An anti-gay pastor has been charged with sexually assaulting multiple young boys at his Alabama congregation.
Pastor John Martin, of the Lighthouse Baptist Church of Florence, Alabama confessed to his congregation that he disgraced his family by having sex with two young boys. Members of his congregation then reported his crimes to authorities.
Martin was arrested on Friday, July 5 on four charges of first-degree sexual abuse.
One victim stated that the abuse began when he was 12 years old. According to the victim, one incident occurred at a birthday party for Martin’s son. The victim told police that Martin climbed into the tent of the boy when everyone else had fallen asleep.
According to the court records, Martin assaulted numerous boys from his church. Martin performed sex acts on the boys and forced the boys to perform sex acts on him.
Besides his church duties Martin also worked as a bus driver for a local school. One victim told police that Martin showed him nude photos while he was on the bus. The victim said that on multiple occasions Martin texted him to ask him “if he touched himself” that day.
Lighthouse Baptist Church which John Martin works at is part of the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) denomination that holds extremist anti-LGBT beliefs.
From the church’s website:
“We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance.”
The church continues,
“We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman.”
The church also believes that men are the leaders of the family. Women are not allowed to serve as pastors. Additionally, the church does not believe in divorce and expects members to remain married until they die. Corporal punishment of children is also approved by the church to keep them in line.
John Martin’s bail has been set at $60,000., he will be required to wear an ankle monitor and cannot have contact with minor children.