Pastor resigns after child sex crime charge

0
182
pastor

Kevin Berry, a pastor charged with a child sex crime, has resigned from his position at First Christian Church of Sedgwick, a church official said.

Berry was on voluntary leave after being arrested and charged last month with aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The church publicly supported Berry throughout a 10-month investigation into the allegations and allowed him to be involved in at least one children’s activity after the church told parents he would not.

Sunday, The Eagle reported that a video on the church’s website showed Berry participating in a children’s activity during that time.

Monday, the church took down its website, where the video had been, and its Facebook page, which had two posts stating the church leadership’s support for Berry.

John Hubert, a church leader at First Christian Church, said he is “under strict instructions from the church’s lawyer . . . not to discuss with any newspaper or any media our situation.” But he said he was willing to confirm Berry has resigned.

“We had a meeting Sunday and have hired an interim minister who specializes in rescuing churches like ours who have some division as a result of indecision or decisions that didn’t meet with approval of everybody,” Hubert said.

“We’ve taken the biblical approach rather than the secular-humanist worldview of how to solve problems — and it hasn’t resulted in the most positive results. But it’s resulted in the results that we can biblically live with, so things are moving forward now.

“I’m happy with the results, and I’m going to keep following the instructions that we’re getting from our new interim minister and we look forward to a brighter future,” Hubert said.

Hubert would not comment on the website or Facebook page.

Berry has directed all questions to his attorney, who has not returned phone calls from The Eagle.

Berry, lead minister at First Christian Church of Sedgwick, was arrested July 13th. That’s more than a year after a police report says the sex crime could have started almost 10 months after it was reported to police.

The complaint filed in Harvey County District Court says the alleged crime occurred around mid-September.

The church did not put Berry on administrative leave until July, when it did so at Berry’s request, a statement released after his arrest said.