Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Convicted child sex offender Cynthia Denise Stewart is music and worship director at a Southern Baptist church in San Antonio, TX

In 2012, Cynthia Denise Stewart was sentenced to six years in prison in Texas for online solicitation of a child. She texted nude photos of herself to a 15-year-old boy and spurred illicit conversations on Facebook. Stewart was a counselor at an elementary school in the Judson Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. Stewart was ordered by state District Judge Juanita Vasquez-Gardner to register as a sex offender.

*update: since my post went up, Denise has been editing her Facebook profile. I archived it here earlier today. 

Stewart, who worked at Olympia Elementary in Universal City, has been in custody since November, after parents of the boy approached authorities with printouts of their son's Facebook chats. In the online conversations, Stewart is seen telling him to delete all conversations because she could lose her job, court documents state.
Weeks after she was taken into custody, Judson trustees voted unanimously to fire her.
Under a plea agreement reached last month, Stewart pleaded no contest to online solicitation of a minor, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, in exchange for prosecutors remaining silent on her application for probation.
At the defense's request, Vasquez-Gardner added later that she might “possibly” retain jurisdiction of the case, which would leave open the possibility for Stewart's early release from prison — at the judge's discretion — on shock probation in the next six months. Shock probation is a reduction in a sentence given after a person serves several months in prison to “shock” them into behaving lawfully.
Neither the teen nor his parents confronted Stewart during the hearing. But in a letter to the judge, the parents described the defendant as a child predator who used her friendship with the family and background in counseling to groom their son.
“Prior to our discovery, Cindy would often ask me about my children, specifically our 15-year-old,” the letter states. “We appreciated her concern, since she often reminded us that she is a counselor and knows how to motivate kids.”
The decision to approach law enforcement was difficult given the attention they knew the case would receive, the parents said.
“But we knew we couldn't live with her being in the school setting with children in the future,” they wrote.
Denise Stewart, according to her Facebook profile, currently works at Weidner Road Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas as the music and worship director. Weidner Road is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Former Highpoint Church pastor Chris Conlee allegedly fired for physical assault of female staff member

According to a local, trusted source, Highpoint Church in Memphis fired its founding pastor Chris Conlee for assaulting a female staff member. Instead of reporting the assault to the police, church leaders paid Conlee and another disgraced, sexually abusive pastor, Andy Savage, a portion of about $700,000 in severance pay, according to a church financial statement of activities.

If other low level staffers also received a severance package in 2018, what percentage of the total amount was doled out to these staffers and what percentage was doled out to Chris Conlee and Andy Savage?

The "employee settlement expenses" are listed under Non-operating income (expense). Also listed are "professional consultation and legal fees" of $251,019. 

At the time of the public release of Jules Woodson's story of sexual abuse by her then youth pastor, Andy Savage, Highpoint Church was a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. They have since removed their church from the convention. 

Did Highpoint Church elders tell the congregation that their financial donations were going to pay off abusive pastors?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Bill Hybels admits to purchasing and viewing child pornography in his book Christians in a Sex Crazed Culture

Bill Hybels' book Christians in a Sex Crazed Culture was published in 1989 by Scripture Press Publications which was purchased by David C. Cook publishers. Cook is currently listed as the publisher for Hybels' book in which he admits to purchasing and viewing child pornography in the guise of research. This is criminal. All child pornography materials that Bill Hybels allegedly obtained needed to be immediately turned over to law enforcement.

  • Did Hybels or his assistant report to police the source from whom they obtained these criminal materials?
  • Did Hybels or his assistant turn over these materials to police?
  • Does Hybels still possess the videos?
  • Scripture Press Publications published the book in which he admitted to crimes of purchasing and viewing child pornography. The president at the time was David Hall. Scripture Press allowed this? Did they report Hybels’ crimes?
  • David C. Cook is now the publisher of this book. Does he know? If so, has he made a report to police? Why is this book still in publication?
As a pastor, Bill Hybels was not qualified, nor was he legally able to do “research” of child pornography. This is all kinds of disturbing, wrong and criminal.

