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Pastor To ‘Rest’ As Church Acknowledges It Knew of His Child Sex Criminal Conviction

By Sheila Stogsdill
don logan fort mill
Pastor Don Logan preaches at Eternal Church in Fort Mill, South Carolina. (Video screengrab)

A South Carolina pastor is taking time to “rest” after his status as a convicted sex offender became known.

Pastor Don Logan’s presence on sex offender lists in Indiana and South Carolina was reported in May in the Wartburg Watch. His church announced Sunday that he will not be leading services at Fort Mill’s Eternal Church until at least September, the Fort Mill Sun reported.

Pastor Jacob Collins and Elder Lorne James announced Logan would enter a “time of rest,” saying it was needed after the revelations of his criminal past and because he is fighting cancer, the paper reported.

Logan will not be “preaching, shepherding staff, or having administrative responsibilities,” Collins reportedly said.

In a statement Collins read to the congregation on Logan’s behalf, Logan reportedly said his family is “taking time to heal and seek emotional restoration and peace while we discern if we can bear the cost of continuing for me, my family, and the church.”

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eternal church fort mill
Eternal Church in Fort Mill, S.C. (Photo via social media)

Logan’s sex crime was explained Sunday, according to the Sun. When Logan was 29 years old, he pleaded guilty in 1997 to felony sexual misconduct with a minor, a 14-year-old girl.

In his address to the congregation, James reportedly said Logan told church leaders about his conviction when he joined the church a decade ago. But leaders did not inform the rest of the voting church members of Logan’s conviction, according to the newspaper.

Collins also reportedly told parishioners that Logan “had a profound encounter with Jesus” while in prison in Indiana.

The Sun reported Logan was required to register as a sex offender in Indiana for a limited time, which has since elapsed. Logan recently learned he was required to register in South Carolina.

Chad Hollowell, Executive Pastor of Eternal Church, told the Wartburg Watch that the church’s leaders felt that sexual sin with a minor did not permanently disqualify Logan from preaching. Hollowell reportedly added that church leaders believed Logan was above reproach.

Hollowell also stated in the interview with Wartburg Watch that the church’s leaders think Logan is of proven character.

Sheila Stogsdill is a freelance print journalist and digital reporter, primarily covering crime issues for KSN/KODE.

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29 Respuestas

  1. The staff and elders of Eternal Church have attacked the whistleblower who stumbled upon the conviction while searching a Baptist Accountability website. The discovery occurred over nine months ago. I had a good friend who is an elder at the church that I tried to convince for the last six weeks to own up to their mistake. (He has broken contact). Instead the church doubled down and continued the coverup. This seems to me to be a more egregious case of church leadership failure than even Gateway.

  2. “In a statement Collins read to the congregation on Logan’s behalf, Logan reportedly said his family is “taking time to heal and seek emotional restoration and peace while we discern if we can bear the cost of continuing for me, my family, and the church.””

    The narcissism here is absolutely stunning.

    1. I had the same thought. But also can’t imagine hearing the pastor “had a profound encounter with Jesus” while in prison, and not asking why he was in prison.

    1. Daniel,

      Excellent points! Churches refuse to follow the standards for leaders that are listed in the Pauline epistles and make up their own.

      A theory I have is that, as deconstruction of evangelicals continues apace, and evangelicalism is not as appealing as it was to Americans as in past decades, churches will tolerate a charismatic minister who can get and keep people in the pews, even if they wouldn’t have let him be a leader in the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s.

  3. “Chad Hollowell, Executive Pastor of Eternal Church, told the Wartburg Watch that the church’s leaders felt that sexual sin with a minor did not permanently disqualify Logan from preaching.”

    I bet if the minor had been a boy he wouldn’t be saying this.

      1. Until the heat blows over and you can cue the Standing Ovation triumphant return.
        With or without the Angel Encounter at the gas station in rural Wyoming.

  4. it’s this statement for me; “Chad Hollowell, Executive Pastor of Eternal Church, told the Wartburg Watch that the church’s leaders felt that sexual sin with a minor did not permanently disqualify Logan from preaching.”

    if sexual sin with a minor is not permanently disqualifying, WHAT IS?! that man was 29- that was an active choice that shows incredible judgement and character flaws. Can he be forgiven? yes. Restored to community? Yes, with strong supervision. Put in leadership with athority and access? Absolutely not.

