IFB Preacher Charged With Raping Woman in Texas (Update 1)

Another fundamentalist pastor has been arrested for sex crimes, this time in West Virgina. “Dr.” Mathew D. Jarrell is the pastor of the Open Door Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas.

According to The Charleston Gazette:

[T]he woman was approached by Jarrell, whom she did not know. She needed a ride home [from a Charleston bar], and he said he would take her. Instead, he drove to an area off Martins Branch Road, where he held the woman’s face down on the seat of his truck, forcibly pulled her pants down and sodomized her, according to the complaint.

After the woman escaped, she contacted police and described Jarrell and his truck. When a sheriff’s deputy detained Jarrell, he originally denied having sex with the woman, but later admitted to it, according to the complaint.

“According to family members, Jarrell was supposed to be in Pennsylvania,” Lt. Sean Crosier of the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

The church website is allegedly “down for maintenance” but the cached site pages report the following facts about Jarrell:

Pastor Jarrell was born in Louisa, Kentucky. He was saved while serving in the Army with the 160th Special Operations Task Force stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. While attending a church service, the preaching of Dr. Jack Hyles brought Holy Ghost conviction and Pastor Jarrell repented of his sins and received Jesus Christ as he heard the sermon entitled, “Judasitis.”

Pastor Jarrell joined Temple Baptist Church in Clarksburg, Tennessee, where God called him to preach. Pastor Jarrell attended Austin Peay State University, Hyles-Anderson College, Atlantic Baptist Bible College, and Calvary Baptist Seminary. In 2004, he accepted the pastorate at Open Door Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas.

Jarrell has a wife and 4 children.

Update: Sources are now reporting that Matthew Jarrell has committed suicide while being detained facing these charges. A sad end to a sad story.

The church website now reads:

Thank you for visiting and we covet your prayers during this difficult time.

We will update this site as more information is available. However, during this time, we will continue to serve the Lord as we have for the past 46 years.

Hope to see you Sunday,
The Entire Church Membership

70 thoughts on “IFB Preacher Charged With Raping Woman in Texas (Update 1)”

  1. http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/052011-pastor-raped-woman-he-met-at-a-bar,-cops-say

    This is not the first time he has been arrested for sexual assault. 😯 There are still outstanding charges from an attack in 2007 in San Antonio. 👿

    And the church “leadership” (cough, cough) is still standing by their man.

    It seems many fundies will let any sicko be their pastor as long as he is KJVO and has strict dress and music standards.

    1. Having been in their shoes and doing the same thing (but not under the exact same circumstances) I can testify that the urge to believe what you want to believe will blow right past any rational reasoning.
      You could show many of his people direct evidence of his crime and they would still reason it away as a conspiracy, or a spiritual attack against the M-O-g. The police are not to be trusted in matters of things spiritual. He (the pastor) will stand before them and feed their paranoia and tell them that the authorities are satan worshippers or (as in my case) that the homosexuals in the community were conspiring to bring him down and they have members in high places in the police department and they can manufacture evidence (hey, we have all seen it done in the TV cop dramas). So, it is not a hard sell, especially to a group of folks who have a vested interest in believing their pastor’s story. People violently reject the idea that they can be so easily manipulated. They will hang on to the merest sliver of hope in the man they have allowed to lead them unquestioningly. It is an ugly, ugly nightmare to live through.

      1. You are so right Don. All of these “manipulators” would make interesting psychological case studies. It is my belief that many of these boys (they are not men), have been manipulated all of their lives, and at their core are so violently angry that they go and commit heinous acts and then “explain it away”.

    2. The church leadership said that it is in the courts hands, but ODBC would still be there for Pastor Jarrell and his family. Meaning extending a hand of support to get over whatever the problem may be.

      Every brother should have an opportunity to be restored, but certainly not maintaining a pastor position.

      The church also stated they would not be sweeping any of this under the rug.

      The church also did not know about the 2007 issue. Nothing was published about that until this week.

      The entire church membership is in shock and the actions of this past week are not a reflection of anything any church would support.

