A Florida pastor standing trial in Tennessee for the rape of two teenage girls has died of an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” police say.
Police in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, say officers found Pastor David Rowan, 66, deceased in his car on the second floor of the Rutherford County Justice Center Parking Garage Thursday morning.
At the time of the incident, Rowan was awaiting a jury’s verdict in his trial for the alleged rape of two sisters, aged 14 and 15.
The charges against Rowan, who pastors Faith Baptist Church in Milton, Florida, stem from 2014 when Rowan was in Murfreesboro speaking at a local church.
“While he was here in Murfreesboro he ran across these two young ladies and asked to take them out for a hamburger and a milk shake,” Detective Tommy Roberts said in 2018. “He ended up taking them to a local hotel here in the city of Murfreesboro where evidence showed that he molested the teenage girls.”
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Rowan was charged in 2018 with rape, unlawful sexual contact, and sexual battery by an authority figure. On November 29, 2021, his trial on these charges began.
In the meantime, Rowan had continued to pastor his church in Florida. A video posted to the church’s YouTube channel shows Rowan preaching at Faith Baptist the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Rowan was still listed this morning as pastor on the church’s website.
The Roys Report reached out to Faith Baptist Church for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Police say they do not suspect foul play in Rowan’s death but added that the case is still under investigation.