By Victor Ochieng
The senior pastor of Victory Church in New York, Paul Burress, was arrested early Friday morning on two accounts of forcibly touching two females. The controversial preacher, who was featured in the documentary of mixed martial arts, “Fight Church,” is accused of forcibly touching the women’s “s*xual or other intimate parts.” This, however, isn’t the first time he’s been accused of s*xual abuse; he’s been involved in several years of s*xual abuse allegations.
The pastor, who is believed to have lived life as a swinger, stands the risk of spending up to a year in jail if found guilty. Speaking to CP, the Monroe County sheriff’s spokesman, Cpl. John Helfer said Burress “turned himself in at a B Zone substation with his lawyer.” He also added that the penal state law defines what Burress did as forcibly touching “the s*xual or other intimate parts of another person.”
Pastor Burress, who will be arraigned in the Henrietta Town Court on September 19, was accused by two adult females from separate incidents. It’s unclear whether or not Burress is still a pastor at the Victory Church in New York. Helfer told CP that, “I don’t believe he is any longer employed there but you’d have to check into that.” His name is no longer appearing on the Church’s website, and Victory Church hasn’t responded to any request for comment on the matter.
Now, despite the existence of other allegations that were made against Burress in the past, Helfer states that they will only be handling the current incidents. This is based on the fact that the previous allegations were never brought forward to the police.
This brings to light a lot of evil that’s hidden in the hearts of many false pastors and, by extension, the church. For a pastor to be in the news not for serving God well or for doing some good deed, but rather because he’s abused someone, it’s a bad portrayal of what the church institution has become.
Pastors should be servants called by God, not employees hired to give encouragements and motivational speeches. This, in fact, is the main reason the church has recently been witnessing such incidences like the one of Burress. The fear of God is not found in the hearts of those who call themselves pastors because they view what they do like employment and not a sacred calling.