      1. The associate pastor knew about the 2007 allegations but the pastor explained it away causing the ass. pastor not to research any further. Evidence of this is the ass. pastor admitted it in one of the interviews. At that point, he swept it under the rug….he should have investigated this.

  2. I certainly hope that this man is convicted and sent to prison for a very long time. However, before we start jumping to conclusions about how all IFB pastors are rapists, child molesters, and perverts, just remember the old saying “The squeaky hinge gets the oil”. Yes, it’s horrendous that this guy is an IFB pastor and he raped a woman, but that doesn’t mean that he speaks/acts for everyone. Let’s consider him an outlier and not the norm.

      1. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that out of the hundreds or thousands of IFB pastors who are doing the right thing, we get news about the few who are doing the wrong thing. I absolutely agree that there are far too many of these incidents taking place. But to label every IFB pastor this way is unfair and inappropriate. That would be like labeling every Catholic priest a child molester because some priests decided to abuse some children. It’s like declaring every Baptist a bigoted homophobe because of the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church. The actions of a few cannot speak for the majority.

        1. It is not just a few pastors. The IFB list of pervs is getting rather lengthy.

        2. I’m not disputing that fact. However, if you line up all of the pastors who are doing the right thing (whether you agree or not) with those who are abusing children and other crimes, you will find that it is a minority. Not excusing their wretched behavior, just stating my position that to label every IFB pastor a child molester or rapist is unfair.

    1. It is very obvious where your bias lies. When there are 10 more fundy abuse cases will they still be just outliers? How many more will it take for you to admit to a problem with the fundy churches?

        1. Trex wrote, “How many IFB pastors can you name that have committed such crimes?”

          Are you asking for a general list of IFB pervert pastors or just the ones that mirror this particular crime (forcible rape of a non-church member)?

          Do adulterous pastors count too? (there are lots of those)

          What about those who covered up known sexual crimes in their church?

          An ABBREVIATED general perv list:
          Chris Settlemoir, Bob Gray FL, David Love, David Hyles, Harley Michael Keough, Bill Cabe, Nick Minerva, Joe Combs, Don Corle…

          If I spend a little bit of time on this project I can expand upon all these lists. This should probably be its own thread on the forum.

        2. The IFB list will keep me busy enough. Why don’t you take on the task of documenting the SBC and other abuses? I would be interested in reading it. The SBC is many times larger than the IFB, so it would be interesting to see if their list is proportionaly larger – or not.

        3. Away from the Umbrella, this is the typical MO. First it is to deny that there’s a problem. Then when you start to give examples to prove that it’s a problem, you’re told to redirect your efforts to document problems in OTHER churches.

          This is not the first time I’ve seen this kind of response.

          Fact of the matter is, we are from the IFB, not the SBC or Catholics or Mormons. We focus on the IFB because that is our world, where our friends and family and most of our past associations are. We want to see our churches actually live up to the purity and godliness they proclaim to exemplify.

        4. Not trying to re direct, just curious if the ratio is near the same or not. I can name a few criminal perverts/sicko Gray,Combs, this latest guy. as far as cheaters I can name several from every denomination. I just want an honest comparison. 15,000 IFB churchs, not sure how many preachers, evangelists, missionaries. At least twice, maybe three times as many?? If you name 300 thats !% or if you just stick with pastors name 150 thats !%. I don’t think you can name 150. just saying. However I will say this 15 is 15 too many. I’d say you can name 15 rather easily…and that friends is indeed very sad.

        5. BTW in no way am I denying there is a problem. Just think it may be more wide spread than just IFB churchs. Which again is very sad.

        6. It would be interesting to see how IFB Pastors would score on say Robert Hare’s Psychopath checklist?

  3. OMG, he attended ABBC, where I attended! Do we know his age or anything about this guy’s extended family? It is possible that he is the nephew of Jeff Jarrell the youth pastor who was convicted of raping the girls of Calvary Park Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia.

