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PA: Pastor’s criminal past doesn’t bother members of his church

[ – 2/25/21]

MERCER COUNTY, Pa. — A pastor in Mercer County is a registered sex offender, but the church is not only aware of his past, it also doesn’t seem to be concerned.

David ____is the senior pastor at West Side Baptist Church in Sharpsville and is listed on Florida’s sex offender registry.

Read the full article


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Couldn’t help noticing that the station didn’t bother trying to speak with any of the church’s members. Or that the three people they did speak with had absolutely no affiliation or relationship with that church at all. I wonder why they were even interviewed in the first place, and if they had even heard of the church before the reporter asked them about it.

They also mentioned the church’s expulsion from the SBC. I admittedly know nothing of church hierarchy, and can’t help but wonder if SBC membership is really all that beneficial to local churches. Seems to me that member churches pay their dues to the SBC in return for…. Can’t figure out the rest.

I am so tired of these types of stories. If the pastor was convicted of selling drugs no one would have a problem with him being around kids. Or if he was a former gangster and part of a gang back when, no one would have problem with it.

This is just like the stories about homeless shelters who admit s$x offenders and the neighbors have a fit. Or just like the story last year in Penn where a fire department chief was a registrant. The fire department voted him in because of his skill. I was a fireman I know what it means to have a good chief. Anyway, the local news caught wind of it and blasted his picture all over the paper and make a big stink about nothing. Even the mayor of that town support this fire chief. But because of the publicity and fire chief had to resign – I don’t blame him. He was risking his life to help others and this is his treatment for it.

Those people who were interviewed don’t realize that, rather than condemning the pastor, they were actually condemning themselves. Sad to see so many ignorant people out there.

On the positive side, the people of this pastor’s church got it right! 🙂

Personally* I’m proud of the congregation that stands by this man. I think this reporter is very buyist in reporting. Let’s post the interviews of people who might be against this. Instead of the testimonies of those who support. Media likes this keeps the conversation one sided. Bad reporter. Awesome church. Rare church
Most of y’all that see my posts, know how hurt I’ve been from churches. Seeing something like this, restores a bit of hope in my eyes. I pray everyday for a church community that accepts me as I am today, and not for what I did years prior.

Modern day journalism where biased of the “reporter” is rampant in the story. No mention of the members of the congregation who know their pastor, more than the average person who was interviewed bring more ignorance to the community. Drug offenses, domestic violence offenses, robbery/burglary offenses, Dui offenses causing harm, gang violence, and gun offenses are all a okay to the holier than thou people. Those sins are redemption for the perpetrators; while sex offenses are vile to the masses no matter how much time has passed. Glad there are congregations out there who practice what they preach and aren’t the ignorant part of society.

He should just resign from being a pastor he’s only gonna bring more negative attention towards himself his family and his friends
I was really young when I was placed on Megan’s Law at that time the internet wasn’t common as it is now days so for the first 4 years I went on with my life like a normal person I even ended up marrying my high school girlfriend who also is the victim in my case
it wasn’t until around 2012/2013 that I started to realize the stress and frustration this was putting on my wife and children even my in laws were being dragged into this nightmare so to protect my family from the shame and embarrassment of Megan’s Law I divorced my wife and moved out.
Luckily for me I had a really good job so I was able to remain in my children’s lives without liveing in the same household as them it wasn’t easy but I did what I had to do to protect my children from Megan’s laws death grip

Good luck

Since this station doesn’t have a comments feature, I emailed the following directly to the reporter.

Ms. Hartmann:

Regarding your above posted article, I find it concerning that you didn’t appear to interview any of the church’s members when writing that they weren’t concerned about the pastor’s status as a registered sex offender. I also find it curious that the people you chose to interview did not appear to have any affiliation or knowledge of the church or pastor beyond the fact that the pastor has a prior sex crime conviction, which you presumably provided them.

Perhaps a follow up story could rescue what strikes as yellow journalism. Just a thought.

I’m going to make a habit of doing this, as bemoaning these stories here and other advocacy sites really doesn’t accomplish anything. Suggest others do the same.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x