MERCER COUNTY, Pa. — A pastor in Mercer County is a registered sex offender, but the church is not only aware of his past, it also doesn’t seem to be concerned.
David Pearson is the senior pastor at West Side Baptist Church in Sharpsville and is listed on Florida’s sex offender registry.
Channel 11 spoke with several Mercer County residents who were surprised to learn Pearson is preaching at a church which holds classes and programs for children.
“I just think there’s too big of a risk with how many kids are in and out of the church every week,” said Craig Schaefer.
Pearson, who is 68 years old, was convicted of sexual assault of a child in Texas back in 1993.
“It doesn’t matter when you get convicted, you’re always going to be registered as a sex offender. He should not be allowed anywhere near that church,” said Nadine Rolison.
We reached out to West Side Baptist for a comment and were directed to the home page of the (link) church’s website.
There, a statement about the Pearson’s past says in part:
“Over 29 years ago, Pastor David lived as a great sinner and rebel. Today Pastor David has gone from disgrace to amazing grace and now has served the Lord Jesus Christ at West Side for 18 years.”
“I am very surprised that it’s tolerated and I don’t know why the people of the parish don’t say anything. Why is he still there?” asked a woman who identified herself as Angelia.
According to several reports, West Side Baptist Church was recently expelled from the Southern Baptist Convention because of Pearson’s conviction.