The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sell
Some of the following story was shown on the Christian television program The 700 Club a few days ago, and I watched most of it.
This pastor was molesting at least one of his own kids, a daughter.
If I recall the interview with her correctly, I think she said that his molestation of her caused her to leave the Christian faith. I am not sure how she identifies herself today, if she would say she is an atheist or agnostic or what not.
This goes to show that yes, the behavior of self-professing believers of whatever world view (Christian, Islam, atheism, what have you) can negatively impact someone to the point they want nothing to do with the respective world view / faith.
I also related to the poor wife who said she was expecting people (I would gather especially Christian friends) to gather round her in her time of need (after her ex- husband was arrested) but nobody stepped forward.
I know that feeling of abandonment all too well, though in my case, it happened in the context of the death of my mother – Christian friends and family either avoided me during my time of grief or lectured and scolded me.
Here is the report?
SOMERSET, Pa. – John and Clara Hinton arrived in Somerset, Pennsylvania in 1972. Just two years into their marriage and with a young daughter, the young couple was eager to start their ministry at the Somerset Church of Christ, a small congregation in the rural community.
John had completed a Bible degree at Oklahoma Christian University and served as a youth pastor when he stepped into the pulpit.
‘I wish my husband was like yours’: The Respected Dad
The two would go on to have eleven children and Clara considered John to be a model husband and father. She described him as soft-spoken and thoughtful, fixing her breakfast every morning.
“He was my spiritual leader. We would spend many hours talking about God and our faith and our service within the church,” she said.
He was also engaged with their children, never missing a game or a concert. “He played with them. He hung out with them. He was that person,” said Clara. “In fact, women in the church would often tell me ‘I wish my husband was like yours.'”
…Even as he and his mother perceived an ideal family life, John Hinton kept his double life hidden.
Both Clara and Jimmy told CBN News that they never suspected that John was abusing kids.
“None of us ever suspected that he was abusing anybody in any capacity – let alone the worst kind of abuse you could imagine,” said Jimmy.
One day one of his daughters found him locked in his office looking at pornography.
Clara later confronted him. “When I asked him what in the world that was about he said ‘oh I was just researching for sermons.’ He said ‘I’m going to do a series of sermons on porn.’ And he said ‘how can you teach on porn if you don’t know what it’s about?’ He said ‘I was preparing sermon topics.’ And I believed him.”
The master pedophile seemed to always have an answer for anyone who questioned any strange behavior.
But one of his victims was growing up and at age 20, she realized that not only had John Hinton abused her, he was still preying on other kids.
Revealing the Abuser
The victim who would turn the tables on John Hinton was actually his youngest daughter Alex.
[The articles goes on to describe how Alex started remembering bits and pieces of her father’s abuse of her when she was younger. She began doing more and more research, online, of what red flags to look for in an abused child and in an abuser. It was then that she started realizing her father had abused her previously, and that he had other child victims. She remembered her father having young children of other parents spend time with him in his own bed. She told her brother about the abuse. They reported their father to the police.]
…Authorities found more than enough to convict John Hinton.
Somerset Police charged him with 200 counts including rape of a child, indecent assault of a child, designing obscene materials and possession of child pornography.
In June of 2012, Somerset County Judge John Cascio sentenced the 62-year-old to a minimum of 30 years in state prison.
After the Arrest
…Jimmy remembers the conversations. “When he got arrested they would ask me ‘how’s your dad doing?'” he said. “At first I would answer it. And I would be polite but then after a while, I just thought – ‘not one person has asked how my dad’s victims are doing.’ And so I started to answer people. I’d say ‘well he’s doing fine. It’s his victims who aren’t doing well.'”
Clara [the ex wife of the pedophile pastor] had hoped for personal support and felt crushed when it didn’t come. “You think people are going to run up to you and hug you and embrace you and say ‘let me pray with you. How can I help you?’ And that didn’t happen. So, it’s been a lonely road,” she said.
Alex has traveled a road that’s not uncommon for abuse victims of spiritual leaders. She stopped attending church and has no desire to go back. “I don’t like the idea of God as a fatherly thing,” she said. “If that’s who He is He wasn’t there for me. If my dad was supposed to be someone who was spreading His word – that’s not the case at all,” she said.
Entire article is here