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4 area ex-pastors on Southern Baptist Church secret predator list

Posted at 7:29 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 16:26:09-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  — James Richard Harris was once a well-known Pastor of a Baptist Church in Belle Glade. In 2009, he was charged with performing a sex act on a 15-year-old boy and convicted at a trial in 2012.  

Harris is one of four former pastors from Palm Beach County on a 205-page list released by the Southern Baptist Convention of ministers and other church workers the church described as “credibly accused” of a sex crime.  

According to the list released by the national church, Lyndon Howell was an Associate Pastor at Community Missionary Baptist Church in Delray Beach in 2001 when he was arrested for abusing a child. He is now a registered sex offender in Palm Beach County.  

Records show, that in 2000 Kenneth Johnson was the Pastor at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Pierce, where published reports show he was accused of having sex with a teen who played on a women’s basketball team coached by his wife. Despite his conviction, church elders voted to keep Johnson as pastor. Johnson is now a registered sex offender living in Miami.  

Also on the list is Jermey Gable, who in 2007 was the youth minister at First Baptist Church in Port St. Lucie. Gable was convicted of cruelty toward a child by pleading no contest and received five years of probation.

James Harris is the best known of the four on the Southern Baptist Church’s list.

WPTV covered his 2012 trial where he was convicted of having sex acts with a 15-year-old boy luring the child with the promise of playing in the NFL.

According to the church’s list, during his trial, Harris threatened to kill himself in the courtroom by swallowing what appeared to be a handful of white pills.

The trial was delayed as deputies brought Harris to a hospital.

According to the church’s list, it turns out Harris was taking antacids, not pills. Harris was convicted and sentenced to 30-years-in prison. He’s now 75-year-old and serving time in state prison.  

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