Judge modifies pastor's sex offender probation

Published On: Apr 18 2014 05:18:08 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 19 2014 12:09:02 AM EDT

He's a local pastor --- and a registered sex offender. Pastor Darrell Gilyard WILL be allowed to minister to children at his church.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A judge has agreed to modify the probation rules for a former pastor who spent three years in prison for lewd and lascivious acts with two girls while he was leading his church.

Darrell Gilyard was arrested in 2008 when he was pastor at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.

He pleaded guilty in 2009, and after he got out of prison he started preaching at Christ Missionary Tabernacle Baptist Church.

He's on probation as a sex offender, and some protesters pointed out that he should not be around children.

His new church is holding an Easter egg hunt on Sunday, and some are saying Gilyard cannot host it because he's a sex offender.

But Gilyard's lawyer convinced a judge to modify the probation so he can "minister to children under the age of 18 as long as the children are supervised by an adult other than the defendant."

The State Attorney's Office did not object to the change.

Nubia Brown lives in the neighborhood and said she has no problem with it.

"I'm a mom but first I'm a child of God, and I feel like people change," said Brown. "I feel like ultimately he has to deal with God for that."

One woman, who did not want to be identified, disagrees with the change.

"He is just a preacher. Why does he get special privileges?" the woman said. "So who is supervising the supervisor? That's uncomfortable there. I don't think it's right. Tell me why? Kids are not safe. That's what he was convicted of, there’s no way of getting around it."

Pastor Fred Wallace III, from New St. James AME Church, pointed to biblical leaders who sinned but still were called to do great things.

"Well, Moses, we can start with him. He was a murderer and yet God called him and told him, 'I want you to tell Pharaoh to let my people go,'" said Wallace.

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