This is becoming a sadly familiar story. Yet another pastor in the rabidly anti-gay Church of God in Christ—the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States and the second largest African-American denomination—is accused of sexual misconduct against teenage boys. A Las Vegas pastor was arrested on 11 sexual abuse charges ... five years after a similar case against him was dropped, reports the Las Vegas Sun.
Billy Eckstine McCurdy, 57, pastor of the Revival Temple Church of God in Christ, was taken into custody at 1 p.m. Friday at his home in North Las Vegas without incident, police said. The alleged victims say they were forced into a sexual relationship with McCurdy, police said. They allege he used his position in the church and biblical scriptures to control them and force them into sex acts, police said.
Police said McCurdy spent a great deal of time with young people, including on youth trips to Arizona and California. Police said he conducted events at his home with young men, including sleepovers, and allowed teenagers — two victims involved in the case, among them — to live with him for extended periods. According to the criminal complaint, the alleged crimes happened between April 2007 and October 2009.
The teen boys testified at a grand jury, which indicted McCurdy last Thursday on six counts of sexual assault and five counts of open or gross lewdness. McCurdy is being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail, adds the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Detectives believe "other victims" have not come forward.
Similar charges were dropped in 2005, after North Las Vegas Police arrested McCurdy after a teenage boy told investigators the pastor fondled him while they slept in the same bed. Will McCurdy's congregation stand by their pastor ... again? Or will they blame the boys for coming forward?
This becomes only the latest charge of sexual misconduct within the Church of God in Christ, which is well known for attracting many closeted black gay men and rivals the Catholic Church for the many sexual predators within its leadership. COGIC is embroiled in numerous lawsuits and criminal investigations around clergy sexual abuse—there is a micro-site on the Church website—and has been accused of covering up sexual misconduct cases for decades. On January 30, a former COGIC pastor was sentenced to 20 years on charges he raped a teenage girl some 25 years ago. One church reportedly has four convicted pedophiles on its payroll. And in March 2010, an Alabama COGIC bishop was also accused of sexual misconduct.
In November 2010 at the Church of God in Christ's Holy Convocation Youth Service in Memphis, the infamously "ex-gay"—or should we say merely "re-closeted"—Grammy Award winning gospel singer Donnie McClurkin delivered an incendiary rant against gays and gay youth and compared them to vampires. Glass houses, stones, etc..