  4. Doesn’t matter now he is no longer with us. I feel for his wife and kids. In this day and age we live it will be that he was guilty of what he was charged with and had no guts. I am not saying he was innocent but in the forum of the news media and public opinion he is/was guilty of the charges. If he had been found innocent of both charges it would have gotten a small blurb on the back page.

    if it hadn’t been a church leader but some member this would have never gotten the attention it did. Also the fall for him being the spiritual leader of that church, on top of his wife and children, in the end he being human and imperfect fell. That fall was far, fast and hard. So now there is the alleged victim (I’m not saying she isn’t), his family, his wife, his kids and his church family in the end that are all hurting. Its good to see though how quickly some will jump and enjoy watching the downfall of another human being. God Bless America!!!! 😐

    1. This is the second such crime he has been accused of. It would take a lot to convince me of his innocence. He is not the victim of public opinion.

    2. Just out of curiosity, why were we using alleged and saying “innocent until proven guilty?” He had confessed, admitted his guilt. Why, why why was that not enough?

      Having said that, we cannot let this keep happening. Twice in as many months an IFB pastor has killed himself upon confrontation. There is something called “breaking denial” in which the offender is forced to admit to himself what he has done wrong. That breaks a person’s soul wide open, and these guys needed to do that. But to break someone’s denial without offering hope of redemption and rehabilitation is irresponsible. These pastors needed someone standing beside them saying, “Yes, you have sinned greatly. But God still loves you and there is a way that you can still serve him. It starts with a full confession, and a full acknowledgement of the pain that you have caused others. After you have accepted the court’s sentence and the censure of your fellow believers, you can begin ministering to others who, like you, have fallen far from grace. And you can help us figure out ways to keep our congregations safe by telling us how you lied and hid your crimes. You can serve God, just not in the way you had hoped. And you can still help your family, by humbly seeking their forgiveness and by supporting them in whatever way they will allow”

      We need to be clear that pastors who confess their sins and genuinely seek forgiveness and repentance will have the love and compassion of Christ shown to them by the men of the church. And we need to assure the offenders that we will work with them to make sure that their wives and children are cared for while pastor serves his debt to society.

      The truly despicable thing is that churches get so busy “defending” their MOG, that they block his path to repentance and to Christ’s mercy and compassion. There is a reason why congregations need to get their heads out of the sand: they love their pastors. And if they do not want to see their churches’ pastor, a man who they genuinely love, who has conducted their weddings, funerals and who has spoken to their hearts countless times – if they do not want to see him swinging from the end of a rope or clean his brains off of the floor of his study, they need to be a part of breaking that denial. They need to help him, lovingly and firmly, through the process of making atonement for his sins.

      We may not think that these pastors deserve mercy. But their children do; their congregations do, and according to that Guy ya’ll love to praise so much, even rapist pastors are worthy of His Father’s mercy. By refusing to believe that a MOG has committed a grievous sin or by simply calling him a cult-leader, you have all taken the easy way out. Doing the hard thing, the thing that might demonstrate you are worthy to be called sons of Christ, would be supporting the victims, acknowledging the crime, and ministering to the pastor as he is ruthlessly honest about his sin, takes full responsibility and spends the rest of his life making amends. That is being Christ-like. Everything else is crap.

      1. So now there is the alleged victim (I’m not saying she isn’t)…victims….it’s not a defense or denial as my name says I’m jus’ sayin’….

      2. This is well-said, Christine. I think a lot of moral outrage on this site comes BECAUSE there are so many supporters of IFB pastors caught in crime despite evidence of their guilt. The admittance of guilt is the first step. When no one goes to the first step, we can’t move on to the second: that of offering restoration and repentance and forgiveness. Calls for justice start getting strident when the sinner is surrounded by apologists who won’t admit his guilt. I think most people on here would prefer to see perpatrators brought to a place where they meekly repent, serve their time, make restitution, and seek to humbly find a way to build up the body of Christ. But we can’t get there when they keep offering excuses or keep denying that a crime was even done.

