My thanks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for this story.
By MARCUS K. GARNER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 03/12/08
An Alpharetta minister has been arrested for allegedly molesting two girls.
The Rev. Derek Gillett, pastor of the Cornerstone Community Chapel, was charged Friday with two counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of sodomy.
Gillett, a 38-year-old resident of Cherokee County, is being held without bond on charges that carry a potential life sentence.
An acquaintance of the victims reported the alleged abuse to a Cherokee County deputy Thursday afternoon, according to police reports.
The woman told the deputy that Gillett had been molesting at least one of the victims “for some time,” police reports said.
The victim had confided in the woman, who, in turn, informed police.
Gillett was arrested Friday at his Alpharetta home, just inside Cherokee County.
Before starting Cornerstone on Atlanta Highway last year, Gillett had been a youth director at Midway United Methodist Church in Alpharetta.
Cherokee sheriff’s department won’t say how Gillett knew the two victims. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jay Baker said both Cornerstone and Midway have been notified of the arrest.
“They are not members of (either) congregation, nor have we had any reports of other possible victims,” Baker said.
Gillett was ordained last April at his father’s church in Palmetto, Fla. He had worked for a year at Midway prior to his ordination.
He resigned last May under duress, before starting Cornerstone, said Midway’s senior minister, the Rev. Calvin Haney.
“I’m not surprised that he may have been involved in something,” Haney said. “But never would I have imagined that it would have been of this magnitude.”
He declined to elaborate.