Church concludes investigation of former Evansville youth pastor
By Michael Doyle
Evansville Courier & Press
February 01, 2020
|Megan Frey, then 18, with Wes Feltner in Las Vegas on Aug. 19, 2002.|
Photo by Megan Frey
A church-led investigation into a former Evansville youth pastor who was accused of pastoral abuse by two Evansville women last year has found that the women's claims were credible.
A public statement from Berean Baptist Church of Burnsville, Minnesota, concluded that Wes Feltner's treatment of, and relationships with, Megan Frey and JoAnna Hendrickson about 17 years ago when he was youth pastor at First Southern Baptist of Evansville were inappropriate.
The church also found that Feltner misused church funds to pay for his own personal expenses, that he had made misleading statements to Berea elders regarding his job candidacy at another church and that he was generally unreliable and often absent in stewarding church initiatives.
Feltner resigned as lead pastor of Berean in November, according to an article in the Clarksvile Leaf-Chronicle.
The investigation, according to the statement, included 400 pages of documents, 16 interviews and six written statements from eyewitnesses.
Frey and Hendrickson were 18 years old at the time the alleged relationships occurred in 2002. The two women came forward when they learned Feltner was being considered for the lead pastor post at First Baptist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Frey claimed her relationship with Feltner was sexual; Hendrickson said hers was not. Both agree they were manipulated into secret relationships and that Feltner preyed on their emotional vulnerability at the time.
According to an article in Burnsville newspaper Sun Thisweek, Feltner has said he believes he’s being targeted by a small group of people who want to prevent him from working in ministry.
A summary of the church investigation's findings can be viewed at the following: Faith Family Update Regarding Lead Pastor Investigation