MOUNT CARMEL, Tenn. (WJHL) – Late Thursday, a previously secret list of Southern Baptist leaders accused of sexual abuse was released. The 205-page document listed hundreds of pastors and church leaders who were both accused and convicted over several decades.
In the Tri-Cities region, some church leaders were included on that list.
The document features two Northeast Tennessee church leaders: Mark Curtis Adams and David Lee St. John.
Adams was described in the list as a deacon and youth leader at the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Mount Carmel. In 2017, the document states he was arrested on one count of child pornography and one count of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity.
The document reports that Adams was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to using the app “Kik” to convince a child to “engage in illegal sexual activity.”
St. John was described as a pastor at the Bible Truth Baptist Church in Bristol, Tennessee. The list states he pleaded guilty in 2016 to six felony county aggravated sexual battery and three felony counts of rape of a child, resulting in a 30-year prison sentence without a chance for parole.
News Channel 11 reported on St. John’s indictment in 2016, following an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at the request of District Attorney General Barry Staubus. Following St. John’s arrest, the Bible Truth Baptist Church dissolved, according to the document.
In Southwest Virginia, a former Nickelsville pastor was brought to attention on the list. Grover Bernard Lewis was described as a Baptist pastor at the Gillenwater Chapel Church.
According to the list of accused, Lewis was “convicted on two counts of sexual battery and sentenced to six months in jail with all but five months and 15 days suspended.” However, according to Scott County Circuit Court records, Lewis was sentenced to 12 months in jail on each count.
A Boone, North Carolina pastor was also included on the list. Larry Elliot was described as a Baptist pastor for 20 years; however, the name of his church was not stated. Elliot reportedly pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 15-year-old student in 2015 and was sentenced to 2 years in prison.