    1. Wow. I have mixed emotions. I feel for his family; especially his children. By his committing suicide, he has placed them into a higher risk category of also committing suicide. At least, he had the decency to remove himself from society where he can no longer hurt others including his family. I’m sure most of his family and congregation will believe that he was innocent since he will never stand trial to account for his wrongdoings. Maybe some people will wake up. Most IFB pastors do not believe they are accountable to ANYONE. (Of course, we all know there are exceptions – just not a sufficient amount to change my opinion.) In the end, he took the easy way out. Hopefully his victim(s) will be able to live w/the damage he inflicted upon them. What a way to show the love of Christ. 🙁

  5. I knew this guy, he coached football and basketball team of the church academy.

    He really had a bad temper and would cheat and encourage his team to cheat at any opportunity they could.

    Quite frankly all this doesn’t surprise me.

    No sympathy here except for his kids and wife. His kids were OK, at least better than he was.

  6. Let’s all pray for the families and the victims. He was selfish not to face his accusers! And his family! And his church! Can you imagine what his members are going thru? 5his is why we are commanded to follow God not man….BTW do have first hand knowledge that yes some people (and by that I mean like 5) knew of his arrest in San Antonio BUT HE HAD TOLD THEM THAT HE WAS ARRESTED BECAUSE HE HAD FORGOTTEN SEVERAL OF HIS HUNTING RIFLES IN HIS TRUCK. He deceived many. No one had any idea he was capable of anything like this. It is a total shock to everyone. And of course most peoples first reaction would be to presume innocence! When you work so closely with someone its like someone coming up and accusing your brother of a crime like this…what would you? I also know that now that everyone knows the truth of course they will stand by the church and family. They did not know of his secret life and they are not the ones who raped this woman. Should we leave his church and family out to be eaten by wolves just because of that man? Is he really worth that much? I am a victim of a sexual assault myself and I can say sincerely with my whole heart that the best thing to do is to pray and love his church and family (because they are victims too) and let’s help them move forward and away from this. Let’s love and send up prayers for the victims.

    1. First of all, let me preface what I’m about to write by acknowledging that this is MY issue arising from my experiences. Not to worry. I’m spending a significant amount of time, money, and energy to work through my issues though I do not believe that I’m entirely of course.

      I have no sympathy for his congregation as I have no sympathy for my parents and other adults in my childhood church who turned their heads and allowed atrocities to be committed because they worshipped the pastor. They CHOSE to believe a lie when this guy had a history of “indiscrepancies.”

      When I was about age 12 and began to understand the Bible, I could no longer accept the garbage spewing from the pulpit and the hypocrisy in the lives of the pastor and his family. The adults didn’t want to see it because being recognized by the pastor was more important to them than the truth. How blind can a person be?

      I did not shed a tear when my former pastor died unexpectedly. I did not rejoice in his death, but felt relief that I would never have to see him again and that the people who remained in the church would maybe get a glimpse of the truth.

      Pators are held to higher standards both by the public and God. The damage he caused to his victims especially the unsaved may be irreversible. He died a criminal and a coward, but according to his own beliefs, he’s rejoicing in glory!

    2. texasfundygal,

      Your church was manipulated by a sick person. He molded your mindsets in certain ways that would favor him. It would be best if members were to find new churches so they can rid their thinking of his manipulation. Shake the dust off your feet and get out of there.

  7. My former IFB pastor killed himself when he was no longer able to hide his sin. The church did a poor job of dealing with the mess that he left behind (they threw the victims under the bus and pretended that nothing ever hapened–way to go Faithway!).

    1. Rickrod,

      They have managed to keep these issues suppressed on other forums. Whenever someone suggests there was sinful behavior preceding Greg Baker’s decision to kill himself, the discussion gets shut down.

      What happened at Faithway? ❓

      1. Greg Baker made sexual advances on many woman in the church (staff were in mortal danger). He engaged in several affairs and used his time when preaching in other cities to visit hookers. The affair that did him in was with one of the teachers from the Christian school (at least the second of the kind). His wife and kids stayed on for a while at Faithway but the teacher and her husband were turfed immediately–no pay or severance pay for the teacher. Not sure why the teacher’s husband and children were excommunicated.

        1. Thank you for responding. Instead of surpressing this info, Faithway would be better served dealing with this situation openly and honestly

    2. I too used to attend at Faithway for many years and knew the “pastor” well. I was shocked about what happened and how quickly it was covered up and how poorly it was dealt with…. but it came on the heels of my own abandonment in marriage (and divorce) from another “m-o-g”. SOoooooo, it only added to the hurt, betrayal, pain, scars, and many millions of questions I already had.

