by Dan Savage
on Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 7:57 AM
FLORIDA: "A Florida youth pastor was arrested Thursday on 10 counts of possession of child pornography. Lucas Dillon Brandenburg, formerly a youth pastor at St. Gabriel Episcopal Church in Titusville, Florida, was arrested after agents reportedly identified a computer at his home in July that was housing child pornography. According to WESH-TV, authorities claim they found 10 videos of girls as young as 9 years old performing sexual acts with men and boys. An arrest affidavit allegedly says the former youth pastor admitted to viewing child porn for more than a decade."
NORTH CAROLINA: "A former youth pastor in Charlotte and Concord pleaded guilty today to taking indecent liberties with young boys who were in his care. Judge Erwin Spainhour sentenced Bobby Price to serve an active prison sentence of at least 16 months. There were lots of tears in that courtroom, under the terms of the plea agreement the judge gave Price as much time as he could, saying this was a heinous crime. The mother of one of the victims said she felt used and that while trying to protect her child, every Sunday, Sunday night, and Wednesday, she took her little boy in a den of wolves and let him be attacked."
TEXAS: "A former youth pastor is facing sex assault charges after he was accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl. Bastrop Sheriff’s Office said they arrested Isaiah Arellano, 25, on Wednesday. “This was a youth pastor. This was supposed to be somebody who represented God. This was the ultimate betrayal,” said Julie, a mother of five from Bastrop who wanted to protect her identity.... Julie said she was sleeping on the couch in her living room in April when she got up to go to the kitchen. She said looked to her left where the game room is located and saw Arellano having sex with her daughter. Julie said Arellano was living with her family for a couple months after going through some marital issues."
Today's first Youth Pastor—Lucas Brandenburg—explained why he became a youth pastor in a speech he gave last year at a church convention. The video was yanked after RawStory posted it. But you can read a selection from Brandenburg's speech to the 44th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida after the jump...
“My life is forever changed by the youth ministries that I attended,” Brandenburg said. “I went for the camps, I went for games, I went to hang out with my friends, to meet girls obviously.”
“Despite my wrong motives, I had an encounter with Jesus Christ, I heard his call. And like all who respond to that call, I left my pile of worthless things, and I followed him,” he continued. “There are more pitfalls set before young people today than I have time to describe. The fact is we live in a dark world, and a depraved culture.”
“And for many teens, a youth ministry is the only port in the storm. The ministry that I run at St. Gabriels is just such a ministry.”