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Tulsa Megachurch Victory Christian Center May Have More Victims But Parents Protecting Church

Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Pastor Sharon Daughtery

Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Pastor Sharon Daughtery

Tulsa Megachurch Victory Christian Center May Have More Victims But Parents Protecting Church

The investigation into alleged sexual abuse at Victory Christian Center has revealed more possible victims. There is one problem: Those possible victims are not cooperating with the police in the investigation.

On Tuesday, the Tulsa police stated they could have additional charges against suspects if the victims would come forward.

Sgt. Brandon Wykoff, a detective in the Tulsa Police Department’s Child Crisis Unit, said: “We’re trying to get these girls in for interviews,” Wykoff said. “We’re not exactly having cooperation with some of the parents.”

Five staff members posted bond and were released from jail Monday night after being arrested on misdemeanor charges of failing to report child abuse. They are also suspended from their employment at the church, Victory Christian officials have said.

The police spoke with Victory Christian Center senior pastor, Sharon Daugherty on Tuesday. They are reporting she said she knew about the allegations during the two-week lapse in reporting them to police. Wykoff said Daugherty didn’t take any action because she believed church staffers were taking all necessary steps in notifying the authorities.

Victory Christian Center released a brief statement Tuesday evening in response to Tulsa police statements, saying only that “the church has not been made aware of any additional alleged victims of Denman and Castillo.”

Along with working with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to evaluate the church’s reporting process, Victory Christian Center will perform a full review of its policies to ensure the safety of its children and youth, the statement says.

Daugherty’s son John Samuel Daugherty, 28, and his wife, Charica Dene Daugherty, 27, left the Tulsa Jail late Monday after spending about two hours in custody.

Also released late Monday were Paul Willemstein, 32, Anna George, 24, and Harold Frank Sullivan, 73. All five are charged with misdemeanor counts of failure to report child abuse, jail records show.  Source

It appears that its the victims’ parents who are apprehensive about coming forward and going against their pastor and church. Sgt. Wykoff added: ‘Sometimes problems with investigating abuse at churches occur because of a false sense of hurting the church.’

This is the issue all church members face when scandal erupts in their church. When news comes to surface that a something unseemly may be happening in the church, victims are afraid of many things:

  • They are in denial that this could or has happened
  • They don’t want to appear as a troublemaker
  • They will not accept or believe a victim and see the victim as a trader who wants to tear down the ministry
  • They don’t want to hurt the pastor or the church’s name and reputation
  • They are conditioned to keep a ‘closed mouth’ policy to protect the church even though victims are affected
  • They don’t want to be demoralized and thrown out of the church
  • They would rather pray and forgive then go against the pastor and much more…

Wykoff’s only question to those who protect the church even in the dirty deeds of their beloved church:

How do you convince parents that it’s not OK to just pray about it?”

We have been wondering and asking that question for some time now. We can pray about situations but these type of things have to be handled by the court of law. Just because its church doesn’t mean criminal activity should be excused, ignored or downplayed. Its a prevalent issue in the church and by now, churchgoers need to be aware and protect their families before protecting the church. The church is a building but who resides inside, may be harmful to us. So when will we see, even our beloved church with fresh and discerning eyes, as a place we unfortunately have to watch out for too?

Even in church, we have to test spirits around us because some people mean us not good. Let’s wake up folks and trust and follow the bible:

“My dear brothers, do not trust every spirit. But test the spirits to see if they belong to God. There are many prophets who are not true who have gone out into the world.” ( 1 John 4: 1 )

1 John 4: 1 Test the spirits

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