Youth Minister Joshua O’Bannion Arrested for Child Sex Abuse

Youth pastor Joshua O’Bannion of Gilbert, AZ, was arrested September 9 for alleged sexual contact with a 14-year old in the youth group at Christ Life Church. According to the linked article, Bannion subsequently admitted to three incidents of sexual contact with the girl.

It is my hope that if anyone affected by this case should find this blog, you can find some help and additional insight about dealing with the issue of clergy sex abuse in the articles in the right sidebar of this site and under the Church Abuse tab.

64 Responses

  1. This is a sad day for the church. Reading all the comments I felt Ineeded to say some things.
    DANNI I agree, whetehr true or false, it is everones business and I can tell you first hand it affects the entire church I know Im sitting right in the middle of it!
    CHUCK yes all have sinned and come short of glory of God and let me tell you, if you messed up here all was made aware of it unless of course you were family then it was swept under the carpet! Do not assume we are not praying for Josh and his family BUT are you and are they also praying for the families of these girls? David did indeed sleep with Bathsheba and also admitted to it! Josh admitted it to the police AND they have it recorded but is denying to his family so he has not admitted to it, he has not repented nor has he ran to God so please do not compare David and Josh. I do not care if these GIRLS threw himselvs at this 25 yr of MAN he is guilty. He knew their age, he is responsible for his actions and his position as a minister. And CHUCK I am a CHRIST-ian! Did not Chirst say the law was for the lawless? Did not Christ show his anger when he overthrew the tables in the temple? Did not Christ say be angry and sin not? We have a right to be angry and I pray you NEVER encounter such a violation against yourself, your children or your grandchildren. Josh is not unreachable, unforgivable nor unlovable but there is a consequences for sin. Being a Christian, minister,does n ot omit you from the law. It is statements like the ones you are posting that the church is mocked and called an occult, you want to hide the sin and just over look it because after all arent we all sinners NOT SO! And for you Chuck to turn this on these girls is just sick! Let me say again I am a member here I can tell you these girls were NOT half dressed so to say keep it covered…why tell the guy keep it in his pants!!!!
    KATIE ROSE…you need to talk to you mom and have her talk to the authorities about Josh getting “too friendly” PLEASE!!!!!!

  2. do me a favor justfacts. if ur very confident in ur sayns use ur real name so i can adress u . jesus did overthrow the tables and get angry. i get angry all the time. but i never make myself the judge and jury. and neither did jesus. what im simply sayn is that he mayb very, very quilty. but u guys dont have the CHRISTIAN right to b the judge and jury. and as i said b4. i have three sisters, and if they snuck out of the house to c an older man they better not dare cry rape. ive been in church most of my life. i see how teenage girls flirt and try their hardest to get the attention of older men. what josh did here iswrong if its proven. but for the most part as a whole in itself there r more and more young girls developing well beyond their years. and they know this and easily r able to tell a guy their interested in that their older than they r. this is something that goes on all the time. and aside from joshs issue. i think it needs to b more looked into from now now on by the law and hold the girls just as accountable.

    • Chuck,

      I waited to see what you would do and I notice that you have again ignored the WORD, which I posted for you in detail, and have simply restated the same wrong theology to someone else. You had time to respond to justfacts with arrogance and condescension (“do me a favor, if you’re so confident, and use your real name so I can address you”) but apparently “didn’t have time” to address my response to your continued insistence that Jesus never said for us to judge sin in the church.

      Neither “justfacts” nor anyone else on here has to use their real name — not at your arrogant demand, implying your own superiority, or for any other reason. Most people do not use their real identity on the internet for security reasons. For all that, we have no way to know if your name is really Chuck. Your demand is nothing less than an attempt at rude intimidation.

      Now, how about that Word? Do we take out the parts Jesus and Paul wrote because you don’t want anyone to judge Josh — or you either?

      — Danni

    • Chuck,

      If u wanna say that it’s the girls who are trying to get older men and possibly lying or deceiving about their ages, for one thing, Josh knew their ages as being the youth minister, that’s just information that is a given, and besides that, how many girls could really lie to him and he just keep believing it?? He’d have to be an idiot!! But the real ringer is that you’re turning your ears off the the fact that HE ADMITTED THESE ACTIONS TO THE AUTHORITIES!!!! Hello!!! What else says he did it better than that??

    • Chuck:

      Its strange to me that you tell others not to be judge and jury, and yet not only are doing just that towards others…but to most teenage girls.

      If older men are taking advantage of what of these girls are offering as you claim? Seems to me there is a HUGE issue within the adult groups of men. Its hard to believe you can’t see the huge character flaw there. You seem to only see one set of character flaws, and not another! Hmm.

      There is a process of accountability, and the mature men should be taking advantage of that if they have all these teenage girls fawning over them. Why aren’t they? Since as you claim there is this huge URGE for this to happen there are ways of getting them caught in the act, etc so there is no questions. Kind of strange that they aren’t taking advantage of that. Why is that?

