Grenada Church Pastor Accused of Molesting Teen

By Sara McAdory
Clarion-Ledger [Grenada MS]
July 28, 2006

The pastor of a Grenada church is accused of molesting a teenage boy, according to a civil lawsuit filed by the boy's mother. The family also is seeking damages from the church for "concealing the sexual molestation of young minor boys," according to the lawsuit.

The suit accuses the Rev. Perry L. Montgomery, 72, pastor of First New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Grenada, of fondling the boy in April when he was 14. The Clarion-Ledger does not identify victims of alleged sexual abuse.

Montgomery did not return calls left at his home and office, and the attorney listed as the church's agent of record is deceased, a church receptionist said.

First New Hope is a member of the National Baptist Convention USA, the largest African-American denomination with 7.5 million members.

The Rev. Jerry Young, president of state organization for NBCUSA, had not heard of the lawsuit Thursday afternoon. But, he said, "There is no question that our church is a Christian church, and we stand on biblical principles."

The boy's attorney, Carlos E. Moore of Grenada, said the alleged abuse happened on more than one occasion. Court documents list "on or about April 22" as the date of the last abuse.

The boy was at Montgomery's home, the church parsonage, performing chores when the alleged abuse occurred, court documents said.

"The pastor said he had him washing the church vans. The boy said he was doing stuff inside the pastor's house as well," Moore said.

The boy is not a member of the church, but he lives on the same street as the church, Moore said.

The boy's mother found out about the alleged abuse after the boy told his grandmother, Moore said. The mother filed a police report April 23 and filed suit July 18. Montgomery was served with the suit Thursday.

Maj. Rosie Washington of the Grenada Police Department said she could not discuss whether a complaint had been filed or whether there was an ongoing investigation because it concerned a juvenile, but she said no charges had been filed against Montgomery as far as she knew.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.