Pastor offers condolences for victims

Published 10:48am Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dear Editor,

In a recent article posted online by Amy Jones, she quoted Beverly Watson of Montevallo as saying that the First Baptist Church of Pelham held “spaghetti suppers” to raise funds for Danny Acker who has been arrested and charged with sexually molesting elementary children who were his students.

His family used our facility one time because a member of his family was also a member of our church and reserved the building. The event was not sponsored by our church, nor was it promoted as a church event.

My heart is broken for the victims and their families. I apologize to Beverly Watson, the victims and their families for allowing an event to be held in our facility, which provided support for someone who used his position to prey on innocent children. I attempted to contact Beverly Watson but was unable to reach her by telephone.

IRS rules no longer allow us to let people use our buildings for fundraising other than those specific areas of ministry related to the church.

We have a zero tolerance for abuse whether it is verbal, psychological, physical or sexual in nature. All of our staff and child-care providers go through a background check and we use video cameras in all our children’s classrooms.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families.

Mike Shaw

Pastor of First Baptist Church of Pelham

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