    To be clear, Logan is not the only guilty party here. The rest of the leadership who decided it wasn’t important to disclose his criminal past, or that it was sexual contact with a 14 year old shows that they 1. KNOW it’s problematic and people would be against it and 2. KNOW that it actually IS disqualifying, but wanted to do what they wanted to do.

  5. HE gets to decide if he continues? The church hasn’t simply immediately fired him and removed any leader that knew about this. If you are part of this church, RUN… do NOT WALK… to the exit. What a travesty.

  6. We again see the same pattern. Profound encounter with Jesus after abusing a 14 year old.
    Leaders keeping it hidden and “church’s leaders felt that sexual sin with a minor did not permanently disqualify Logan from preaching.”

    I wonder what would have disqualified him? Sexual sin with two minors? Is there a number that’s needed? Maybe because it wasn’t any of these church leaders 14-year-old it wasn’t that relevant. That must be it.

    1. That was the question in my mind. Was the crime that made him a registered sex offender when he was a total heathen, and he got save while serving his sentence, and then went into the ministry? There could be a case made for being a minister if the crime was pre-conversion and far enough in the past.

      Not only was he a believer, he was a youth minister. Permanent ban from leadership is the only option.

  7. Wow, who are these “elders” who hide a peodophile from their congregation as if that’s normal? Who or what are these men afraid of? Backlash? Shaming? Lawsuits? How about being afraid of the holiness of sovereign almighty God?! I’m so sick of a patriarchal system of perpetrators who refuse to fear God and will never be worthy of serving God!

  8. I once attended a safety seminar for churches where sex crimes were addressed. The speaker said that research has shown that a male pedophile does not get caught until the 151st time. The female was 54.

  9. Wow, I hope Indiana changes their laws so that a sex offender stays on the registry forever. That’s monstrous to let something like that expire.

  10. One state west of Indiana is the WORST “Christian ministry” in Chicago (Jesus People USA, aka JPUSA) with a 50 year history of child molestations ( watch “No Place to Call Home” on Youtube ) and a former member and (counterfeit) cult expert who has helped cover up for it ( Google “Pement confesses”) HUNDREDS of children have been molested there and people inside and oulside the “ministry” have covered up for it.
    As bad as the above article and others at this site are, they , sadly, can’t hold a candle to JPUSA.

  11. One of the pillars of Christian faith is forgiveness. No strings attached forgiveness. What took place in 1997 was horrific. This man served time, sought forgiveness from God and shared with the hiring team about his past. I don’t think he needs to be crucified again. If anything, the elders should be held accountable for not sharing that information with the body of believers. Secondly, has there been any accusations since his time in ministry? Remember, King David lusted after Bathsheba, took her in as his own wife and had her husband killed. He repented. Out of that relationship we see Solomon is conceived. Saul, later Paul, was present for the stoning of Stephen, and later called by God to share the word. Around 13 or 14 books of New Testament are attributed to Paul’s penmanship. Praise God for His unwavering forgiveness and unconditional love!

    1. Scott, I strongly agree with you regarding the pillar of forgiveness but there is also several other Christ values such as restoration and trust. Forgiveness does not require immediate trust and it may not guarantee the same possibilities of position. The referent is also important. God forgives because he was offended no strings attached. But restoration is about our relationship to those we didn’t directly sin against (forgiveness is not relevant) but asking them to trust our ministry. Furthermore, the Pauline example is pre-conversion and pre-ministry role. As stated above, he committed this crime post-ministry in a role where he abused those he was supposed to minister and is still alive.

      1. Joe, I agree with you. However, this took place in 1997. By my count, that’s 27 years ago. How long after someone repents and seeks forgiveness do we say they can be restored? Who makes that call? What standards do we use? Peter denied Christ, and restoration was instant. In fact, Christ told Peter that the church would be built upon him. Regardless, the whole situation is heartbreaking.

