Successful Florida child sex sting operation lands pastor in handcuffs.

Successful Florida child sex sting operation lands pastor in handcuffs. September 16, 2016

Yet another example of religion being used as a shield to continue abysmal behavior rather than as an influence to unmake it:

Also arrested was David Donald Hoppenjan, 52, who has served as senior pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Pace, just outside Pensacola, since last year.

Police said Hoppenjan traveled to two locations in an effort to have sex with a 14-year-old boy.

Hoppenjan spent nine years as executive pastor at Shalimar United Methodist Church in Florida, according to He also served as the youth pastor at Wetumpka First United Methodist Church in Alabama, reported.

The pastor’s biography has been scrubbed from the church’s website, but screen shots of his profile reveal that Hoppenjan has five children, grew up in Wisconsin and has a degree in agriculture education with an emphasis on business.

“As a second-career pastor, I received my call to ministry in my mid-30s,” he said in his church bio. “At that time, we moved from Wetumpka, Ala., to Wilmore, Ky., where I graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in May 2006. I have served as executive pastor at Shalimar UMC since January of 2006.

“Recently, I returned from Panajachel, Guatemala, where I worked with the ministry of Porch de’Salomon. … This trip reinforced my heart for missions and outreach and my desire to support the work of missions from outside our back door to all around the world. While in Shalimar, I was involved in YMCA, Covenant Hospice, Children in Crisis, Habitat for Humanity, as well as local schools as a parent, a volunteer and a church member helping out in any way possible.”

All you have to do is quote the bible and whole churches of people who equate that with morality can even take on a child molester as their moral leader.

And the usual point stands: the police rightly prevented this group of men, and this pastor, from further harming children. Mortals, given knowledge and ability, generally try to prevent suffering. But what of god who began with both knowledge of these deeds and the ability to stop them and, if you think god answers prayers, then you clearly think he has no problem interacting with the world.

But god was content to watch. If the police had found him there, they would’ve arrested him too.

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