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Additional sexual abuse charges filed against former South Carolina youth pastor

Editor’s Note: In support of the sixth strategic action of Vision 2025 adopted by messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting, Baptist Press will continue to report every instance of sexual abuse related to Southern Baptist churches, entities, institutions or leaders of which we are made aware.

GOWENSVILLE, S.C. (BP) — A former South Carolina youth pastor is facing 26 counts of voyeurism and 32 charges of criminal sexual conduct, many involving minors, in two counties, according to the WYFF-TV. County court records show 21 new charges were filed against Daniel Kellan Mayfield, 35, the last week in June.

The investigation is still ongoing and the number of victims has not yet been determined.

“This has been an incredibly intense and painful time for our church family,” Josh Phillips, pastor of Gowenville First Baptist, told The Courier, after another round of charges have been filed against the church’s former youth minister.

“Our church is aware of all of the charges,” Phillips said, adding that Gowensville First is continuing to work with law enforcement officials.

“Our priority is helping to identify and notify victims, and helping them walk through the trauma,” Phillips said, noting that counseling has been offered to victims and their families.  

Mayfield, whose position at Gowensville First was terminated May 27, was first arrested in Greenwood County for allegedly filming a woman while she showered at a house. He later was charged with multiple counts of voyeurism and sexual exploitation of a minor. After then admitting he had recorded videos of multiple girls and women while they were changing in a church bathroom, additional charges were brought in Greenville County.

“I am thankful for the ways in which Gowensville First has handled this extremely difficult and painful situation through immediate reporting of the situation, cooperation with law enforcement, openness with the congregation, and the provision of counseling services,” said Travis Kerns, associational mission strategist for the Three Rivers Baptist Association in Taylors, SC.

“A single instance of any sin is one too many, but, as Genesis 3 and Romans 1 teach us, we live in a fallen world. Though we cannot escape the fallen world in which we live, I thank God that through even the most difficult of circumstances, Gowensville continues to proclaim the hope found only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Kerns said.

If you are/have been a victim of sexual abuse or suspect sexual abuse by a pastor, staff member or member of a Southern Baptist church or entity, please reach out for help at 202-864-5578 or [email protected]. All calls are confidential.

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  • Baptist Courier Staff

    Reported by the staff of the Baptist Courier (www.baptistcourier.com), newsjournal of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

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