Assignment Record– Rev. Gerald H. "Jerry" Baker

Summary of Case: Gerald "Jerry" Baker was ordained for the Diocese of Owensboro KY in 1983. He assisted for several years at St. Stephen's Cathedral, then at St. Mary of the Woods in Whitesville before being named pastor in 1987 of an Earlington parish. He went on to pastor parishes in Hopkinsville and Morganfield, returning in 2012 to St. Mary of the Woods as pastor in 2012. While still in that role, in 2013 Baker was made pastor of St. John the Baptist in Fordsville. He also served on the diocese's Priest Personnel Committee and Priests Council, and as Dean of the Hopkinsville Deanery. In May 2016 Baker was placed on leave after the diocese received an allegation that he had engaged in inappropriate conduct "of a sexual nature" with a male minor from St. Mary of the Woods. The Kentucky State Police began an investigation.

Ordained: 1983


Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Diocese of Owensboro

Bishop was John Jeremiah McRaith (1982-2009).

1985 St. Stephen's Cathedral Owensboro KY 4/4, 3/3

St. Stephen's had a school with 269 students.

1985 1987 St. Mary of the Woods Whitesville KY 3/3 St. Mary's had a school with 312-316 students.
1986 1989 Priest Personnel Committee Owensboro KY    
1987 1989 Immaculate Conception Earlington KY 1/1  
1989 2003 SS. Peter and Paul Hopkinsville KY 1/1, 1/2 SS Peter and Paul had a school with 115-219 students.
1996 2003 Hopkinsville Deanery Hopkinsville KY Dean  
1996 2003 Priests Council Owensboro KY    


William Francis Medley succeeded McRaith (2009-).

2012 St. Ann's Morganfield KY 1/1, 1/2

St. Ann's had a CCD program with 68-49 students.

2012 May 2016 St. Mary of the Woods


On May 3, 2016 the diocese received an allegation from a male minor from St. Mary's parish that Baker had engaged in improper conduct "of a sexual nature" with him.

KY 1/1

St. Mary's had a school with 137-147 students, and a CCD program with 179-120 students.


2013 May 2016 St. John the Baptist Fordsville KY 1/1 St. John's had a CCD program.
May 2016   Suspended   KY   Baker was suspended from ministry due to the May 3, 2016 allegation. The Kentucky State Police launched an investigation.

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1984-2014).

Former Union County priest suspended after abuse allegation, By Tom Lovett, Gleaner, May 18, 2016
Owensboro Pastor Suspended Due to Allegations, Tristate Homepage, May 19, 2016
Long Time Parishioner Reacts to Priest's Suspension, By Jessica Gavin, WAVE, May 20, 2016

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Baker's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on June 4, 2016.


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