Church Responds To Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Posted at 4:16 PM, Dec 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-02 17:16:43-05

The pastor of Fellowship Bible Church has released a statement in response to a lawsuit that was filed Monday by a family who's 3-year-old was sexually assaulted at the church.

According to the lawsuit, a teenage volunteer at Fellowship raped the child in a church bathroom on August 24, 2014.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to the church Monday, but they had no comment at the time.

Tuesday, Teaching Pastor & Organizational Leader, Bill Wellons, posted a letter to the church and the public on the church's website.

He began by saying "We are outraged that this heinous crime occurred. It came to our attention when the victim’s family advised our staff, and we immediately reported it to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and that same morning contacted officers from the Brentwood Police Department."

The letter went on to say the "young teen and the child of a volunteer teacher in our children’s ministry, and both parent and child were immediately removed from their volunteer positions in our church pending the police investigation."

Wellons denied the allegation in the lawsuit that the church misled the parents of other toddlers and “sought to hide the truth."

He said, "I am distressed that statements in the news media, quoting from the lawsuit, have been so erroneous—that we denied anything had happened, that we claimed the victim had “lied” and urged the family not to pursue criminal charges, that we don’t take child safety seriously and have no proper policies and procedures, and that we sought to hide the truth from other families."

To read the full letter click here