The Miami New Times reports that a Jacksonville, FL church has banned children from services, a legal and precautionary measure to keep their pastor, a convicted sex offender, in the pulpit.
Because a court has ruled Pastor Darrell Gilyard is not allowed to have “unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old” after Gilyard pleaded guilty to charges of lewd conduct and lewd molestation in 2009, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist ChurchÂ has decided to ban kids from its Sunday services.
Released from jail on December 28, 2011, Gilyard began preaching at the Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in late January.
“Somehow I will prove that life isn’t over when one has committed a crime for which he receives this heinous label,” GilyardÂ told a Jacksonville.com reporterÂ through text message. “You don’t have to languish on the fringes of society.”
Oddly, Gilyard’s arrival at the church has caused a spike in attendance. Before Gilyard joined the church about 10 members came to service. Now the numbers are between 150 and 200.