Pastor and former police chaplain arrested for child sex abuse

Pastor and former police chaplain arrested for child sex abuse January 1, 2019

HERE we go again … it seems that not a day passes without reports cropping up of God’s representatives being nabbed for abusing a child, or children.


The latest report comes from California, where John Rodgers McFarland, 66, above, head pastor at several Southern California churches, was arrested in Fullerton in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred while he was visiting relatives in Escondido.

He’s accused of two felony charges of lewd acts committed against a child between July 26, 2012 and July 23, 2013, according to a criminal complaint provided by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. The child is identified in the complaint as a girl under the age of 14.

McFarland has worked and lived in the Orange County area so law enforcement authorities believe there may be additional victims, according to Gloria Scott of the Fountain Valley Police Department.

Investigators executed search warrants at McFarland’s Fullerton home, his place of employment and the Fountain Valley Methodist Church.

McFarland is the current pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton, where he has worked since 2014. Prior to that, he served as the head pastor of Fountain Valley United Methodist Church for 26 years, police said.

He also served as a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach from 2009 to 2014.

Fountain Valley police said in a news release:

There is evidence that McFarland abused other victims during his time as a pastor in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach.

McFarland worked as a chaplain within the Fountain Valley Police Department from 1993 to 2014, according to Sgt Antonius Spangler.

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  • Broga

    I’m shocked at this news. Not that a pastor is abusing kids but that he is being prosecuted. Up till recently sexually abusing “little children” was assumed to be one of the perks of being a preacher.

  • barriejohn

    Here’s an old question: Do they deliberately join the priesthood in order to abuse children, or do they, once in office, find it easy and yield to the temptation? (Of course, according to idiots like Bill Donohue they are innocent ingénues who are seduced by these wicked children, but we don’t need to waste time considering THAT explanation.)

  • laura1919

    Can’t say I know their motivations until I can read minds, but it seems to me that any environment where adults with limited qualifications (religious “education” or sports coaching) are put in charge of children, and are guaranteed some degree of privacy (churches and locker rooms spring to mind) would seem ideal places for paedophiles to thrive.

  • Jim Baerg

    Do we have accurate statistics to say that a greater fraction of pastors are child sex abusers than the general population? Or is it that I’m hearing about those cases on non or anti religious web sites? The apparently greater chance of not getting punished would be an attraction to the job for sex abusers.