BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Thirty-three former Alabama Baptist ministers and staff were among hundreds of names of sexual abusers who were named in a list compiled by top leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention.
On Thursday, leaders released a 205-page list of over 700 names of ministers and church personnel who had been either accused of sexual abuse or had been convicted of sexual abuse-related crimes.
“This list is being made public for the first time as an initial, but important, step towards addressing the scourge of sexual abuse and implementing reform in the Convention,” SBC executive committee CEO Willie McLaurin committee chairman Rolland Slade said in a joint statement. “Each entry in this list reminds us of the devastation and destruction brought about by sexual abuse.”
The list dealt with cases mostly spanning 2000 to 2019, but some cases go back to the 1990s.
Among those named in the list were 33 men who had previously ministered or worked in Baptist churches across Alabama. The following men were named:
- Ralph Lee Aaron – A former pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship and Victory Baptist Church in Andalusia, Aaron agreed to consecutive life terms in prison for production of child pornography and first-degree sodomy of multiple 8-12 year old males in 2009. Aaron was investigated in 2005 while pastor of a Southern Baptist church.
- Daniel Montague Acker Jr.– Acker, a school teacher and school bus driver who retired in 2009, Acker admitted to sexually abusing 20 girls during his 25-year tenure. He confessed in 2012 and was sentenced to serve 17 years in prison for eight counts of child sexual abuse. In 1992, he was accused of touching a minor for sexual gratification. However, he was never indicted. In 2016, Acker admitted to the 1992 abuse. In 1992, Acker was also serving as youth pastor at Westwood Baptist Church in Alabaster. He was also music and youth minister at Mayberry Baptist Church in Montevallo and served as a camp counselor at the Alabama Baptist Boys Camp.
- Charles Kyle Adcock – Adcock was youth minister and worship pastor for Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals from 2010-2012. He pleaded guilty in 2016 and was charged with 29 counts of rape and sodomy against a teenage girl. Adcock was sentenced to a 10-year prison sentence, split with 15 months to serve in state prison.
- John Lankston Anderson Jr.– In 2002, Anderson was charged with three counts of first-degree sexual abuse of juveniles under the age of 12. Anderson, former pastor of Carbon Hill First Baptist, pleaded guilty to all charges and sentenced to three years in prison. He was immediately transferred to Arkansas, where he pleaded guilty to another sex abuse charge and was sentenced to 10 more years. Served prison sentences in both states.
- Charles Andrews – Andrews, an ex-teacher and minister of a Baptist church in Jefferson County, received a sentence of probation after pleading guilty in 2006, for sexually abusing a student in 2005. In 2008, after failing to respond to a lawsuit which accused Charles Andrews, a federal judge ordered Andrews to pay $2.5 million in punitive damages and $500,000 in compensation.
- REDACTED – In 2014, an assistant pastor was charged with raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old. A second victim led to additional charges. He also faced charges of parole violation. In 2001, he was convicted on a first-degree robbery change and served prison time from 2002 to 2009.
- James L. Bevel– In 2005, Bevel was accused of abuse by three others. He was tried in April 2008. Bevel was convicted of unlawful fornication; pursuant to the recommendation of the jury, which could have sentenced him to anywhere from 5 to 20 years, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $50,000. After seven months, he was freed. He died in December 2008 of pancreatic cancer. He was a preacher who attended the American Baptist Theological Seminary.
- Howard L. Blattel – Blattel, a 65-year-old former Bolingbrook resident and Marquette Manor Baptist Church deacon, was charged with sexually assaulting an 89-year-old woman in 2004.
- Walter John “Jay” Bowen – Bowen, former minister of music, FBC, Spanish Fort and radio station owner and personality, was arrested for sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 and sentenced to 10 years in prison based on a plea agreement, which dropped a second sex abuse case involving another child younger than 12.
- Gregory “Lee” Bowman – In 2010, Bowman pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse of a 14-year-old juvenile and was sentenced to serve a 12-month split sentence and is required to serve 24 months on supervised probation. He had served as health and wellness minister for both adult and youth recreation programs at Eden Westside Baptist Church in Pell City.
- Charles Brown – In 1987, Brown was convicted of abusing a teenage boy in 1986. Brown, who served at London Baptist Church in Evergreen, was convicted of a reduced misdemeanor charge and given a suspended sentence.
- Fred Robert Chambers – In 1998, Chambers was convicted of four counts of second-degree sodomy with a 14-year-old boy. He was a volunteer leader at an undisclosed church.
- Stanley Daniel – Daniel, pastor at El-Bethel Baptist Church and the Pearls of Promise Girls Academy at Rock Stand, pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy and two counts of distribution of obscene material.
