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 or leaders of which we are made aware.
YORK, S.C. (BP) – A former youth pastor has been charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor. William “Billy” Pinckney Carpenter, III, 62, of Chester, S.C. was arrested June 1.
Carpenter is charged with sex/criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 years of age in the first degree and assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, according a York County Sheriff’s Office report.
He was released on bond from the York County Detention Center.
Carpenter served as a youth leader at Grace Chapel Baptist Church in York as well as at Eastview Baptist Church in Rock Hill, a Southern Baptist church, according to the police report.
The report alleges Carpenter abused the same minor multiple times with instances occurring at each of the churches.
Chris Mitchell, senior pastor of Eastview Baptist, says Carpenter has not served at the church since 2017. According to the arrest report, an alleged incident is said to have taken place at Eastview in 2016.
“We are broken-hearted for the victims and grateful we serve the God who comforts the hurting. We are praying for all involved. We have informed our church family through our phone notification system and plan to gather before worship on Sunday to grieve, lament and pray,” Mitchell said in a statement to Baptist Press.
He said the church is working with police.
“This is the first we have been made aware of these allegations. Mr. Carpenter is not a member of Eastview Baptist or affiliated with our church any longer,” Mitchell said.
The York County Sheriff’s Department asks anyone with information about this case to call them at 803-628-3059.
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.