Some Baptist ministers said Friday that the kind of physical discipline reportedly meted out by an Elgin pastor to a 12-year-old who claimed she was being sexually abused has no place in the church.
“We wouldn’t do such things,” said Rev. Jerry Gleason, pastor of Bartlett Baptist Church, one of about 42,000 Southern Baptist churches across the country. “What we teach parents is there has to be some structure and discipline, but that doesn’t mean taking a board and whipping a child.”
On Wednesday, police charged Rev. Daryl Bujak, 30, pastor of the First Missionary Baptist Church in Elgin, with misdemeanor battery, accusing him of using a piece of wood molding to spank the girl last year. Now 13, the girl had said she was being sexually abused, and her mother, who doubted her claims, took her to Bujak, police said.
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In March, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services received an allegation on its abuse hot line about Bujak and the girl. A spokesman for the department said its investigation is not yet complete.
The First Missionary Baptist Church describes itself as an independent, fundamentalist ministry not affiliated with Gleason’s or any other Baptist church.
The church at 385 Silver St. is on a quiet residential street, with the pastor’s residence at the rear, facing North Crystal Avenue . Bujak could not be reached for comment Friday.
The mother has said she turned to Bujak for help when her daughter accused an Ingleside man of sexually abusing her. Authorities in McHenry County have charged Matthew Resh, 33, with five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault.