Leaflets Allege Sexual Misconduct by Minister

By Aisha Sultan
December 18, 2006

A victims' activist group targeted a minister at Watson Terrace Christian Church on Sunday, distributing leaflets that alleged sexual misconduct in his previous positions.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests distributed a thick dossier on the Rev. Carl King, including copies of court documents of a 2005 restraining order, parts of his divorce proceedings and records about his departure from the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois.

Church members refused to let a reporter enter the building or talk to King regarding the allegations.

While the Watson Terrace church is a member of the Disciples of Christ denomination, King is not a recognized ordained minister of the denomination, according to the Rev. Penny Ross-Corona, an area minister for the Southeast Gateway Area of the Christian Church.

Each congregation within the Disciples of Christ denomination selects its own pastor, regardless of their ordination, she said. "Because Carl King does not have standing with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we have no authority over him nor do we have any authority over the congregation's decision to employ him," she said in a statement.

Ross-Corona's statement said that the congregation had conducted its own investigation and "found there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations."

On Sunday, church members at Watson Terrace disputed the allegations, and some tore up SNAP's leaflets.

SNAP's documents allege that King had been accused of sexual misconduct involving a woman at a previous congregation.

In the early 1990s, King worked as an ordained minister with the First Presbyterian Church of Greenville, Ill. He renounced the jurisdiction of the church a day prior to a scheduled hearing regarding his suspension and lost the privileges and rights of a minister in the Presbyterian Church, according to church documents distributed by SNAP.

He later started his own church in Greenville and then moved to Edwardsville before joining Watson Terrace.


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