Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Removes San Antonio Church With Sex Offender Pastor

A San Antonio church has been removed from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention for retaining a pastor listed on the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry.

The action involving New Spirit Baptist Church was taken by the SBTC’s Executive Board during an April 22-23 meeting in Galveston, the Southern Baptist TEXAN reported May 2.

The TEXAN reported that representatives of the convention’s credentials committee had met with the church, which subsequently chose to retain the pastor, Erbey Valdez.

“The board reported that due to the church’s position, it was in violation of the Baptist Faith & Message,” the TEXAN reported, referencing the Southern Baptist Convention’s doctrinal statement, which has also been adopted by other Baptist bodies.

New Spirit Baptist Church reported on the SBC Annual Church Profile a weekly average attendance of 24 in 2018.

Valdez, 47, a former middle school principal, was charged in a case dated July, 8, 2010, involving a 17-year-old and Texas Penal Code 43.25 (d), “Sexual Performance by a Child,” a second-degree felony.

The section states in part, “A person commits an offense if, knowing the character and content thereof, he employs, authorizes, or induces a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance.”

The Texas registry states that Valdez is on probation/community supervision in that case.

Valdez was arrested in February 2010, the San Angelo Standard-Times reported on Feb. 15 of that year, for what the newspaper described as “indecency with a child.” Valdez posted a $25,000 bond.

He had been indicted in January 2010, the Standard-Times reported, by a grand jury in Sutton County on “two felony counts of allegedly having sex with a high school student.” He had been placed on administrative leave from the school district after an October 2009 arrest on a charge described by the Standard-Times as “an improper relationship between an educator and a then-17-year-old student.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press, Art Toalston