Washington Pastor and Elementary School Teacher Charged with Child Molestation

The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

April 23, 2024

By Liz Lykins

A pastor and elementary school teacher in a small city on the shore of Puget Sound in Washington has been arrested and charged with nine counts of child molestation, according to Pierce County Superior Court records.

Jordan Henderson, a worship pastor at Wellspring Fellowship in Lakebay and teacher at public elementary school, was charged with nine counts of sexual molestation, involving children under 12 years old, court records reported. The 34-year-old pastor was arrested by Pierce County Sheriff’s office, following a two-month investigation, according to Fox 13.

Henderson’s father, lead pastor of Wellspring Fellowship, defended his son in a recent Facebook post on the church’s account.

“While some would have you focus on alarm bells and your greatest fears about what you do not know, I want to encourage you with confidence based on what I do know,” Lead Pastor Chris Henderson wrote. “I know Jordan to be of the highest character and quality as a man.”

Chris Henderson continued that his son is a “great husband, a great father, a great teacher.”

“He and his family have the full confidence and support of our church,” Henderson said. “Please join us in asking that God reveal the full and complete truth regarding these allegations.”

The Roys Report reached out Wellspring Fellowship for more information but did not hear back prior to publication.

Jordan Henderson has been a pastor at the church since 2011, according to his profile on the church’s website.

Henderson was put on administrative leave in March at Evergreen Elementary School, where he taught 5th grade, according to Gig Harbor Now

Peninsula School Superintendent Krestin Bahr reassured parents and staff that the school is taking the charges against Henderson very seriously in a statement, Gig Harbor Now reported.

“I take the safety and well-being of our students very seriously and want to assure our community that these allegations are in stark opposition to everything we stand for,” Bahr said. “As our community navigates this troubling situation, I want to thank you for keeping the safety and well-being of our students at the forefront of your thoughts and actions.”

Henderson has worked at the school since at least 2018, according to a public database of K-12 Washington employees.

Henderson’s mother also works at Evergreen Elementary as a 3rd grade teacher, according to Wellspring Fellowship website.

Henderson Allegedly Abused Multiple Victims

Henderson allegedly preyed on several fourth and fifth graders for the last several years, according to a probable cause court record. The record said that Henderson used his position as an educator to gain the trust of his victims and convince them that the assaults were normal.

The teacher is accused of rubbing children’s backs, thighs, bottoms, and genitals. The victims reported that sexual assaults would happen daily and even interfere with class. Henderson told the victims to not tell anyone, the record said.

Henderson likely had more victims, according to a press release from Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala (PCVA), a law firm representing one of Henderson’s victims.

“PCVA anticipates that more claimants will come forward once news of Jordan Henderson’s alleged sexual molestation is published and absorbed by the community,” the press release said. “We know that Jordan Henderson was a leader in his local church and adopted two toddlers for almost two years now.”

Henderson’s work at a school and church allowed him to be in “target rich environments” that easily enabled him to identify, groom, and sexually abuse children, the law firm said.

At an arraignment last Friday, a mother of one of the victims spoke up about Henderson’s alleged abuses, according to The News Tribune.

The mother, who is unnamed, said her daughter often has nightmares about Henderson.

“She won’t say his name, she just says, ‘My nightmare was about him again,’” the mother said.

She added that, “Every time we go into Target or Costco or any other store, we’re looking around to make sure we don’t run into him.”

Another woman, who is the mother of another victim, described Henderson as an “evil, evil person.”

This second mother said her daughter won’t “set foot in the school building. The nightmares, the trauma, it’s just been absolutely horrific.”

Henderson pled not guilty to his charges on Friday and was released on $100,000 bail on Friday, according to court records.

The court required Henderson to be electronically monitored and not to have contact with any children besides his own. He will next appear in court on May 10 for a hearing.