- Mack Allen Davis – Davis, former youth minister at Lakeside Baptist Church, was sentenced to 35 years in 2015 for three counts of sodomy and four counts of sexual abuse with victims in three different counties.
- Garret Albert Dykes – In 2006, Dykes pleaded guilty to 13 sex related charges against two girls under age of 10. He was the former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Wetumpka.
- Jeffery Dale Eddie – Eddie, children’s minister of Highland Park Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, pleaded guilty to 20 charges in 2014, including sodomy, sexual abuse of a child under 12 and possession of child porn.
- Zachary Reed Emerson – Emerson, a former part-time youth employee at East Memorial Baptist Church in Prattville, was convicted of enticing a child for immoral purposes in Alabama in 2011. Registered sex offender in Florida.
- Luis Federico Garcia – Garcia, pastor of Spanish ministries at First Baptist Church in Pelham, pleaded guilty to three charges of first-degree sexual abuse involving three girls younger than 12 years old.
- Jason Michael Hankins – Hankins, former staff member at Shades Crest Baptist Church’s Family Life Center in Birmingham, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a child, plus 20 more years of possessing child pornography.
- John Edgar Harris – Harris, former employee at Glynwood Baptist Church in Prattville, pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and facilitating the travel of a child for an unlawful sex act.
- Henry Hobson – In 1993, Henry Hobson, who was pastor at Moffett Road Baptist Church in Mobile, admitted guilt for abusing a 14-year-old girl in 1991. Attorneys reached an agreement between Hobson and the victim just before a civil case went to jury.
- Michael Likos – Likos was a registered sex offender while being the church piano player at Seventh Street Baptist Church in Cullman. Likos was registered as a sex offender to live in Gadsden after previous convictions in Louisiana and Mississippi. He was convicted there for crossing a state line to engage in sexual contact with a minor. In 2006, Likos was indicted on first-degree sexual abuse.
- Redacted – Youth pastor arrested in 2010 for alleged inappropriate sexual relationship.
- Timothy Mann – Mann, minister at First Baptist Church in Gaithersburg and choir director at Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover, pleaded guilty to child abuse of a 14-year-old female in Maryland in 2008. He was sentenced to 13 years with seven years in confinement, the rest suspended, according to Maryland court records.
- Billy Paul Masters – Masters, pastor at Harvest Baptist Church in Boaz, was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a boy under 12. He also faced parole violation in connection with a 2001 conviction of sodomy involving three boys. Following his release from prison in 2007, Masters registered as a sex offender.
- James “Javie” Vernon McNeal – McNeal, children’s minister at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Hazel Green, was convicted of two felony sex offenses and was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2018.
- Ralph Randall Melton – In 2004, Melton, pastor at Prospect Baptist Church in Wilsonville and former pastor at New Salem Baptist Church and Big Springs Baptist Church in Chilton County, and his wife pleaded guilty to raping and sodomizing children between 1975 and 1987. They were sentenced to more than three months in prison followed by 36 months probation and were to register as sex offenders. Prior to his death in 2018, Melton and his wife were both registered sex offenders for child rape convictions in Alabama from 2005, where their victims were a 1-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl.
- Douglas Myers – Myers, former pastor at Concord Baptist Church in Russellville, pleaded guilty for abusing a church member’s 13-year-old grandson in 2006. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
- Donald Brent Page – In 2007, Page, who had worked as a youth pastor at Dogwood Grove Baptist Church in Montevallo, Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster and Hillcrest Baptist Church in Birmingham, traveled from Alabama to Tennessee to have sex with what he thought to be a 13-year-old girl (actually a Memphis FBI Crimes Against Children Task Force Member). Charged with traveling to TN to have sex with minor
- Marshal Seymour – Seymour, former youth minister at Parkway Assembly of God in Mobile, AL, faced charges of unlawful sexual activity and three counts of using a child in sexual performance. He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault.
- Gary Ladell Smitherman – Smitherman, former youth minister at Friendship Baptist Church in Clanton, was found guilty of one count of sexual abuse of a child in 2018.
- John Clair Strickland – Strickland, former administrative pastor at Sharon Heights Baptist Church in Brookside, was convicted of first-degree sodomy in Jefferson County in 2016.
- Christopher Cody Stutts – Stutts, former youth minister at Westwood Baptist Church in Birmingham, was arrested for sexual abuse of a child under age 12 that lasted over three years. A grand jury indicted Stutts on the initial charges of sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 and second-degree sodomy. The grand jury also added additional charges of first-degree sodomy, second-degree rape and another second-degree sodomy charge. Stutts was fired following his arrest.