Churches Move to Improve Vetting of Clergymen Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

The issue of screening persons who intend on taking up positions in the Church has once again been brought to the forefront of discussions.

This, following news that another man of the cloth has been charged with sexual offences against a minor.

Independent Baptist Pastor, Lehman Webster was yesterday charged with rape and assault occasioning bodily harm.

The pastor allegedly sexually assaulted a young girl in October last year. He’s the fourth pastor in recent times to make headlines in the Jamaican media in connection with sexual offences.

Some weeks ago, Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with two persons under 16-years-old.

Several churches recently met in an effort to come up with interventions that could minimise the likelihood of church leaders being involved in acts of immorality.

Bishop Conrad Pitkin says they’ve developed a template for ethical principles that can be used as a guideline for churches. Bishop Pitkin is the President of the Jamaica Association of Full Gospel Churches and Pastor of Faith Temple Assembly of God in Montego Bay, St James.

President of the Jamaican Evangelical Alliance, Bishop Dr. Alvin Bailey says the ethical principles in the policy seek to find out the people’s lifestyles before they decided to become Church leaders.

Meanwhile, another Religious Leader, Pastor of the Sligoville Circuit of Baptist Churches, Reverend Clinton Chisolm says the Church needs to speak more openly about sensitive issues.

The three Religious leaders were speaking on Nationwide’s ‘This Morning.’

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