MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (AP) - The pastor of a Mount Airy church accused of brandishing a gun as part of his sermon is free on bond after being charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.The Street Prophets asked an appropriate question, "Do Baptists ever get tired of reading this kind of story about their pastors?"
Jerry Wayne "Dusty" Whitaker, 58, of Mount Airy, was convicted in Virginia in 1990 of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm during drug trafficking.
Members of Whitaker's Victory Baptist Church say they had no knowledge of his criminal background. Whitaker told them he was a retired Virginia state police officer and a retired U.S. marshal who was injured in the line of duty, said Garry Scearce, trustee chairman at Victory Baptist.
Whitaker denies ever telling anyone he was a marshal, but said he worked as a police officer for six years in Montgomery County, Va.
Whitaker was arrested during church services Sunday. He was released Monday after posting a $20,000 bond.
Yes. We do. Or at least I do. Somehow the humor gets lost on me and I just don't laugh anymore.
Consider this story I posted a couple of days ago about another NC pastor using the church credit card to buy improprieties, as well as this one from a few months ago about a pastor using a church's credit card to pay personal bills. The rub there is he had resigned from that church over a year earlier.
It is too much the norm reading these kinds of stories in the news. Considering the preacher from Mt. Airy, it is wise and prudent that all search committees do a comprehensive background check on all prosepective pastors and staff; not to mention nursery and children's department workers (even the lay people). It is a sad commentary on our culture and religious environment that this is a necessity, but might I reiterate this sentence from the AP article: "Members of Whitaker's Victory Baptist Church say they had no knowledge of his criminal background." Can churches afford such oversight? The legal repercussions are too high.