A Lee County children's minister has been fired and is facing charges after officials say he had inappropriate contact with a child under 15 years old.
"They have cooperated with us one hundred percent. It's not like they were trying to hide anything. So I hope nothing else comes of it. I don't think anything else is going to come of it, but then again you never know," said SFC Thomas Goodwin of the Lee Co. Sheriff's Office.
Edwards' computer equipment has been sent to the GBI Crime Lab for forensic investigation. He was released on bond. Lee County School officials say he will not be allowed to substitute again at their schools.
According to a statement from the church, Edwards contacted the minor over the Internet through social media. He confessed to investigators about the incident.
Edwards was arrested and booked into jail on Thursday, and was later released on bond.Officials also said Edwards is registered as a substitute teacher in the Lee County school system.
Providence Church released a statement regarding children's pastor Alec Edwards, who has been terminated from the church.
Lead Pastor Jason Spears issued this statement regarding Alec Edwards-
On Wednesday July 24th, I met with our children's pastor Alec Edwards and we discussed a sabbatical or leave of absence for the month of August, because he has recently been exhibiting signs of someone under great stress and pressure. Alec has had 3 great years of ministry here, and has always shown a passion for God and the ministry, and a strong work ethic. He agreed the time off was needed and seemed grateful.
Friday night July 26th, Lisa and I received a call around 11pm from a parent of a youth in the church that is not related to the children's ministry, about inappropriate written communication via social media from Alec to the youth. I went over to the house with an elder from the church, and we met with the family till 1am.
Having viewed the messages, I called Alec Saturday morning to see if we could meet with him later that morning. After asking him about the messages, he was immediately apologetic and understood the severity of the situation, to which his employment was terminated.
Later that evening, I met with the elders and we discussed what happened, and they were all in agreement with the termination of employment. We as leadership then began to pray for Alec, the family, and our church.
Because this is now a legal matter, it will not be appropriate for me, anyone in leadership, or anyone here to discuss the details of this any further until the process of the investigation has been completed. Having extensively met with everyone involved, to the best of my knowledge, this is an isolated incident that does not affect anyone else.
Going forward, we will rely on the wonderful people who have been serving our kids ministry with great passion to see Gods love realized in their lives. Because of the sabbatical previously mentioned, the schedule for August has already been set, and we will let you know how we will proceed when the time comes.
Our prayer and concern is that everyone involved be brought into healing and wholeness through the love and grace of God.
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