Peeing Pastor

Opinion: Hidden Identity of “Peeing Pastor” Reveals Different Standards for Evangelical Celebrities

By Julie Roys

Apparently, there’s one set of standards for regular people and another for celebrity pastors—even in the secular world. 

Recently, someone identified merely as “a well-known pastor from North Carolina” urinated on a passenger on a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit. (Yes, you read that correctly. In the middle of a flight about a week and a half ago, a woman was rudely awakened by a man peeing on her. And according to news reports, the perpetrator is a prominent pastor.)

Normally, the name of the perpetrator would be public record. After all, the man was taken into custody by the FBI and issued a citation for misdemeanor assault. And the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) mandates that the public has a right to records from federal agencies. 

But today, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that federal and state authorities in Michigan are continuing to withhold the pastor’s identity.

Ronald Wright, a professor of criminal law at the Wake Forest University School of Law, told the Journal that he suspects federal authorities are using an exception to FOIA.

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“In the short run, they are saying they can withhold the (pastor’s) name until the court process gets underway,” Wright said.

He added that once the case is filed in federal court, the records must become public. Normally, this process takes a few hours, Wright said. But here we are, a week and a half after the citation was issued, and there’s nothing.

“I’ve never run into this,” Wright said.

This is chilling. Over the past several years, I have seen evangelical celebrities wield their influence within their own organizations and the “evangelical industrial complex” to cover up all manner of sins. But I never would have guessed a megachurch pastor could impose his will on the FBI.   

To me, the story now isn’t so much about a pastor peeing on someone, which is bad enough. It’s about all that’s transpired to cover it up.

Another chilling aspect of this story is that the victim is no longer speaking.

Alicia Beverly
Alicia Beverly tells her story to a Fox 2 Detroit reporter.

Immediately following the incident, the woman who was unceremoniously doused—Alicia Beverly—was quite talkative and spoke with a TV crew. But now, Beverly’s not saying a thing. I reached out to Beverly but haven’t received any response.

This is quite common in the evangelical world. Normally, such silencing involves money and an NDA. It’s unbelievably carnal, but sadly, incredibly common.

I have no idea if anything like this has happened in this case. But I do see indications that the pastor has quickly marshalled his forces.

The initial report of the incident mentioned that “representatives for the pastor” claimed that the pastor “was suffering from a reaction to a sleep aid he took.”

I have a feeling these “representatives” are working overtime right now. I can only imagine the scrambling that’s happening behind the scenes to keep this whole situation under wraps.

But how sad.

This is what the evangelical machine has produced—pastors who are such an embarrassment that they need a team to cover up their bad behavior.  These men and their “representatives” are an insult to the many hard-working, godly, and underpaid pastors that comprise the bulk of evangelicalism. And they’re an insult to the Bride of Christ. It grieves me to see this happening.

I will continue to follow this story, but I’m beginning to wonder if the truth will ever come to light.

According to the Winston Salem Journal, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has cancelled its “misdemeanor ticket call” because of the coronavirus pandemic. And according to a court spokesperson, there is no date set for it to resume.  

Perhaps in the meantime, this pastor and his “representatives” could do the Christian thing and confess this bad behavior and apologize. But I doubt it. There is a brand to protect and likely millions of dollars at stake.

And clearly, the rules that apply to us don’t apply to this pastor.



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31 thoughts on “Opinion: Hidden Identity of “Peeing Pastor” Reveals Different Standards for Evangelical Celebrities”

  1. Richard DeVries

    Julie, I do enjoy — no, appreciate — your articles like no one else so researches. But for this story,
    I seem to have seen another article on this that proves it was not as reported. The victim blamed someone who happened to be near her but this pastor was not even on this flight. I will not believe this woman’s false claims as if she is out to get someone religious. Any one. As the Liberal Democrats are trying to do.

    I did recently purchase a book that you featured, I’m just starting to read it.

    1. That is interesting. That so many supposed “Journalists”who are quick to believe a Pastor would urinate on someone refuse to also report that it is possible that the so called “Pastor” was not even on the flight.

    2. Richard,

      I encourage you to read the Winston-Salem Journal article linked in my piece. Multiple authorities have confirmed that there was a pastor cited for a misdemeanor on the flight–Mara Schneider, a spokeswoman for the Detroit office of the FBI, and Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit.

  2. Why anyone would urinate on someone else is beyond me. But, as one who has numbered 2’d on (not literally) several times can also understand the frustration of no one helping from whom would think the help comes from.

    1. Dirk,
      We’ve had our differences in the past, sorry you’ve got “number 2nd” on. It’s a crappy life, what can one say. :)

      But seriously folks, what is going on in this world?

  3. I can’t believe it’s this difficult to deduce the identity of this man. Not a single passenger has stepped forward who witnessed anything? Not a single video of the arrest or of the commotion caused by the victim’s screams in the middle of a red eye flight? No member of the flight crew willing to talk anonymously? Do we even know the airline? How many megachurch pastors in NC were in Las Vegas recently and then flew to Detroit … which seems a kind of far-from-home itinerary in a pandemic? Who are this man’s representatives? And from where and to whom are they issuing statements on his behalf? So far, this story seems half-baked.

    1. It’s not half-baked. Follow the link in the story to the Winston-Salem Journal article: “A U.S. District Court violation notice or ticket was issued to the pastor by the FBI and was forwarded to the Central Violations Bureau of the U.S. Courts, said Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit.”

      But I agree that it’s stunning no one has come forward. Makes me wonder what’s really going on.

