May 18, 2006

AME defrocks L.A. pastor in molestation case

Chicago Defender

by Gene C. Johnson Jr.
May 18, 2006

LOS ANGELES (NNPA) — After being accused of sexual advances toward an underage member of his congregation, Rev. Sylvester Laudermill Jr. has been permanently removed as senior pastor of Ward AME Church.

An attorney representing the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Joseph Stanley Sanders, said Laudermill has been “in effect, defrocked” following a minor’s complaint about the minister’s alleged improper behavior during “late February or early March” of this year.

Neither Laudermill nor his attorney, Leonard Levine, returned phone calls seeking comment.

Sanders, who refused to directly discuss the gender of the minor or the details of the alleged sexual attack, may have inadvertently revealed the child’s gender in an interview. The alleged victim first reported the incident to “his” parents, who then went to the church’s presiding elder, the Rev. Norman Copeland, Sanders said.

Posted by kshaw at May 18, 2006 05:32 AM