A Florida church had previously barred children from attending service because a sex offender convicted of two counts of child molestation had become their pastor right after he got out of prison. He was prohibited from being in the vicinity of children, prompting the church ban on children.
Just the other day, the probation on the pastor was changed to enable him to minister to children and the church leaders lifted the ban from kids attending service.
Darrell Gilyard, 52, is currently pastor at Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., and began his tenure at the church right after being released from prison in December 2011 for sex crimes against two girls at his previous church.
According to WJXT, a judge modified Gilyard’s probation which now enables him to “minister to children under the age of 18 as long as the children are supervised by an adult other than the defendant.”
In 2009, Gilyard pleaded guilty to lewd or lascivious conduct and molestation involving two girls younger than 16. His 2007 resignation after 15 years as pastor of Jacksonville’s Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, a 7,000-member predominantly African-American congregation, marked the fifth pastorate he lost due to allegations of sexual misconduct.
The Dallas Morning News wrote several stories in 1991 saying dozens of women had accused Gilyard of sexual misconduct, with some alleging rape.
Gilyard was the pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Community Church in April 1993. He quit on Jan. 4, 2008, after a member of the congregation filed a police report claiming Gilyard sent sexually explicit text messages to her daughter.
Gilyard was arrested Jan. 14, 2008, and charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct. After being found guilty on May 21, 2009, to molesting one girl and sending lewd text messages to another.
Gilyard completed a three-year prison sentence on Dec. 28, 2011. Four weeks later, Gilyard took over the realm at Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church, prompting protests and a visit from Jacksonville Baptist Association, which resulted in an agreement that the church would “leave the fellowship” of the Southern Baptist Convention regional affiliate.