|Report Reveals Sex Abuse by Pastor
By Dick Broom
October 6, 2010
MOUNT DESERT — Sexual abuse of a teenage boy three decades ago and long-running harassment of the victim were the reasons for the suspension in July of Rev. William “Mac” Bigelow as pastor of the United Church of Christ (UCC) of Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor, according to a church review panel’s report.
The committee on ministry of the Hancock-Waldo Association of the Maine Conference of the UCC determined that Rev. Bigelow, who was minister of the church for 32 years, was “unfit for ministry at this time” and suspended him for a minimum of three years.
On Tuesday, a long-time friend of Rev. Bigelow, speaking on his behalf, said the pastor “regrets this indiscretion of 25 years ago” but denies that he continued to seek sexual contact with the victim.
Church officials have declined to comment.
Rev. Bigelow may apply for reinstatement to the ministry in three years, provided he complies with certain conditions set by church authorities.
Steve Richards, chairman of the church’s board of trustees, said Wednesday that a search committee has been interviewing candidates to serve as interim minister, and he expects the job to be filled in the next month or two.
For more details on the report and Rev. Bigelow’s response, see the Mount Desert Islander, on newsstands Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 6.
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