Copyright 2008 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
       Joe Barron, minister of married adults at the Prestonwood Baptist Church in suburban Dallas TX, for two weeks carried on graphically sexual conversations with a pretty 13-year-old girl online before driving three hours on May 15th with a car full of condoms and recording equipment to meet and have sex with her. But to Barron's surprise, the petite, newly hormonal, sex-starved nymphet turned out to be in actuality a large, hairy, very male member of the Bryan TX Police Department. Joe Barron, in spite of having handcuffs introduced into the proceedings, declined to carry on the tryst with the policeman and went quietly to a Brazos County jail cell.
       Prestonwood Baptist is a megachurch located at 6801 W. Park Blvd. in Plano, just north of Dallas. It is so large that Barron is only one of forty total ministers in the church-glomerate's employ. Even so, church officials immediately pegged Joe Barron as a foot soldier of the Devil, out to destroy their church. They cast him out with righteous indignation at the great harm he had done to the Prestonwood brand name. Pastor Jack Graham, D.M.–Prestonwood's CEO–told his congregation in a statement, "I want to thank you for continuing to believe in us and pray for God’s protection upon our lives. May God give us the grace and strength to overcome the enemy and raise a standard of righteousness. We have taken a hit but we will rise above and continue to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and proclaim His glorious Gospel." There was no comment on the need for any prayer for Joe Barron, who–under the circumstances–is probably the one most in need of it. No matter, if the church is in trouble, those in the most need take a back seat. Pedophiles may go to jail, but the church goes on. The Gospel of Jesus must be filled with examples of His choosing to save his own skin rather than try to help those who were against Him–though we have been unable to find any such passage. Not that we are Biblical scholars–that moniker belongs to our Religious Editor, who... well, more on him later. In the meantime, the Dallas Morning News took the time to clarify how much better Prestonwood is than other denominations, stating in an editorial:

       "We've seen this play out time and time again over the past few years, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church.... It's impossible to put a dollar figure on the loss of trust and confidence in church authorities.
       "Why has it been so difficult for the institutional leaders in churches to understand what's at stake for their credibility in these ugly matters?
       "Advocates for abuse victims were in Dallas recently protesting the continued ministry of Lynn C. Bauman, a former Dallas Episcopal priest convicted of molesting an 8-year-old Texas boy a decade ago....
       "... Many in church authority have failed their calling and their congregations under similar conditions, through defensiveness, dissimulation and deferring hard decisions.
       "Not Jack Graham."

       The Morning News did not speculate what Prestonwood's reaction might have been had the accused hymen popper been Jack Graham. No matter, Joe Barron is currently out of jail on $7,000 bail awaiting his next court appearance. Our Religious Editor is somewhere in the region looking to get an exclusive interview with Barron, but an odd report reached our desk recently–the last communication from the area. It stated that our Religious Editor had been sighted passed out on a blackjack table at Billy Bob's Texas. We know our Religious Editor will recover. His expense account, on the other hand, is another matter.
June 2, 2008
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