A Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC) pastor who failed to report an incident of suspected child abuse involving former Harvest Student Pastor Paxton Singer resigned today. The pastor—HBC Aurora Campus Pastor Craig Steiner—did not mention the incident involving Singer in his resignation letter, but simply said he felt “called to a new season of ministry elsewhere.”
For nine months—from October 2018, when Singer was first charged with sexual exploitation of a child, until a July 1, 2019, church update—Steiner maintained that he had reported the suspected child abuse immediately after becoming aware of it in late January 2018. This, despite the fact that DCFS maintained that the report leading to Singer’s arrest did not come from a Harvest official, but was made in June 2018 by former Harvest counselor, Rob Williams.
Also, according to Harvest phone records, Steiner made only two calls to the DCFS hotline. One was in January 2018. And according to a text message from Steiner to other Harvest staff at that time, DCFS told him during the call that operators were “backlogged with call backs” and would call Steiner back. Yet the only other call Steiner had with DCFS was about six months later—on June 29, 2018, soon after Williams had reported the incident.
From October to July, Steiner alleged that DCFS had made a mistake and that he believed “he had completed all the necessary steps in his role as a mandatory reporter” when he placed an initial phone call to DCFS. However, in July, Harvest said it had received a letter from DCFS confirming that Steiner failed to provide sufficient information for a report when he called the DCFS hotline on January 31, 2018.
Below is Steiner’s resignation letter, which Harvest posted on Sunday. The trial for Singer begins this Wednesday. It is uncertain whether Steiner will be called as a witness.
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UPDATE: According to a court document I obtained on September 4, Craig Steiner told Kane County investigators that the father of the alleged victim of Paxton Singer came to him in “February or March” of 2018. The document notes that “a text message tendered to the Defendant by the State indicates that Pastor Craig learned about J.S. (alleged victim) on January 31, 2018. The court document is posted at the end of this article. (relevant portion is on page 2)Resignation Letter – Craig Steiner
Below is the motion to bar the January 7, 2018, statement:Motion to Bar Jan 7 Statement ONLY