world, throwing our brothers and sisters under the bus in a fearful attempt to make ourselves look clean. Even if they are guilty of the sin, we are no more clean than they – all sin is equal in God’s eyes.
Too often, we hurt the church much more with out haste to throw the book (that’d be the Bible I guess) at others than anyone who has messed up and committed public sin. Slow down, rely only on facts you know for certain, and lay of your brethren, please. Many have been hurt enough and really don’t need those who should be most supportive of them turning their backs on them like they do.
And if you think it sounds like I have been hurt before by congregations of Christians, you are right. I have. Fortunately (for me), I choose to continue to strive on in the Kingdom, because I know that everyone makes mistakes (including the mistake of judging too quickly and harshly).Vincent EaganJuly, 14 2010If it turns out that Mr. Porter confesses to or is convicted of these crimes, he is still redeemable in God’s eyes (although not in the eyes of many in our brotherhood). With proper treatment and a network (at church) of men who hold him accountable, he can be a productive member of God’s family someday. Of course, the consequences must be paid, and a person with this predilection must never be in the presence of minors unsupervised. I am a group facilitator at a Christ-based treatment program for sex addictions, and there are many more men among us with these types of issues than we would believe. There is such a foundation of shame for these problems that it is hard for someone to come forward until the law or their spouse forces the issue. We are working in our church in the northwest to protect our minor children with background checks on everyone who works with them, and referrals to counseling for members with sex addiction issues. We hope to have church small groups for support soon as well. Mr. Porter (and victims, if any) need our prayers and Mr. Porter needs accountability partners among his church leadership who will give him tough love.Gary LewisJuly, 14 2010Lets talk about the prevelence in The church of No firm and in some cases,even written policies regarding youth activities and qualifications for youth workers.
Lets also talk about the consequences for innocent young people who are victimied in these situations, instead of standing up for the abusers.Victims of this in the church in many areas have been told not to speak of this because it would get good old brother so and so in trouble.The church lags far bhind in education and information about this subject.Because leaders waffle and protect, and keep their heads in the sand, alot of children are abused every year that passes, in the church.
The Church of Christ needs to come into the 21st century, where all schools, and most churches try to adhere to youth worker background checks, and have youth policies that are clearcut and enforced.Anyone who doesn’t want published youth activity policies in the church should be questioned about why they don’t want this.Beth WilletteOctober, 15 2010