A pastor, allegedly, repeatedly raped and sodomized an a girl,16, for months. VanZidn't charged with second-degree rape and sodomy served as pastor of Palisades Family Church of Christ in Grove Alabama, since 2011.
"When the officer stopped to check out the car, he discovered the 55-year-old pastor inside with the teen.
“He rolled up on the car, the vehicle, and he found our 55-year-old suspect with a minor child, a female under the age of 16,” Sgt. Danny Reid told the station. And investigators discovered that it was not the first time the pastor had allegedly raped the girl. “There was a period of victimization over several months where he had sex and sodomized a minor female under the age of 16,” Reid told Al.com in a phone interview.
VanZandt was charged with second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy. He was being held in Pleasant Grove jail in lieu of $60,000 bond." (1).
It's a sad situation, although one we seen far too often. I am sick of preachers raping and taking advantage of people especially children. Abusing children, especially sexually abusing a child, comes at the cost of damaging a child forever. Children don't forget the violence, and this man could have punctured this child's faith. Thankfully she wasn't a small child, but she is still emotionally growing, I cannot imagine the conflicting feelings associated with sexual abuse. Pastors should be respectable men with whom people can trust. Granted we're all humans, and God doesn't call folks to be perfect. But this man knew exactly what he was doing, and it was for self-satisfaction. In other words, he didn't care about how his abuse might impact the future of this child. Everything from troubled, turbulent relationships to false relational expectations, and even sexual manipulation of her future husband or partner. Meaning, she might use sex as a weapon or power over men. And it's not her fault, but he sure didn't help this teenage girl, who most likely, looked up to the pastor. She might have seen him as a father figure, someone counselling her about teenage girl issues, but for spiritual guidance. Instead, he betrayed her, and shamed himself. Can he be forgiven? Of course, he can be forgiven. However, he needs to understand the gravity of his failures.
We, as church goers, think of clergy as above the typical moral fiber, within our society. We view pastors as people we can tell ask for guidance with family issues, school social issues from a spiritual perspective. Therefore, a pastor shouldn't put them square in the middle of temptation.
1). David Edwards. (15 September 2014).Alabama pastor drives girl to city park to rape and sodomize her, police say. The Raw Story. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/alabama-pastor-drives-girl-to-city-park-to-rape-and-sodomize-her-police-say/