I have made a report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 

New York Times: Bill Hybels built an iconic evangelical church outside Chicago. A former assistant says that in the 1980s, he sexually harassed her.
hat in the 1980s, he sexually harassed her.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Former children's minister at The Village Church indicted for 2012 child sexual assault in TX at church camp

This is is very concerning:
We anticipate and understand questions about why Matt Tonne left staff and whether this case had anything to do with his transition. We removed Matt from The Village Church staff in June of 2018 for other reasons, and we communicated those specific issues to our staff, as well as to members and volunteers in his ministry department at that time.
Were there red flags that The Village Church has not disclosed as the reason for children's minister Matt Tonne's termination in the summer of 2018? According to a Facebook post from Matt Tonne's wife Kristen Tonne, Matt was asked to leave the staff at The Village Church because of "some sin reasons." 
So back to the past few months, some not pretty things happened. My husband was asked to leave the staff @ TVC after being on staff there for over 11 years because of some sin reasons I won’t get into on social media. {if you want to know, just ask us. Come straight to us. We are an open book}.

She also posted in September 2018 that she had almost lost her husband Matt to suicide in May 2018 after "months of suffering so hard." 

Kristin shared that their family is now attending Valley Creek Church in Flower Mound, Texas. 

According to The Village Church statement, Matt Tonne turned himself in and is now out on bond. 

Along with Dee Parsons at The Wartburg Watch, I previously covered a disturbing case at The Village Church in which church leaders harassed a young woman who left their church and obtained an annulment from her husband whom she had reported for child pornography. 

The Village Church is a Southern Baptist megachurch with several locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It is also part of the Acts 29 Network. The lead pastor is Matt Chandler who is president of Acts 29 Network. 

I received an email today from a longtime member at The Village Church with email communication information from May and June 2018 regarding Matt Tonne.

From: "Matt McCauley" 
Subject: Update Regarding Matt Tonne
Date: May 23, 2018 at 3:26:55 PM CDT

Kids Village volunteers and families, 
You are receiving this email because we love and care for you, and part of that care involves informing you of significant news directly affecting Kids Village and its staff. 
As of today, Matt Tonne is taking a leave of absence from staff for personal reasons. I’m sure this information raises questions, specifically regarding his care and how Kids Village will be affected. We ask that you extend trust to us, knowing that Matt’s Home Group, KV staff, and the Elders are caring for him and that Kids Village will continue to provide excellent programming for our elementary children. During Matt’s absence, we will be bringing in some temporary help for VBS, weekend services, and other needs in the elementary ministry. 
We are so grateful for Matt and his 11 years of service to The Village Church and know many of you have been blessed by his faithful work. We encourage you to pray for him and his family during this time. Additionally, we will be collecting cards to be delivered to Matt if you wish to write him a note of encouragement. You can drop your card or note off at the Kids Village check-in desk during services this weekend or next weekend. This will by far be the best and most helpful way of communicating with him. 
As always, if you have questions please feel free to contact us. Jenny Kisner and I are happy to hear from you by email, phone call, or in person. 
Matt McCauley
Family Minister--The Village Church Flower Mound Campus 

The June 15, 2018 email from Matt Chandler to church members stated that Matt Tonne was removed from his position at the church as a result of an alcohol abuse problem.

Hello Kids Village Volunteers and Families, 
I need to give you a difficult update regarding Matt Tonne. I wish I could share this news in person, but due to the amount of people involved it's best to share this with you via email as an update to our earlier news about Matt's leave of absence. 
Last week we removed Matt from his role as associate elementary minister in Flower Mound. This decision is the result of an alcohol abuse problem and is heartbreaking for all of us. Matt's preference was for you to know the specific reason for his removal rather than receiving a vague and general update about it. 
We have offered ongoing care for Matt and his family as a Covenant Member of The Village. Our hope and prayer is that he finds complete freedom, and that this action will be a severe mercy that leads him to Christ for healing and hope. If you know Matt well, please feel free to encourage him. If you don't know him well, this isn't a good time to connect with him.  
In this transition, we have brought on Jenna Marshall and Jenni Hamm to assist us through VBS. 
We know this news may be difficult to hear because of Matt's faithfulness over the years. The Elders and Pastors prayerfully believe this is what is best for both the Tonne family and the Church. If you have questions about this news, or need help on how to share this news with your kids, please let me or Jenny Kisner know. Thank you for your prayers for the Tonne family and for us as we move forward.

Christ is All,
Matt Chandler

Matt Tonne's criminal trial date is pending.

Story in The Christian Post