So let me tell you a little story … back in 2008, a Jacksonville pastor by the name of Darrel Gilyard sexually molested a 15 year old girl and sent explicit text messages to another. As part of a deal with the prosecutor, he plead guilty to lewd conduct and lewd molestation of two girls under the age of 16.
Now that he’s been released from prison and forced to register as a sex offender, I suppose the church where he used to preach and deliver sermons want to keep him at arms length, right?
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville pastor who confessed to sexual crimes against two young girls is once again preaching.
Former Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church pastor Darrell Gilyard was just released from prison in December. He’s now delivering sermons at Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church on North Davis Street.
[...] According to a local Jacksonville news affilate, 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.
Call me old fashioned but I happen to think that someone who plead guilty to sexual molestation of two minors is hardly in a position to tell others what anyone or anything has to say on the subject of morality.
I also think they shouldn’t be considered so indispensable that they need to be put right back into the position of authority they abused … and it’s the children who get shuffled around to accommodate him.
Despite that past, many members of the Christ Tabernacle congregation have welcomed him with open arms.
“He’s done his time. He’s in counseling and we should give him another opportunity because God can use anybody at any given time,” said Rebecca Smith.
Rebecca Smith, Gilyard’s assistant, said she’s been in communication with him over the past three years and he expressed interest in leading a weekly bible study.
“We’ve been in prayer and I shared with him that God didn’t call you to lead bible study. God called you to preach,” said Smith.
Rebecca wants him to preach because they’re getting record attendance that way. He committed these acts against two children while in a position of power and authority over them. Now that he’s been released from prison, he should pay a price. I’m not saying he should be relegated to living his life shunned by society, picking through dumpsters to get his next meal. But the last place he should be is right back where he started … back on the pulpit, lecturing others on morality while there is no evidence that he is not going to fall back into familiar patterns with another child at the next available opportunity. Now, there’s a chance he may not … but I think a little waiting period should be in order instead effectively acting as if nothing ever happened. Have him work with the adult homeless population in Jacksonville. Or how about making him a desk jockey, putting him in charge of a charity organization. There are plenty of opportunities for him to still do good without putting him back where he was and herding the children off somewhere else. That just tells the rest of the world your priorities are more than a little backwards.
Hey, maybe I should be grateful. Fewer kids in Sunday church. Maybe they’ll watch Nova instead.