        1. People who use their power and authority to abuse those in their care should never be given power and authority again. 27 years or 90 years, no one should get a second chance to hurt vulnerable people, once they’ve proven that their willing and able to do it.

          of course they can be forgiven, and even restored to community with solid boundaries, and use of their gifting- but NEVER back in a position where they have the ability to hurt vulnerable people. there’s no entitlement to preach or lead- you only get to fail at that by criminal sexual contact with someone 14-16 years old one time. Name ANY other profession that would allow a man who commits felony sexual abuses of a 14-16 year old, gets convicted, goes to jail, and gets to do that same job again- every other profession understand that’s utterly disqualifying from leadership- it’s baffling to me that ANYONE is making arguments otherwise.

        2. Heart breaking especially with the time. But Peter is not a good example since his disloyalty was not during his time of ministry.

  12. Jen, I believe it’s perception. We either forgive people, or we don’t. Christ calls us to forgive. What he did 33 years ago was an abuse of leadership. I’m not calling that into doubt. All I know is that people sin. We’re not perfect. I believe God can restore people. He’s proven it throughout scripture. As believers we either accept that, or we don’t. I think the church has allowed itself to classify sins as “bad” and “acceptable.” If you, in a leadership role, go out and spread gossip about someone under your care that is a sin. So, you’re no longer able to lead? And, from what I know in reading God’s word there’s only one unpardonable sin. We can debate this all day long. I respect your opinion. My whole desire was to bring both sides of this situation to the table. It’s not our job to judge or condemn. God bless!

    1. Scott. If I ever sexually abuse a 14 year old, I am not fit to be in leadership ever again.

      Anyone who is found to use their authority to abuse people in their care is not fit to have that authority ever again. Leadership isn’t an entitlement. If you misuse it, you don’t deserve to get it back, not matter how long or what process. I’m not saying anything is an unpardonable sin- I’m saying that there are sins that no one has any obligation to hand you back the ability to commit twice.

      there are SO MANY ways to be a part of the body of Christ and exercise one’s gifting that don’t involve leadership, authority or a pulpit. these “restored” men are able and welcome to do any of those (with boundaries for safety, since they’ve proven they’re willing and able to commit literal crimes).

      pardoning sin, forgiveness, restoration- none of those things mean that any person has a “right” to power and authority that they’ve forfeited with their actions.

      Also, it’s worth noting that all of the stories that are coming out of Gateway are about men who were already pastors committing abuse of children (even the one where it was reported to 5 pastors who did nothing). if you’re a pastor who abuses…. anyone, you are wholly unqualified to be a pastor, that unqualification doesn’t change with time, which is part of the problem in the white american evangelical church. no one is talented enough to get a second chance to hurt the flock.

      1. Jen, you always have a rational and grounded view on these topics. I find it astounding so many people believe child abusers should be allowed to ever have any power or authority over anyone ever again. The fact they exist solidifies to me even more how many people have a seared conscience and just go along with whatever they think will make them look perfect in the eyes of God. Forgiveness and eternal justice is in God’s hands, earthly and human justice is up to us to hold each other accountable. How many stories do these people need to read/hear about re-offenders or that there were accusations for decades before they realize we need to take better precautions and use our voices and sense God gave us to protect the most vulnerable among us. To them it seems like restoration of the guilty is more important than protecting the innocent. It’s backwards and twisted logic.

    2. Scott,

      You do realize that there are biblical qualifications to be a pastor, elder, and deacon? One of the qualifications is have a good reputation with outsiders and another be above reproach. Kind of hard to do that when were on a sex offender list and you lied/mislead/obfuscated about it. He can be restored to the fellowship, but he can NEVER be a pastor or elder again. PERIOD.

      And as for gossip under one’s care, if that causes the pastor to no longer meet one or more of the biblical qualifications for a pastor, then sorry. you are OUT. An example would be if it became known that the pastor is a gossip and can’t keep a confidence.

  13. Jen, we will have to disagree on this topic. However, I appreciate your opinion and openness. I’m glad there is a forum where believers can discuss such topics. I don’t think race plays into this situation either. The problem with the “church” is that we’ve allowed ideologies that are not in line with the scripture to creep in and a take a place of prominence. Unfortunately, truth isn’t truth anymore. Thanks for sharing.

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Su donación deducible de impuestos ayuda a nuestros periodistas a informar la verdad y responsabilizar a los líderes y organizaciones cristianos. Haga una donación de $30 o más a The Roys Report este mes y recibirá una copia de “¿Y si Jesús hablara en serio acerca de la Iglesia?” por Skye Jethani.