Church bans children from Sunday services so convicted sex offender can preach.

I saw this image this morning and rolled by eyes.  There’s plenty wrong with the behavior of hardcore believers that we don’t need to be stretching with obvious bullshit like this.

A church in Jacksonville, Florida is coming under fire for its controversial decision to ban children from its church services. Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has banned children from attending Sunday services because their new pastor, Darrell Gilyard, is a registered sex offender and cannot have contact with children.

Then I decided to fact-check it so I could stop the flow of misinformation.

Holy shit, it’s true.

A convicted sex offender can keep on preaching, but children are barred from attending his sermons.

The Florida Times Union reports that lawyers for Darrell Gilyard withdrew a motion to allow minors at sermons conducted by the former Jacksonville, Fla., megachurch pastor.

Though children are not allowed, attendance at the Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has spiked since Gilyard began preaching in January, less than two months after he was released from prison, according to the Times Union.

Molest teens?  You can still preach away.  Love someone of the same sex?  It’s a one way ticket to hell for that lot.  If this is what the moral high ground is like, I’ll pass.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • RuQu

    Okay, this is going too far.

    Are they seriously trying to take away our ability to satirize them?

  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Yet it is we atheists who have no basis for morality and all is moral relativism to us.
    *shakes head*

  • Alexander Cherry

    On one hand, I believe in second chances – and sex offender laws generally do not (for sometimes justifiable reasons).

    On the other hand, looking into the actual facts of the case, this just seems reckless. Especially since his previous offense was specifically “from the pulpit.”

    On the bright side, at least children aren’t attending.

    • ah58

      I agree that I find a sliver lining in this story because children will be receiving less brainwashing.

    • Kaoru Negisa

      Exactly my thought. The kids no longer have to suffer that sort of pointless moralizing. Many will go to new churches, but maybe a few will stop going all together now.

    • shadowspring

      But children are the ones being excluded (and effectively shamed) rather than the criminal. That says a lot about how much this congregation values young people. What are they supposed to think about themselves now?

  • Jaime Wise

    Made me feel sick to read. I don’t understand why “I want to preach” somehow makes everything okay. Why would you even want moral guidance from someone so depraved?

    • John Evans

      Remember, repenting and asking for God’s forgiveness wipes the slate clean.

      • cag

        Remember, toilet paper wipes the ass clean. Beats god every time.

  • Steph

    Sounds good to me. Put sex offenders in all the churches, and then no kids will have to go to them and be indoctrinated. Best way to protect the kids they’ve come up with yet.

    • kagekiri

      Well, no, you’d need to be more specific. You wouldn’t want average sex offenders in the church: you want registered sex offenders in the church. Otherwise, kids get brainwashed AND molested, a la Catholic priests.

      And honestly, JT’s summary is giving that church WAY too much credit. It’d be bad enough if they were hiring a child molestor and wanting to keep kids out, but the church leaders WANT kids/minors in the church during sermons. They just have to keep the kids out because it’s the law, which they were fighting legally to get around.

  • pjmaertz

    This is a double bonus: it keeps children away from a child molester and it keeps the completely untrue and horrible idea of eternal torture out of their brains. So this church is doing it’s community a great service!

  • Brad1990

    If they want to ban children from their church I’m all for it. The less of the poor kids get indoctrinated with the bullshit, the better. What get’s me is this:

    “Though children are not allowed, attendance at the Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has spiked since Gilyard began preaching in January, less than two months after he was released from prison, according to the Times Union.”

    Attendance SPIKED!? WTF?! “I can’t bring my kids in case the Pastor can’t control himself and ends up buggering them over the alter? By heck I’d better tell my friends about this! We could certainly learn how to be a better person from a sex criminal!”. Seriously, WTF?

  • raytheist

    wow… I wonder how many of these attending are actually interested in what this guy has to say, and how many just want a couple hours without the kids. I also wonder the calibre of person showing up regularly and what all those grown-ups are doing behind closed doors.



  • Janie Scott

    I agree with the people who are happy that this will keep kids from going to church. It’s hard to believe that attendance has spiked (curiosity?) and that the church wanted kids to be able to attend services, but, hopefully, some kids will be less indoctrinated.

  • Chana Messinger

    Do we know why he’s a registered sex offender? Our sex offender laws are pretty out of whack, so it’s possible he’s not particularly dangerous at all.