I normally look forward to receiving your newspaper each Wednesday. But I was appalled when I read the article in your Jan. 23 issue concerning a Marion pastor facing theft charges. This pastor happens to be my friend.
Normally, whenever someone is arrested, we read about it in the record section in small print. This article was written without your reporter having all the facts.
Wouldn’t it have been better to wait until the pastor had his say in court? There will be those who consider him guilty because of your reporting, whatever the outcome may be.
We pastors in Marion are not happy with the way you handled this unfortunate situation. I do not feel our police sergeant was wrong in giving the story to your reporter and not allowing the pastor to tell what had happened.
Hopefully, you will know all of the facts before reporting such a situation in bold print, as you did, in the future.
We pastors in Marion are standing by our brother.
Bill Sherfy, pastor
Emmanuel Baptist Church
Editor’s response: You are correct that we generally report arrests in our Public Record section, but it’s also true that we have reported some incidents more prominently because of the nature of the alleged crime or, in this case, because of the position of the person involved.
By nature of their vocation, pastors are public figures; their actions, for better or worse, impact the larger community.
We took no joy in reporting the action taken by law enforcement. But the only “facts” we could report were the ones included in the story. We will be pleased to report if and when the pastor in question is exonerated of the charges.