I find it very strange that people are shocked to hear about these allegations against Darrell Gilyard, pastor of the Shilo Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida.
I have no idea whether the current allegations of him sending sexually explicit text messages are true or not, but its just absolutely amazing to me that people in Jacksonville are shocked! But given the adultery allegations against him with women in his former Texas church that were well-reported in the 1990's, the new allegations don't surprise this writer one bit!!!
Long-time church members at FBC Jacksonville remember this very gifted preacher preaching here in Jacksonville in the 1980's. He claimed to have been born and raised on the streets in poverty, a homeless young person - FBC Jax members will remember his story of "living under a bridge" as a young person. But this turned out to be a lie, as Barbara Davis of Palatka, Florida testified that she raised Darrell from age 5 to 19 and that his story of living homeless under a bridge were made up. Then in 1991 the adultery allegations arose and he resigned as pastor of the Victory Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas.
Here is a newspaper article from the "Austin American Statesman" dated July 13, 1991:
RICHARDSON - A minister who resigned after admitting several adulterous relationships should stay out of the pulpit until he proves he's ready to practice what he preaches, a Southern Baptist leader said Friday.
Darrell Gilyard's once-rising star within Southern Baptist circles came crashing down this week, leaving yet another evangelist whose message was tainted by adultery.
Gilyard, a frequent guest on Jerry Falwell's weekly evangelical television program, has been described by several prominent ministers as one of the nation's most gifted religious orators.
But the 29-year-old preacher's future darkened when he announced his resignation during a midweek meeting at the Victory Baptist Church, one of the few integrated congregations within the mostly white Southern Baptist Convention.
"I offer you my resignation immediately without option," said Gilyard. "The only reason I stand before you now is because my love for this book supersedes my will."
Gilyard did not return messages left at his home Friday by The Associated Press.
Although Gilyard did not mention his reasons for leaving his church, a longtime supporter and friend, Dr. Paige Patterson, said Friday that Gilyard admitted having several adulterous affairs with women he was counseling.
Falwell said in statement released Friday that he has not spoken with Gilyard since his resignation.
"I am always deeply saddened to hear such allegations against any servant of God whether true or false," Falwell said. "The whole cause of Christ is always injured.
"Rev. Gilyard is the most gifted young preacher I know today and God has greatly used his message throughout this country."
Southern Baptist Convention officials said Gilyard was pressured to resign because of mounting complaints that he had behaved inappropriately toward women in both his own church and at least three other congregations.
Patterson, president of Criswell College and Gilyard's former teacher, said the complaints prompted an investigation.
"He has resigned from Victory Baptist Church, but I have been told by some that he may be having second thoughts about that," Patterson said. "Apparently some members of the church may want him to stay on."
But Patterson said it would be best for Gilyard, who is black, and the church if Gilyard does not return.
"Darrell needs counseling to try to gain restoration with God and his family," Patterson said. "I think it is inappropriate for a person who has had this type of thing happen to him to be in the pastorate.
When allegations of sexual misconduct cropped up against Gilyard four years ago, Patterson said he counseled the young minister, who is married. Patterson said he advised Gilyard to avoid meeting alone with women and to avoid lengthy personal counseling sessions that might breed gossip.
Here is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle dated July 29, 1991 about the fabrication of his "living on the streets":
A preacher who gained national prominence when the Rev. Jerry Falwell broadcast his "miracle story" of rising from homelessness in his teens actually had a comfortable upbringing, a newspaper said yesterday.
Darrell Gilyard has claimed he slept under a bridge from age 13 on. But the Dallas Morning News quoted a Florida woman who reared him as contradicting that story.
Gilyard, 29, denounced the newspaper article in a sermon yesterday.
Gilyard became one of the nation's most sought-after black Baptist evangelists after frequent appearances on Falwell's nationally televised "Old-Time Gospel Hour" but has fallen from favor recently.
Under pressure from Baptist leaders, he resigned from his Victory Baptist Church here on July 10. There were allegations that he had affairs with female members of the congregation.
He christened Grace Community Church less than two weeks later. Last week, he asked members of his new church to forgive him for the alleged affairs.
Falwell's show in January spotlighted Gilyard's more distant past -- including his claims of teenage homelessness -- in a segment called "The Darrell Gilyard Miracle Story."
But Barbara Davis, 65, of Palatka, Fla., who said she reared Gilyard from age 5 to 19, said he fabricated stories about his childhood.
"It was embarrassing," Davis told the newspaper. "People were calling me from all over and knew how I'd raised him."
Let's see what these new allegations are all about. Either way, its probably time that people in Jacksonville who are following this man know the truth about his past.