  4. My first thought was-maybe he was sleep walking. There’s not enough of amy sort of evidence to conclude anything

    1. He was probably drunk and woke up from being passed out and peed where he thought was a toilet but the real story isnt gross men doing gross things it is the cover up. Trust no one

  5. Julie, I am very disappointed in this article. I have followed you since your outstanding investigative journalism covering James MacDonald’s exploits.

    But this, as well as a couple other articles, have made me question your journalism and your intentions for writing at all. I know this is labeled as an opinion piece, but there are still a lot of definitive statements and assumptions made about this so-called pastor from North Carolina.

    It may well turn out to be a pastor. It also may not. So why all the criticism of the “evangelical celebrity machine”, when you have no idea whether this is a pastor or not?

    I sincerely hope that you reconsider whether this article should remain on your site. If nothing is done to correct this, it just may be the end of my support. There are enough slanderous and presumptuous articles coming from secular “news” sites; we don’t need this in the family of God.

    1. There is an FBI spokesperson and a spokesperson for the U.S. District Atty’s office saying the offender is a pastor. Those are very credible sources. I don’t know why you think his identity as a pastor is in question.

      1. This situation is so bizarre and unique that the bias comes out in the article Julie. I can’t fathom anyone let alone a pastor in their right mind publicly urinating on someone during a flight, just cause he can do it. So I could understand delicacy in the initial handling.

        I can also see if the person had sleep walking, medication, or mental issues that there would be delicacy. I can also see his team wanting to cover up this embarrassing situation and the victim knowing the real details saying, I’ll take the money because he wasn’t in his right mind.

        I’ve dealt with a sleepwalker who got up and started urinating right on someone. The person could not be woken. I just cleaned up the mess and helped the other person affected. We never embarrassed the poor brought it up besides the danger of sleepwalking.

        Hopefully that’s all it is. I have no skin in the game. I just see so many questions that go beyond the line of attack in this report. Why would someone urinate and expose himself in a plane? It’s a tight cluster of people. You’ll be seen. The victim would respond and alert others easily. TSA has cracked down so much that if you get up when the captain or anyone says stay seated, you risk arrest.

        So a little more open questions right now rather than 2 rules for plebes and celebrities might be in order.

        I feel that after some great work, you’ve moved to click bait. I hope this is not the future of reporting in the Christian realm. Jim

  6. It certainly could turn out that a reaction to a sleep medication is just a covering, or that it is indeed the truth, and that the various initial headlines about the incident were “spiced up” to indicate something more nefarious. Even in that case, I suppose the responsibility of the use of the medicine still lies with the pastor. And I understand that none of that addresses your frustration Julie. You have braved deceptive situations in the past, and recognize signs from your experience. I have to say I hope you are wrong about this one, and you probably do too, but I agree soemthing seems amiss. God bless you!

  7. While I don’t know the details of the case, it’s possible that this was a legitimate reaction to the sleep aid as stated above. If the alleged offender was over (or close to) the age of 65, he may have been more prone to having bizarre reactions to the sleep aid. Older people metabolize medications differently. In particular, they are susceptible to negative effects (such as delirium or confusion) from medications with anticholinergic properties.

    Source: I’m a pharmacist.

  8. Where is it revealed that the “prominent pastor” is an evangelical? There are plenty of prominent pastors in North Carolina that would not come under the evangelical umbrella.

  9. Clearly the pastor is a pervert. We can expect that secular people as instruments of satan would do the wrong thing and cover his sin. In Lev.19:17 God says “You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.” That means that Alicia is also a willing participant in his sin.

    1. How can you say that the woman who was peed on is somehow a willful participant and guilty of wrongdoing? She was asleep and when she woke to the pastor peeing on her she reported it and filed a formal complaint. How is she a willing participant? And what does the verse in Leviticus have to do with the situation? How does that verse prove she was a willing participant?

  10. All I can say there’s something rather potty about a pastor going potty on somebody.

    Pun intended.

    God knows what’s up so He can do some divine sense of humor justice here.

  11. I’m starting an office pool if anyone wants to get in on this. I’ll call Jerry and James to see if they want to as well. Who do you think it is? Bets starting at $20, winner take all.

  12. As the pharmacist commented above, there are medications that can make you do things that you have no control over, for explain look up the interactions with Ambien. I t is very possible that this was totally an accident and if it were you who was involved wouldn’t you want folks to believe it was an accident? Who knows why the lady isn’t talking , could be a number of reasons. I know this , if I accidentally did what this pastor did, I would definitely do everything I could to keep it quiet to prevent embarrassment to me and my family too. Do you folks really think a person in their normal mind would pee on someone on a crowded flight for some perverted pleasure? Being drunk is one thing , but a medication side effect is something else entirely.

      1. Sorry, just caught your new post. PBT .175 in Michigan is above the legal limit for drunk driving. Report says he took an [REDACTED]. “An” and a sleeping med would likely be Ambien.

        I don’t want to be like Noah’s son and disrespect a brother when he wasn’t at his best…

        God, please help the woman victim and please help Daniel overcome whatever is going on in his life right now that he would combine that level of alcohol and sleeping aid. We all sin and in this COVID age it’s easy to stumble. Please help bring restoration to the situation. Bring healing and freedom as people turn to You. In Jesus’ name.

  13. Just a puzzling sidebar: How does/what perhaps goes through the mind of/ has it been researched how an evangelical senior pastor who has committed adultery – can later stand up and preach to his congregation on 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6?

  14. Your website and articles continue to confirm the reasons that I left Evangelical Christianity. It is anemic and shallow and the leaders showcase this.

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