Bishop Kenneth Adkins, 56, anti-gay pastor who said LGBT community ‘deserved’ Orlando massacre arrested for child molestation
Adkins, long term opponent of the LGBT community, and vocal opponent of a bill extending anti-discrimination protection to gays and lesbians in Jacksonville,
The pastor allegedly abused a boy under 16, in the teen ministry of his congregation
Conservative Florida pastor, Bishop Kenneth Adkins, who gained notoriety when said that the victims of the Orlando massacre got “what they deserve” is being charged with child molestation.
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Adkins, 56 was arrested by Georgia authorities on Friday after allegations that he molested a boy under the age of 16. The anti-gay clergyman, who runs churches in Jacksonville, Atlanta and Brunswick, Ga., tested the nation’s mood on the subject in the immediate aftermath of Omar Mateen’s shooting at Pulse nightclub in June. He posted on Twitter that he had “been through so much with these Jacksonville homosexuals that I don’t see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve.”
The enormous backlash after the comment led him to later tell one newspaper that his remarks were directed at those in northern Florida rather than the victims.
Long known as an opponent of the LGBT community, Adkins was a vocal opponent of a bill extending anti-discrimination protection to gays and lesbians in Jacksonville, having
previously said that he believes homosexuality is “vulgar” and “pornographic.”
He is now in the spotlight over the recent allegations of molestation of a child, which his lawyer says stemmed from encounters in 2010.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Stacy Clarke said that agents investigated suspected molestation of the child at the victim’s home, in a car and at Adkins’s church. Investigators did not identify a gender for the victim, though Adkins’s wife expressed concern for the “young man” that made the allegations.
Adkins, turned himself over to Glynn County authorities Friday morning on charges of aggravated child molestation and child molestation stemming from allegations made by a young male former member of his congregation.
Charlotte Stormey Adkins told the Times-Union that the boy was mentored by her and her husband, and that she believes the pastor will not be convicted.
“We are disappointed with what appears to be a rush to judgment by law enforcement authorities in this case,” said his wife, Charlotte Stormy Adkins. “We are confident that Kenneth Adkins will be found innocent of all charges.”
Referring to the incidents that possibly occurred in 2010 and would have had to involve someone younger than 16 for child molestation charges to be brought, Charlotte Adkins said she and her husband, despite the allegations, share a concern for the mental health of the accuser who the couple has mentored.
“This young man was part of our teen ministry,” she said. “Ken and I have treated him like family, as has our church. He is a deeply troubled young man, to be sure, but our thoughts and prayers remain with him even now.”
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Adkins has asked to be placed on unpaid leave from The Greater Church Brunswick. The Greater Church also has congregations in Jacksonville and Atlanta — while his case is adjudicated. His wife said she will serve as acting pastor
Beyond his recent national attention, Adkins was known locally for making inflammatory statements.
In 2012, it was reported that a Georgia magistrate ordered the pastor to stop making Facebook posts insulting a school board member he called a “runaway slave” and a county commission candidate who he called a “child molester.”