Baptist Minister Who Worked in Five States Accused of Abusing Teenagers
A Baptist minister from the Twin Cities has been accused of sexually abusing at least one teenager and has been suspended from his teaching job. We hope his former supervisors, colleagues and church members will call police with any suspicions or information about his behavior immediately. We also hope Baptist officials will immediately publicize this information, warn parents and parishioners, and encourage victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers to step forward.
Rev. Wesley Leon Feltner is lead pastor of preaching and vision at Berean Baptist in Burnsville, Minnesota. Until this week, Rev. Feltner was also on the faculty of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville and a pastoral candidate for First Baptist Church in Clarksville, kenticky. However, on Nov. 5, it came out that two women had accused Rev. Feltner “of manipulating them into secret relationships while he was their youth pastor at First Southern Baptist Church in Evansville, Indiana,” according to Baptist News Global.
Following this allegations, Rev. Feltner was suspended from his teaching post. Yet SNAP believes that more needs to be done in light of these disturbing allegations.
Rev. Feltner also worked at these churches: Grace Baptist Church in Murray KY (1996-1998), Bethlehem Baptist Church in Gastonia NC (1998-2000), Oak Park Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, IN (2003-2008), First Southern Baptist Church in Evansville, IN and Tabernacle Baptist Church in Decatur IL (2008-2013). We believe Baptist officials in every state where Rev. Feltner worked must use all resources at their disposal to beg victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers to make a report to law enforcement so Rev. Feltner will be prosecuted and kept away from children and the vulnerable.
Finally, we applaud the brave women - Megan Frey and JoAnna Hendrickson – who are speaking publicly about their experiences and we hope that others who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse or wrongdoing by Rev. Feltner will be inspired by their courageous example and will also come forward to seeking healing and accountability.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)