A local pastor who resigned in 2017 has been arrested on charges of child molestation.
Authorities with the Metro Nashville Police Department said 45-year-old Denny Patterson, the former longtime pastor of Nolensville Road Baptist Church, has returned to Nashville from Pittsburgh on a sexual battery indictment.
Patterson has been charged with the alleged molestation of children who attended the church.
The investigation remained ongoing.
On Saturday, the church released the following statement:
On Monday September 25, 2017 the church leadership of Nolensville Road Baptist Church was made aware of the accusations against former pastor Denny Patterson. The church leaders immediately sought legal advice by phone. Later that afternoon a church leader contacted a Tennessee attorney and set up an in-person appointment for the next day.
After discussion with legal counsel, the church leadership met with Denny Patterson. During the meeting Denny was instructed to surrender his church cell phone with it’s pass code. He was then further instructed that he could no longer come into the church building. After the meeting, his office was sealed off and his church laptop and cell phone were preserved by the church and later turned over to law enforcement.
The next day church leaders met in person with a Tennessee lawyer. We were advised to go to the police. Three of the church leaders went the following day and filed a report with the Metro Police Department.
Since the investigation began, Nolensville Road Baptist Church has been in full cooperation with the Police Department. We turned over the laptop, cell phone and pass codes for each to the detective. Full access to all the church property and church records was made available to the police.
We want to thank the Metro Police Department and Detective Thomas for all the hard work and numerous hours that they have put into the case.
We here at Nolensville Road Baptist Church want to let our community know that the sinful actions of one man does not reflect upon church as a whole. We remain committed to truth, transparency in all our operations, and for the care and support for the victims and family who have been victimized by alleged perpetrator.
Our hearts grieve for the families involved. Therefore we ask that if anyone has a question, that they be directed to James Thomas, the church’s spokesperson.
Mr. James Thomas can be reached at (615) 668-5019 or emailed at REV3.email@example.com.