(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — The Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is urging the pastor accused of sodomising a teenage boy in St Ann, in 2018, to turn himself in to the police.
“We appeal to the former pastor to make himself available to the authorities to assist them in the investigation regarding the allegations against him, so that the matter can be resolved,” said Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.
Brown also reiterated that the transfer of the pastor from Claremont, St Ann, to Little London, Westmoreland, was before the allegations of sexual abuse against him.
“In its pursuit for honesty and transparency wishes to clarify any misconception regarding the date that the former Seventh-day Adventist pastor accused of abusing a minor accepted a ‘Call’ to serve in the Church’s western region.
“As stated in the Sunday Observer of March 8, 2020, we do not shield any of our workers or members accused of child abuse as we deem it a criminal matter in which the law should take its course,” said Brown.
He noted that on November 1, 2018, the pastor accepted a ‘Call’ (a request from the western region) to serve in the Little London District of Churches.
“The church was made aware of the allegations about the pastor after it was reported to the police by his parents and he fled the island. He subsequently resigned January 21, 2020.
“Since the matter was made known to the church’s leadership, members of our team in the North Jamaica Conference have been in touch with the victim and his parents providing pastoral care and counselling,” added Brown.
The police have sought the assistance of their partners in the United States to have the former pastor returned to Jamaica to face charges.
The police say checks with the Passport and Immigration and Citizenship Agency have revealed that the pastor, who resigned from the church after the allegations were made, departed the island to Baltimore in the US, on Saturday, January 11.
“The Jamaica Constabulary Force continues to pursue this case as a matter of great importance. We are engaging our international law enforcement partners to ensure that the suspect is brought to justice to answer to the allegations that have been made against him,” head of police Corporate Communications Unit, Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, told the Observer.