Pastor accused of abuse top candidate at Tenn. church

"Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which employed Feltner as an adjunct professor before the allegations came to light, suspended him Wednesday... Feltner is senior pastor of Berean Baptist Church, a non-Southern Baptist congregation in Burnsville [MN]. Berean is investigating the accusations, it said in a statement Wednesday, using 'outside, neutral and experienced professionals to perform this due diligence.'" - BPNews

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Bert Perry's picture

If I remember correctly, Berean is where Larry Nelson is a member.  Larry, do I remember correctly?   Whether I'm right or wrong, not gonna be fun to be in leadership there for a while, to put it mildly.  I am personally dreading the possibility/likelihood that my church will see something similar.

The site that has the complainants' stories is broughttothelight.org.  Suffice it to say that there are a lot of references which could possibly tie in with known facts, as well as some pictures that are going to be, shall we say, rather difficult to finesse.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

Just look at the pictures the women provided. NO CHRISTIAN MAN, let alone a youth pastor, should be hanging on his "girlfriend" in the way the photos show, imho. Add to that a trip to Las Vegas AS A YOUTH PASTOR for a vacation where he stayed in a hotel room with a woman he was not married to... oh my.

This is NOT an oops... a youthful indiscretion... or whatever you want to call it.

Making matters worse, if you believe the women, they say his wife knew all of this and still married him.

Finally, the pastor that covered this up needs to answer what gives.

#bombshell and #gamechanger

Joeb's picture

The Survivors network is all over this.  Andy Savage's victim, Rachel DeHollander,  and Beth Moore.  They have all combined to get the message out there and support the victims.  Apparently a member of the Tennessee Church has shared with the gals that the Church Menbership is being kept in the Dark.  The Bad Actor who was on You Tube chalking you Wes Feltner's actions to youthful folly certainly furnished plenty of ammunition to Beth Moore and Rachel DeHollander.  
 

Throw in that the church in Minnesota threatened the victims with legal action if they didn't remain silent it is a recipe for disaster.  As I said on the other thread business as usual in the SBC.  Maybe they will finally learn their lesson.   Here is a repeat.  I think the FBFI and the IFB churches have learned their lessons.  It's the rest of American Evangelicalism that needs to catch up.  
 

The gals are not going to take it anymore.  Good for them.  Any of the male leaders who pull the Biblical Theological card to silence them beware.   These gals are not going quietly and are trading info on a regular basis to nail more bad actors and encourage other victims to come forward.  
 

Note: It's the Conservative Evangelicals  Institutions and Churches repeating the same mistakes in the face of well publicized incidents.The two that come to my mind are CAM in Ohio and Gordon College.  Both should have known better and still repeated the same mistakes others made.  

Dave White's picture

The Vegas pictures are damning.

He'll be a car salesman soon (not to diminish or denigrate car salesmen)

Bert Perry's picture

I visited Berean's site today, and it appears that they are going very quiet.  Wes Feltner's blog has disappeared, someone else preached on Sunday, etc..  Time (and evidence) will tell whether they handle things well, but at the very least, they are not waging war on the accusers that I can tell .  Also, the Tennessee church that was looking into hiring him has not only discontinued his candidacy, but also has even disbanded the search committeeSBTS has suspended him.  

Time and evidence will tell more, but at first blush, it looks like people are handling this a lot better than average. (corrected, see edit below) Praying that we won't find more victims, but if they're out there, praying they'll come forward, too.

Edit: as I re-read the site of the accusers, it does appear that both there is some evidence that all of the churches involved put some effort into trying to silence the accusers, upon which they decided to go public.  So my initial appraisal of "better than average" was a bit optimistic, to put it mildly.  It is also worth noting that there are several outsiders corroborating their stories.  So revise my previous comment to "it looks like the complainants having gone public, the churches involved are minding their manners a lot better."  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

Pastor at Burnsville megachurch resigns amid allegations of inappropriate romantic relationships in past - Members of Berean Baptist Church were told of the Rev. Wes Feltner's resignation this weekend.

The Rev. Wes Feltner has resigned his position at a Burnsville megachurch, following allegations that he had inappropriate romantic relationships with two 18-year-olds when he was in his early 20s and served as youth pastor at the Indiana church they attended.

Feltner, 41, was a popular pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Burnsville, which has experienced tremendous growth in the six years since he started there and had recently opened a second location in Lakeville.

Members of the congregation learned of Feltner’s resignation this weekend when a statement from church elders was read at services.

“After much prayer and deep consideration for his family and the mission of Berean Baptist Church, Pastor Wes Feltner has submitted his resignation,” the statement said. “Pastor Wes and his family are entering a period to seek healing and we will walk with them during this process.”

Earlier this month, Berean Church officials said they had hired an outside firm to investigate the women’s claims while Feltner took a leave of absence. That investigation is ongoing and Feltner is cooperating, according to the Berean elders’ letter.

Joeb's picture

Dave White wrote:

The Vegas pictures are damning.

He'll be a car salesman soon (not to diminish or denigrate car salesmen)

Wes Feltner would do well selling cars.   It's a worthy way to get back into the job market quick and get sales experience.  I sold cars for 11 years as a second career I chose.  Used cars is where the money is at.  Feltner's many fans can do business with him to support him.  

TylerR's picture

Editor

For the low, low price of $300, I can attend five sessions and learn how to "live free" as taught by Pastor Wes. I can also get a free t-shirt.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

There was an effort, I've read, at Berean to give him a severance package with the condition that he submit to church discipline and stay out of the ministry, and apparently he rejected that to do what Jim links.  A lot like Tullian Tchividjian, with the big exception that as Feltner's sins at least appear to have been much further in the past, and hence his rehabilitation could have theoretically been much easier.

Says something that he's partnering with a guy whose main gig, apart from calling plays for the bane of Minnesota sportsball fans, is to be the announcer for a race track.  I remember when supporting gambling was something of a no-no among fundagelicals.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

No problems here. Because youth pastors often date three women at the same time, 2 of which are recent members of his youth group, and takes gambling vacations with them..

No biggy bro!

Hey, he's a leader! Follow me he says...

Mark_Smith's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

 I remember when supporting gambling was something of a no-no among fundagelicals.

Not a problem for Wes "Las Vegas" Feltner.