Church confirms alleged Conway sex offender was pastor, issues statement

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) –  A South Carolina church has confirmed an alleged sex offender was a pastor  and has issued a statement about recent charges.

The South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church said Stephen Ray Jordan, 67, was a full elder who retired in 2016 and has not been appointed to serve since.

“We were saddened at hearing that a retired pastor in the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church has been charged with a crime, and we are in prayer for everyone involved,” the church issued in a statement on Wednesday.

“When conference officials become aware of a criminal charge involving a clergyperson, that person is not eligible to serve in a local church until the matter is resolved, and we always cooperate fully with civil authorities to the extent we are asked to do so,” the statement also says. “Our Safe Sanctuaries policy represents our dedication to protecting children, youth and vulnerable adults as a part of our community of faith.”

Jordan was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor in May. He also was charged on Saturday with assault and tresspassing. 

An arrest warrant alleges Jordan fondled a 4-year-old girl in 2014. He was arrested in May of 2018 and released on a $10,000 bond. 

On Saturday, Jordan was charged with assault and battery in the third degree, entry on another’s land for various purposes without permission, and trespassing on another’s land without permission, according to J. Reuben Long Detention Center booking records.

His remains in the center as of Wednesday afternoon with bond set at about $2,950.

News13’s Julie Calhoun on Thursday spoke with parents in Conway, who said the alleged sex offender was harassing their children and they are trying to get him out of their neighborhood.

Parents in the West Ridge Neighborhood said they’re concerned about Jordan being near their children.

“He follows my little girl up to the bus stop every morning to the point where I don’t feel safe with her coming outside or my other children,” said Heather Christian.

Christian said Jordan knows her daughter by name, gave her gifts, and even came into her yard while her children were playing outside. She and several parents have filed a trespassing report.

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