Darrell Gilyard, the former pastor of a Jacksonville megachurch, has completed his three-year prison sentence for sex crimes against two girls in his congregation and has returned to Duval County as a registered sex offender.
Gilyard was released Dec. 28 from Wakula Correctional Institution. Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff said he is now serving three years probation.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s online sex offender registry shows that Gilyard has registered his address at a Jacksonville hotel.
“I’m happy to have that dark part of my life over,” he said Tuesday, declining further comment.
Gilyard has been in the headlines practically since the beginning of his career in ministry, and often for sexual improprieties.
His 2009 conviction and imprisonment was for committing sex crimes against two teenage members of his church, Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.
In the cases for which he was imprisoned, Gilyard pleaded guilty to fondling a teenage girl during a counseling session and to sending sexually explicit text messages to another. He told the Times-Union after his conviction he had made serious mistakes, knew that he had disappointed many people and vowed to make it up to them.
After his conviction, Gilyard admitted to fathering the child of a woman who accused him of raping her during a 2004 counseling session, court documents showed.
The Palatka native was once a protege of then First Baptist Church Pastor Jerry Vines, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was also mentored by Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and also a former Southern Baptist Convention president.
Gilyard was once the pastor of a fast-growing church in Texas, where he also faced accusations of sexual misconduct. He arrived at Shiloh in 1993 and three years later the church settled a sexual-misconduct claim against him, court records showed.
An African-American preacher once popular in preaching circuits of the Southern Baptist Convention completed his three-year prison sentence for sex crimes with two girls in his congregation Dec. 28 and is now a registered sex offender on probation in Jacksonville, Fla.
Darrell Gilyard, 49, pleaded guilty May 21, 2009, to molesting a 15-year-old girl and sending lewd text messages to another. He was arrested Jan. 14, 2008, on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct after a church member told police she found inappropriate text messages from Gilyard on her daughter's cell phone. Another girl recorded alleged sexual conduct with Gilyard in her diary.
Gilyard resigned Jan. 4, 2008, after 15 years as pastor of Jacksonville’s Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, a 7,000-member predominantly African-American congregation. As a young minister in the 1980s, he was mentored by prominent Southern Baptist Convention leaders including Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines and promoted on Jerry Falwell's Old Time Gospel Hour.
Gilyard's relationship with SBC leaders soured in 1991, when he resigned under pressure after admitting to several adulterous affairs with women he was counseling while pastor of a multi-racial SBC church in Richardson, Texas.
Over the years Gilyard resigned from a total of five churches over charges of sexual misconduct. Many SBC leaders disbelieved the accusations, and continued to support him until the Dallas Morning News published stories in 1991 saying dozens of women had accused him of sexual misconduct, with some alleging rape.
“I’m happy to have that dark part of my life over,” Gilyard told the Florida Times-Union Jan. 3, declining further comment.
Gilyard is as ratchett as they come my mothers friend lived in his neighborhood about 10 years ago, woman after woman would be leaving his house at all hours of the day and night. He is so fake and transparent in person. Shame he wasn't caught years ago and to think there are still people who will support this fool!!!
I'm sure he's out right now trying to secure a building for his new church to open. Sounds like had the grown ups believed the accusations at first this freak would have never been allowed to rape, fondle and destroy the lives of other innocent girls. 3 years is insulting..........
"Over the years Gilyard resigned from a total of five churches over charges of sexual misconduct."
Christianity calls for one to put on the MIND of Christ, not to completely LOOSE YOUR MIND! What is wrong with people? How many red flags have to be waived high in order for you to see this man was simply a puplit pimp!
2012 Prediction: He will be Pastoring church number 6 as of this upcoming Sunday!
Their playing but God aint playing because there is a finish line where God meets everybody, which is why He doesn't have to walk anybody down,
They just come to Him when it's all said and done because He will not be mocked!
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
Jud 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
If they fail to repent which I highly doubt, their judgment will be quick but not painless because they know the word. It would just be a matter of hearing God say depart!!
He is God . . . we are not.
God knows it . . . we forget it.
He gives orders . . . He doesn’t take them.
We live for His purposes . . . He doesn’t exist for ours.
