NEWS DIGEST: Texas, Mississippi youth pastors arrested on sexual abuse charges

Texas youth minister arrested on sexual assault charges

LUBBOCK, Texas (BP) – A Texas youth minister was arrested in Lubbock June 19 for alleged sexual assault. Luke Cunningham, 41, was a youth pastor at Lakeside Baptist in Granbury, Texas. He was accused earlier this month of assaulting a minor at another church.

In a letter to members, Lakeside Baptist leaders said upon learning the news, they immediately suspended Cunningham and conducted an inquiry. That inquiry produced information that led to Cunningham’s firing and a report to law enforcement.

News outlet KDFW reported that Cunningham was charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault.

Prior to serving at Lakeside, Cunningham had been on staff at Turning Point Church in Lubbock.

Former Mississippi youth pastor arrested for sexual battery

LONG BEACH, Miss. (BP) – A former youth pastor has been arrested after an investigation that began in 2022. John Douglas Jones was youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Long Beach but has not been employed there since the investigation began.

Jones was indicted by a grand jury and arrested earlier this month. He is charged with two counts of sexual battery and one count of touching a child for lustful purposes.

Vicksburg News reported that Jones, who also served as a reserve deputy with the Harrison County Sherriff’s Department from 2018-2022, met the alleged victim through a church activity.

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