You have to wonder what goes through a church goer’s mind when they drive to services Sunday morning knowing there will be no children in the sanctuary because their minister is a registered sex offender.
Children will continue to be barred from the Jacksonville worship services sex-offender Darrell Gilyard has been leading Sunday mornings since the end of January.
That was determined in court Friday when Gilyard’s attorney withdrew a motion seeking a change in the preacher’s probation status to allow minors in the sanctuary when Gilyard preaches.
There’s something amok here. So many pieces that don’t fit…
He and Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church leaders gathered in the hallway at the Duval County Courthouse after the hearing. They agreed Gilyard will continue to preach and that minors will be prohibited from being anywhere on church grounds until a court rules on the matter. Before, children attended a youth church service in another room while Gilyard preached.
The state Department of Corrections has confirmed that Gilyard is in compliance with the rules of his probationas long as minors are not present when he’s in the pulpit. Gilyard also is refraining from performing any pastoral duties, such as counseling.
Seriously? I’m totally not getting why this guy is still a preacher. I mean really… how can anyone accept any kind of teaching from this fellow?
Gilyard, 49, was released from state prison Dec. 28 after serving three years for committing sex crimes against two teenage church members at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, where he was the pastor at the time. After his 2009 conviction and imprisonment, he admitted to fathering a child with a woman who accused him of raping her during a 2004 counseling session.
So far, Gilyard’s status as a registered sex offender isn’t keeping people away, church leaders said. With an average attendance of around 10 before Gilyard came to preach, numbers have shot up to 150 and 200 since his first sermon on Jan. 29, they said.
And he’s a minister. A working minister. I don’t get it.