"Don't be so open-minded that your brains fall out" unknown
A TEXT WITHOUT A CONTEXT IS A PRETEXT FOR A PROOF TEXT
I was an active member of Shiloh, while Gilyard was pastor and although I agree with his punishment, I also have to to admit that allot of younger people in Jacksonville gave their lives to God under his ministry. Again, I'm in No Way justifying all his wrongs but I know that allot of good came from him as well. The two mostly African American high schools here did all of our homecomings & graduation events at Shiloh. Rev. Gilyard was a teaching pastor. He would break down the bible in ways that everyone, young and old understood. He was completely wrong in crimes. My heart goes out to all of the young ladies hurt by his actions. I honestly pray that Gilyard has been delivered from such a sick mentality.. IF that is the case he has a powerful testimony to share on the goodness of God's Grace and Mercy. I wouldn't want to see him in any leadership position again however I'd love to hear how God removed what was evil inside him and is now using him for some good.
He's served his time. God will handle the rest. I pray nothing but the best for Rev. Gilyard
When the Grass is cut, the Snakes will Show.... Peek-a-Boo I See You;)
Gilyard is considering opening a church.....surprised ?
Should former Jacksonville pastor convicted of sex crimes return to Christian service?
By Jeff Brumley
JOHN PEMBERTON/The Times-Union
24 comments »
Latest by realrattus 10 min 7 sec ago
Many wonder if Darrell Gilyard, the former Jacksonville megachurch pastor convicted of sex crimes against minors, will start a new church now that he’s finished his three-year prison sentence.
It’s a question bloggers and their readers have been asking since before Gilyard’s Dec. 28 release from state prison.
It’s also a question Gilyard is asking himself.
“I’m not sure — I’m just praying about my options right now,” Gilyard told the Times-Union.
It’s a question some feel strongly should be answered with a “no.”
One of them is Rod Hendrix, a Jacksonville preacher who used to worship at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church when Gilyard was its pastor — and where he committed some of his crimes.
“Biblically he’s disqualified,” said Hendrix, pastor of Word of Life Community Church in Jacksonville. “That’s without a shadow of a doubt.”
Legally it’s not so clear. Gilyard is serving three years probation, which, as a registered sexual offender, prohibits him from working directly or indirectly with minors, according to state law. He also cannot work in any business that caters to children, such as a day-care center.
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City ordinances prohibit him from residing within 250 feet of a school or other place where children regularly congregate, such as a school or day-care center.
Nothing bars him from leading a church or other ministry if the congregation will have him.
By the mid-2000s, Gilyard was a nationally known preacher who had been groomed by some of the biggest names in the Southern Baptist Convention. First Baptist Church Pastor Jerry Vines and Paige Patterson, a Texas seminary president, had groomed him. He had preached once on the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s television ministry and another time from the pulpit of the denomination’s annual convention.
But sexual improprieties dogged Gilyard’s ministry, and in 2009 he was convicted for fondling one teenage girl and sending sexually explicit messages to another.
Gilyard said he takes responsibility for his wrongs but believes his sinful past isn’t a disqualification from preaching or other kinds of ministry. If it were, he said, some of the Bible’s most inspiring personalities would never have made it into Scripture.
“Moses was a murderer, David was a murderer, Paul was a murderer and Peter denied Christ,” Gilyard said. “It’s clear God uses broken vessels.”
Hendrix sees it differently. He said the New Testament is clear that Christian leaders are to be people of integrity. Gilyard’s conviction plus his admission to impregnating a woman during a counseling session does not fit Apostolic requirements for spiritual leadership.
“We are not to be sinless, but must have a reputation of being godly,” Hendrix said. “And when I lose that reputation, I’m disqualified from ministry.”
Tiffany Thigpen Croft, who followed Gilyard’s sexual improprieties on her blog, “Let’s Stop Pastor Darrell Gilyard Together,” has yet to issue such a strongly worded opposition to Gilyard’s possible re-entry into ministry.
Her most recent post, on Dec. 4, only warns readers of his impending release and discusses how most child sex offenders repeat their actions.
“I pray that there has been some sort of progress and that somehow he has allowed God to intervene,” she said on the blog.
The Times-Union was unable to reach Croft for comment.
Gilyard said there has been progress and predicted more. He said he is embarking on years of court-ordered therapy and that he faced his transgressions while in prison.
He emphasized that he has not decided to start a church but said that he sees spiritual service in his future.
“It’s just a matter of healing mentally, psychologically and spiritually. I believe God can use me.”