Just when you thought you couldn’t be shocked by anything done by Christian loonies, this happens. A church in Florida has banned children from their services so their pastor, a convicted sex offender, can go on preaching without violating the law.
According to a local Jacksonville news affiliate, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has banned children from attending Sunday services because their new pastor, Darrell Gilyard, is a registered sex offender and cannot have contact with children.
In 2009 Gilyard plead guilty to lewd conduct and lewd molestation of two underage girls. While he was the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church Gilyard molested a 15-year-old girl and sent a lewd text message to another. Under the conditions of his plea agreement, Gilyard cannot have “unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old,” and his new church has taken extraordinary steps to help Gilyard stick to the terms of his deal.
Despite the seriousness of his offense, Gilyard’s return to the pulpit was swift. After being released from jail on December 28, he resumed preaching in January, and told reporters he hopes he can move past this incident and continue with his work.
“Somehow I will prove that life isn’t over when one has committed a crime for which he receives this heinous label,” Gilyard told a reporter, ironically through text message. “You don’t have to languish on the fringes of society.”
On the other hand, the kids are better off even if he wasn’t a child molester.