This Tuesday, deputies from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department in North Carolina arrested 70-year-old Jerry Dean Wallace, pastor of the A Light in the Darkness Outreach Ministry, on charges of sexually assaulting a girl over a 6-year period beginning in 2008 when the girl was 10 years-old.
The sheriff’s department was contacted on September 17 about the case and after interviewing the girl and her mother, deputies contacted Wallace and attempted to talk to him about the allegations but he refused. Investigators then located other witnesses in another county and an arrest warrant was obtained.
Police would not say whether the girl was a member of the congregation of Wallace’s church, but did say that none of the incidents took place on church property.
Reporters for WSOC-TV spoke to church member Steven Knox who expressed his disbelief.
“I didn’t get any sleep. I was upset about it all. Prayed that Christ would take care of it,” Knox said.
Neighbors Arlie and Alice Absher, who are former church members, also spoke to reporters expressing their shock at the charges saying that Wallace had always cared about the community and especially the children, often opening his home to those in need.
“Really surprised and hurt. When a man of God does things like that it really hurts the whole community,” Alice Absher said.
“He really presented in what he believed — salvation,” added Arlie.
Wallace remains jailed in the Iredell County Jail on four felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child under a $150,000 bond.
Watch a news report from WSOC.