Pastor Ronnie Gorton Now Suicidal After Rape Allegations

“Anytime there’s an allegation of sexual misconduct it’s alarming. Again, especially when it’s someone in a position of authority, people that we trust.”

In statements to local news outlets, authorities revealed that Ronnie Gorton, lead pastor of The Awakening Church in Atoka, Tennessee, has been taken into custody for a psychiatric evaluation after allegedly becoming suicidal and threatening to take his life after recent allegation that he raped two underage boys.

Tipton County investigators told WMCActionNews5 that an anonymous 17-year-old boy made statements last week alleging that Gorton, 39, sexually assaulted, molested, and raped him on several occasions. The Atoka Police Department reported receiving a similar complaint from a 20-year-old man who alleged that Gorton sexually assaulted him when he was a minor.

Billy Daugherty, Tipton County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy, told The Leader that the latest instance of alleged assault by Gorton took place on Jan. 31 and that the case is a multijurisdictional investigation.

“There’s an allegation in the county and an allegation in Atoka,” Daugherty said, adding that there was “nothing to indicate” any of the incidents occurred within the church.

Daugherty further explained that no criminal charges have been filed against the pastor. He was, however, taken into custody after meeting with detectives last Wednesday when a friend of Gorton’s reported that he was armed with a handgun and had threatened to commit suicide.

Daugherty also noted the natural reaction of members of the church and community to be alarmed by the allegations: “Anytime there’s an allegation of sexual misconduct it’s alarming. Again, especially when it’s someone in a position of authority, people that we trust.”

  • Psalms 118:8- It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. 
  • Micah 7:5- Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide; keep the doors of thy mouth from her that, lieth in they bosom. 
  • Jeremiah 17:5- Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 
  • Galatians 6:3- For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 

Pro-LGBT group launches campaign asking Christians to raise money for gender transition surgeries

An organization is launching a campaign asking Christians to donate money to help transgender people pay for surgeries related to their gender transition as a form of reparations for past discrimination.

Faithfully LGBT, a group that seeks to share the stories of LGBT people of faith, is raising funds for the transgender community through a campaign called #TitheTrans.

“There needs to be tangible ways that progressive Christians, who disagree with anti-trans theology, give to the transgender community,” says Eliel Cruz, founder of the organization. “I want Tithe Trans to be a way for Christians to begin to pay reparations for the damage we have caused,” he added.

The group noted that transition surgeries can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $90,000. About 20 percent of transgender individuals do not have any form of health insurance, and many insurance companies do not provide coverage for procedures related to gender transition, according to NewNowNext.

“Christians have disparaged the bodies of trans people, which has contributed to a culture of violence against them,” a statement from the Tithe Trans fundraising site read.

“From promoting anti-trans bathroom legislation to theology that has lead to suicides and homelessness.For those Christians who have seen this violence and have been horrified by it, it’s time to put your tithe money where your beliefs are,” it continued.

According to a news release published on the group’s website, the money collected by the campaign will be directed to the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to provide grants to cover gender transition surgeries. Applications for grants are reviewed by a board of trans activists, who provides as many grants as the organization’s funds allow.

A fundraising goal of $10,000 has been set by the organizers, and while the campaign is directed at Christians, others are also allowed to donate. The organizers are hoping to surpass its fundraising goal, but, as of Sept, 9, the campaign has only raised $512.

The hashtag #FaithfullyLGBT was first used by Cruz when he was sharing his column of the same name at Religion News Service in 2015. Since then, others have used it to create visibility for the intersection of their faith and their sexuality.

In January 2016, Cruz launched a photo campaign highlighting the faces of LGBT people of faith. The photographs are also featured in the Faithfully LGBT website, each one accompanied by the subject’s name, sexual orientation, and religious tradition, as well as a quote about the individual’s relationship to sexuality and faith.

[ written by Jardine Malado]

  • “Church,” “body of Christ” you have failed miserably! If God were truly in this modern day Christianity THERE’S NO WAY this would be happening! If “the church” wont stand against evil beyond the comforts and safety of the pulpit then what good is the “church”!?  I believe that there is a remnant of people, those who dont wear suits or titles who are standing against evil. Their voices seem unheard because they are few in number and are being drowned out by the popularity and performances of the Pharisees of today.