Sheriff: 66-year-old pastor arrested on child sexual abuse charges involving minor under 15

WSAZ News Channel-3 [Huntington, WV]

May 5, 2022

By Jordan Gartner

Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a pastor on several sex crime charges stemming from a joint investigation.

The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office reports their detectives, along with police from the Winterville Police Department, joined forces to investigate suspected child abuse involving 66-year-old John William Lovelace earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office announced the arrest of Lovelace.

The pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Ayden, North Carolina, was charged by Winterville police with four counts of second-degree forcible sex and three counts of sexual battery.

According to the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, Lovelace is also facing two counts of statutory sex offense with a child under the age of 15 and indecent liberties with a minor.

The 66-year-old was booked into the Pitt County Detention Center on a $12.4 million bond.