St. Louis County Police
Rev. Terry McDowell: Believes in fresh starts.
Rev. Terry McDowell
describes his congregation at Gateway Southern Baptist Church on Tholozan Street in south St. Louis as a "church of second chances."
Let's hope so, for his sake.
Yesterday the St. Louis County police department announced it arrested McDowell last week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of four. On Friday the county prosecutor's office charged the 48-year-old preacher with child molestation in the first degree.
Perhaps McDowell was wrestling with a guilty conscience when he began the introduction on his church's website
with these words...
"We believe in many changes and many fresh starts.
We are a church of second chances for individuals and families.
But beware, NO perfect people are at Gateway."
According to authorities, their investigation began on back in May when St. Louis County detectives received a hotline referral from the Missouri Department of Social Services concerning the alleged victim. The girl reported that between January and May of 2010, the suspect, a trusted family friend, had touched her inappropriately while she was alone with him at his home. McDowell's residence is in Affton although the victim lives in Jefferson County. McDowell and his wife had been babysitting the child for the last two years.
As of yesterday McDowell remained in custody on a $50,000 bond. Police are asking anyone else who may have been molested by the pastor to call St. Louis County police at 314-889-2341.