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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Youth Pastor Watch

posted by on May 22 at 9:28 AM


Detectives of the Sarasota Police Department have arrested a youth minister of a local church for Lewd and Lascivious act on a teen boy. The church, Bethlehem Baptist Church, is located at 1680 18th Street in Sarasota.

It is alleged that on May15, the victim spent the night at the home of 24-year-old James Marcellus Knowlin.

The victim stated that he was playing video games at Knowlin‘s house after he had bought him and other youths some pizza. The victim fell asleep on the floor and was later told by Knowlin to sleep in a bed. While the victim was asleep in the bed he was awakened by Knowlin several times and that the defendant had his hand inside the victim’s shorts. The victim also stated that the Knowlin slept behind him and was grinding himself against the victim during the night.


Twenty years ago, the first of what would become several women and teenage girls said she was “groomed” and sexually assaulted by a youth pastor who served at various Colorado churches—including Longmont’s Central Presbyterian Church.

Today—after years of court hearings on sex-assault charges, multiple arrests for bond violations and a Boulder County trial that ended in a hung jury—Peter Kim was sentenced to one year in prison and a lifetime of probation….

Although prosecutors asked Boulder County District Court Judge D.D. Mallard to impose a 20-year probation sentence for Kim after prison, Mallard said his extensive criminal history warrants a lifetime of probation.


G. Lamar Roth, Hesston College vice president of Student Life, has announced that Todd Lehman has been appointed as the new campus pastor…. From October 2001 to July 2007, Lehman served jointly as youth pastor at First Mennonite Church, and at Trinity Mennonite Church, both in Hillsboro, Kan. Earlier experience as youth pastor included a one-year term at Zion Mennonite Church, Broadway, Va., from September 2000 to July 2001.

RSS icon Comments


Always sorta wish there were mug shots

but thanks for posting nontheless

Posted by Non | May 22, 2008 9:53 AM

So what's wrong with the Kansas guy???

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | May 22, 2008 9:54 AM

Lewd and Lascivious act on a teen boy? Sounds HOT!

Kidding! I'm just kidding! 18 +, of course...

Posted by Mike in MO | May 22, 2008 9:59 AM

@2, it's obviously a notice to keep your eyes on that guy. Next year he'll be busted, just you see.

Posted by naan | May 22, 2008 10:03 AM

Dude! Not all campus ministry people are scummy. Either clarify what this Kansas guy did that was so bad, or don't put his name up somewhere that associates him with losers who exploit positions of trust.

Posted by Kansan and friend of Mennonites | May 22, 2008 10:06 AM

Spinoza hung out with the Mennonites (as I'm sure Charles Mudede can affirm), so they can't be all bad :)

Posted by Nick | May 22, 2008 10:11 AM

We sometimes toss in a good youth pastor just to demonstrate that not all youth pastors are hoods, sex offenders, and rapists. Just trying to be fair here.

Remember: It's "Youth Pastor Watch," not "Bad Youth Pastor Watch." We watch the good ones and the bad because that seems fair and balanced.

Posted by Dan Savage | May 22, 2008 10:12 AM

I grew up in conservative Baptist churches, and later in life found out that two pastors in the group had been arrested for child molestation. Both of these guys had been my "counselor" at summer church camp! Neither one made a move on me.

I don't know if I should feel lucky, or rejected. I always thought I was a cute kid. Maybe my Dad's size (6'4", 260) was a deterrent.

Posted by Sir Vic | May 22, 2008 10:26 AM

your dad's height & weight aren't the measurements that concern me.

Posted by Mike in MO | May 22, 2008 10:38 AM


Predators choose the easiest, not the hottest, prey. Those counselors might have sensed that you wouldn't have been as easy to manipulate or that you wouldn't have been too scared to tell someone what was going on.

Posted by keshmeshi | May 22, 2008 10:49 AM

The Mennonites is good people, as is G. Lamar Roth. Dunno this Todd Lehman, but the Lehmans I went to school with in McPherson, KS (shout out to the KCAC!) were also good people who kept their appropriate parts in their own personal pants.

Posted by switzerblog | May 22, 2008 12:17 PM

Send your kids to science camp for the sake of their future and ours! All that Jesus bullshit is for the fools.

Posted by Vince | May 22, 2008 12:22 PM

I went to Central Presbyterian, and my parents made me go to youth group. I thought Peter Kim was a total creep then, and wasn't surprised when I heard the accusations. But then again, the other youth pastors we had were all mean or creepy in their own way. One of the women who came before him was really mean and manipulative. Thank goodness all the youth pastors seemed to hate me- I escaped unscathed!

Posted by Shell | May 24, 2008 12:09 AM

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