Creation Festival Founder & Pastor Accused of 8 Sex Crimes Involving Minors
Seemingly every day the news is reporting a gross new allegation of sexual abuse, harassment, or assault. Many of those reports are about celebrities or politicians, this story, however, hits a little closer to home and affects the body of the church.
Many know Pastor Harry Thomas of Come Alive New Testament Church in New Jersey. Not only has the 74-year-old served in ministry for many years, but he also founded the renowned Creation Festival that began in 1979 and runs a few days in two different locations. During this period, a hodgepodge of nearly every important Christian artist, band, or rapper has spent a few days camping out “Woodstock” style at the outdoor event that draws up to 100,000 people every year, not including branch off events like Sonshine Festival and Ichthus Music Festival.
Well, it’s sad to say, but the minister has been arrested and accused of up to eight criminal accounts regarding child molestation, according to Christianity Today. It is alleged that Thomas assaulted four children from 1999 to 2015.
“It is with deep regret and saddened hearts that the Elders and Trustees of Come Alive New Testament Church have indefinitely suspended Pastor Harry Thomas from all leadership positions with the church, festival, and all associated ministries,” the church organization released in a statement last week.
Courier-Post Online reported that the pastor has been charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault, three counts of sexual assault, and four counts of endangering the welfare of children.
“A first appearance hearing will be held in the near future in Superior Court. The case will now be prepared for presentation to a Burlington County Grand Jury for possible indictment,” wrote the Christian Post.
As of right now, Thomas is being treated at a medical facility. It is unclear why he is there, but he is “under guard.”
Thomas who served in some capacity in all the festival ministries and in the church has been suspended from all roles and erased from websites and social media accounts.