      Thankfully, God is above all that and I am learning new freedom in HIM alone regardless of dress standard, music, church attendance, etc, etc.

      It is very sad and painful that so many (my own family included) are so blinded and misled by these “inerrant, infallible, holy, authoritative” men of god… as if they were god himself. My God, thankfully, is not like these men.

  8. Groups covering up for their corrupt leaders seem to be part of human nature. It now appears former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn may have been a serial rapist, and the IMF, the French Socialist Party and the French press were enablers. One of his alleged victims Tristane Banon was told to stay quiet by her own mother for the sake of the Party and that pressing charges could hurt the career of a great man.
    Whether the latest allegations in New York are true, it was heroic that the hotel stood by their employee against a powerful, wealthy client and his organization.

    1. A secular hotel knew to do the right thing with a perv who was far more powerful than an fundy pope. Too bad so many churches don’t have such strong ethics.

  9. I would just like to say to all of you who are so quick to judge the former church and family of Matthew Jarrell that you are wrong. I have visited this church an met this family. I would never in a million years think that he would have done this. I do believe that he is guilty and did a terrible wicked thing. I think at this hard time the only thing anyone should say about his family or Open Door Baptist church is that we’re praying for you all. What a tragedy, I can’t imagine how it feels. People are quick to judge churches when things like this happen. It’s not the churches fault that chose to live for the devil. I’m sure the church was just as shocked as the rest of the world. I do not believe they are trying to cover anything up. Also, I think everyone is forgetting about the poor victims. What an awful thing to have happen to you. My prayers are also with them. Before everyone is so quick to judge all the victims we should remember…we are all sinners and don’t deserve what Jesus did for us. He came and died a violent, terrible death on the cross and then rose to life so that we can go to Heaven. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He made it so easy for us. All you have to do is ask. It doesn’t matter what denomination you are. God sees us all as his children and wants us all to accept His Son, Jesus, so that one day we can spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Thank you Lord for saving my soul and please be with all the people who were hurt by the recent tragedy.

    1. We aren’t judging his church and especially not his family. We feel for them. Most folks here are remembering the victims, too, and placing no blame on them at all.

      As for your witnessing, you should realize that not everyone here is a Christian, and it’s people like Jarrell who have hurt them badly enough to make them leave Christianity entirely. They are accepted here. Make your comments about the issue at hand; the vast majority of us have already heard the Gospel.

      1. I never said everyone was saying negative things about his family or congregation. If you read all the comments some of them are. I agree that his actions will cause people to not want to accept Jesus. It’s horrible that other people’s actions cause people to want nothing to do with God. I’m sure the Lord will take care of rebuking all of us who haven’t been a good example for him. As for your comment about me witnessing…I will not stop telling others about God. I have many friends who are not “Christians” too. I love them and think everyone deserves to hear about God. For the record, I am not defending Jarrell. I think his actions were terrible.

  10. I used to drive by that church everyday on my way to work. I feel bad for this entire situation. I hope and pray that this man finds God’s love, grace and mercy to be overwhelming and never ending. I also pray that God’s love, grace and mercy will overwhelm this church, this family, the victim, her family, and everyone else affected by this evil act.

  11. Pray for the church, the people hurt. Pray for his family. Pray for the victims.. He seemed to me to be a good man but of course I have found out since, that is not the case!!

  12. Sadly, something very deep in the IFB is responsible for creating this all too prevalent culture of abusiveness. It exists at every level: verbal, mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical abuse and take every imaginable shape. It is not limited to the IFB, but seems so extremely prevalent there now in a way that may eclipse any other scandal in any other denomination. Something is so very wrong that I think only God is the one who can handle it–not that victims should remain silent, but that any human attempt to find justice will come up short and hollow. The damage is being done daily, over and over again, and it cannot be undone except by the just and mighty healing hand of God Himself. When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth? There is little reality to that faith left within the ranks of the IFB. I fear that Ichabod is the writing on the wall.

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