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) – Daniel Kellan Mayfield, a 35-year-old youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Gowensville, was arrested May 27 for videotaping a woman while she showered, according to a report by the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office.
After being released on bond, Mayfield then was charged by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office with having videotaped multiple girls in a bathroom at the church.
Greenwood County officials contacted Greenville County deputies about other possible victims discovered during their initial investigation. Greenville County investigators were able to identify at least six victims at the church so far, but their investigation is still ongoing.
“South Carolina Baptists believe in the value of every life. We take sexual abuse very seriously,” Tony Wolfe, executive director of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press June 2. “Our state convention and associations will be working with this church to care for them as they proceed. We are working to help churches eliminate sexual abuse and to respond quickly and appropriately when it is reported.”
Deputies said investigators had discovered Mayfield recorded the videos on at least three occasions, dating back to July 2022, according to WYFF News 4. He was arrested again June 1 and taken to the Greenville County Detention Center.
Mayfield, who had been employed at Gowensville First for about seven years, has been fired, church officials said. The church released the following statement June 1:
“On May 27th, 2023, First Baptist, Gowensville leadership was made aware of an incident of moral misconduct perpetrated by one of our staff members. Proper authorities were notified immediately, and the employee was terminated from his role.
“Due to the nature of the investigation, FBC Gowensville refers all questions to the law enforcement authorities involved. We remain dedicated to providing a safe worship environment and will be ever vigilant in protecting all persons involved in any of our events.”
The victim told Greenwood County deputies that after seeing a light outside the bathroom window while showering at her mother’s house, she had found Mayfield in her backyard, according to WYFF News 4.
When she and her sister confronted him, Mayfield denied standing outside the window at first but eventually admitted to videoing her and gave her the phone, according to the incident report.
Mayfield, of Boiling Springs, was charged with voyeurism and taken to the Greenwood County Detention Center. He was later released on a $10,000 bond, according to The State newspaper, before being arrested again on additional charges.
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.