Dr. Wes Feltner, Berean Baptist, Clergy Sexual Misconduct
An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:6-9
I recently posted a critique of Pastor Wes Feltner’s public statement here: Dissecting Victim (oops) Pastor Wes Feltner’s Public Statement. Wes Feltner used his position of authority to engage in clergy sexual misconduct with at least two of his students who were under his watch as their Youth Pastor. After this, he went on leave from his pastorate position.
Over the weekend on Twitter, word was going around that Pastor Wes Feltner has stepped down from his position. And a statement was read to congregants first at the Saturday evening service:
This is what needed to be done (regardless of the reason). I do not take delight in this, but for the sake of Christ’s Church, it must be done. He disqualified himself from being an elder decades ago. He should have done this decades ago for the right reasons, and other church leaders should have made it happen. Just because time has gone under the bridge and there may not have been any more sexual misconduct, the Bible does not say that pastors get a free pass after a certain length of time has gone by.
Think about it. What does it do to survivors emotionally and spiritually when they see their sexual predator behind a pulpit? How can they choose to be behind a pulpit and preach against sexual immorality when they themselves committed sexual immorality . . . . AND to young women they are supposed to be shepherding?
At the very least, we should have seen Feltner take responsibility for his clergy sexual misconduct. That hasn’t happened according to several reports I read.
Eric Larson noted an interesting website for Wes Feltner. Perhaps he’s known his pastor “ship” was sinking for a while.
And finally, this comment was left on my old post from a congregant of Berean Baptist. When you have a pastor you love and respect, it is very difficult to hear anything bad about them, even when truth is exposed. The anger needs to go somewhere, I guess.
Continue to pray for Berean Baptist. Pray that they will understand what happened and why he needed to step down. Pray that they will find the truth and My heart truly aches for his other victims, his family. Imagine what his wife has endured first while he was dating Feltner – and knowing he was using his position to influence and take advantage of his students sexually. What a way to start a marriage! But now she is facing the consequences of her husband’s unrepentance. That has got to be a very lonely and embarrassing place. Let’s also not forget his children and how confusing this must be to them. It would be one thing if there was a humbling and remorseful response to model to his family, but based on his most recent public statement, it seems unlikely.
I hope Wes Feltner heeds his own words: