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Brian Pounds, the lead pastor at the First Assembly of God in Vernon, Texas, was arrested on Friday on charges of “sexual assault of a child and delivery of a controlled substance to a minor.” The story is as troubling as you’d expect.

According to the arrest warrant, a while back, Pounds got a 15-year-old girl a job cleaning homes for the elderly. He also counseled the girl and her family. He used his closeness to her to meet the girl privately — multiple times — to rape her. (The affidavit says during one of those acts, he “placed both hands on her neck and choked her.”

He also gave her meth. Those two acts were arguably related. I repeat: She was 15.

That all came to a swift end earlier this month:

On July 1, the girl’s mother asked police for help finding her daughter and an officer found Pounds at a motel, the warrant says. During a search of a room under Pounds’ and the church’s name, police reported finding what appeared to be meth and evidence the girl stayed there.

The girl said she smoked meth in the motel room, where Pounds had performed sex acts with her earlier in the day, according to the warrant, and she was later admitted to a local hospital with “medical complications from smoking methamphetamine.”

It’s just a disgusting, disturbing story in every way. As of this writing, the church has taken down its Facebook page without making any kind of public statement, though they removed Pounds’ name from their website.

Pounds says in a 2020 video that’s still up online that he’s a graduate of Liberty University and been married for 16 years. The thing that caught my attention was the description of his four kids. His oldest daughter, he pointed out, is 15 years old.

YouTube video

(Thanks to Mark for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.