      Calling out sin is the the bible, and twisting the story over the woman that would have been stoned? Why would you call out your sisters for lying since you as well are not sinless? Why not apply the same principals to yourself? Why not remind yourself that one sin isn’t greater than another and leave it at that as you are asking others?

      Is it also biblical to rant over these principals, and not apply them to yourself?

      It clearly sounds like you are hurt over this situation. No one likes that ever! Stating claims towards others, and not applying them to yourself? That a contradiction, and you are clearly confused.

  3. “but for the most part as a whole in itself there r more and more young girls developing well beyond their years. and they know this and easily r able to tell a guy their interested in that their older than they r. this is something that goes on all the time.”

    Really? Chuck, I don’t know what church you go to, but I’ve been in churches for 40 years and I’ve NEVER seen large groups of teenage girls dressing scantily or throwing themselves at older men. I’ve taught in a public high school for 10 years and still rarely see this. Out of hundreds of teenage girls I’ve known, I can tell you that the few I’ve known who’ve gotten involved with older men were emotionally broken because of very sad home lives. They didn’t pursue older men because they liked them, but because they were looking for a substitute for their father.

    The vast majority of young teen girls are a) too nervous/innocent to even know how to approach a boy their own age, and b) think older men are gross.

    I’m not going to pull any punches here: men who imply or insist that teenage girls “want it” are often men who are in the grips of sexual addiction, especially pornography, where the “stories” are often the male fantasy of a young woman throwing herself at him. These men are so involved in fantasy that they no longer see the truth.

    If an older man, especially a pastor, is ever approached by a teen girl, he should, as a mature and loving response, say, “This is not normal. I know this girl is coming on to me because she is a broken child and needs help. I am going to lovingly reject her advances and get her the help she needs.” NOT “Well, she asked for it.” The older man is the ADULT in this situation, and it is his duty to act like it. It is his duty to protect that young girl from herself.

  4. Hey Brian,
    I wouldn’t pay too much attention to anything this guy Chuck has to say. Sounds to me like he has a real problem with women. I can only assume that he was molested as a child. Probably by a female authoritative figure of some type; Mother, Aunt, Nun, etc.. We can only hope that one day he recognizes this and seeks out the psychological help that he obviously needs!
    Till then, Be strong

  5. Andy,

    You said “But the statistics show that over 80% of people in that situation end up being sexual offenders themselves.”

    Are you saying that 80% of victims of sexual abuse end up bring sexual offenders? Or something else? Either way I would like to see some proof of your claim.

    • Statistically, the number of sex abuse victims who end up being predators is quite low – contrary to urban legend. The percentage of prior victims who become predators is approximately the same as among the general population. There are no statistics that I know of about general victims of abuse who become abusers of any type, but in research on former sexual abuse victims become predators, the numbers just aren’t there.

      I don’t know where to find the research since I no longer have access to those databases, but I specifically remember this from psychology classes, since it is a common misunderstanding.

      — Danni

  6. hey danni
    do they ever stop blaming the vic?

  7. Does anyone know why the current number of victims victimized by Joshua O’Bannion not being disclosed?
    Shouldn’t it be the duty of the churches involved to notify known churches that is known to them where Joshua has also spent any amount of time ministering at so they can talk to their members to determine whether or not Joshua has offended their children?
    By far this has been a very hush-hush serious violation in so many areas. After a discussion I had with fellow members it leaves my heart broken and disturbed. I learned that there are in reality three girls here in Arizona, along with two more girls in Ohio, where Joshua is from. This is sickening!

    The question that I can not resolve is “Whose responsibly is it to notify the other churches where Joshua has also spent time ministering? Will they be notified?
    Joshua O’Bannion did this at the very least five teenage girls. What do you think the odds are that he has in fact violated more girls elsewhere?

    • Notifing other churches is a sticky situation. Let me speak from the voice of experience, (in another case in a different district). I notified the district board of immoral conduct by a minister and was totally disreguarded. He later molested a child. Not only that I was made out to be the bad guy, but to this day am treated like trash even after he has confessed, been convicted and is currently serving his sentence. I wasn’t the vic but his immoral conduct directly related to the child he molested. And to beat all he had acted immorally in at least two other districts and we were NEVER notified. Only after I called ex pastors and leaders did I learn about his past.

      In the politics of this organization the abuser is protected in the name of loving everyone. How do we get our leadership to see this problem? With this years national conference over and a new superintendent hopefully this problem will be addressed. I’m hoping for a no tolerence policy.

      As for odd’s there are more vic, I’d be willing to bet there are but who will have the guts to say anything. If they do be prepared to be called liar, trashy, trouble makers, sluts and other horrible names. As well as cast asided, ignored, treated like an outsider and just plain lied on.

      Come on Pentecostals stand up!!! Let’s protect our children from these preditors who disguise themselves as men of God, and give our holy, decent, respectable men a bad name. Who is willing to take a stand??????? Go to your presbyters, pastors, and district boards and demand at the very least a set of rules and guidelines be established to handle these situations. What about teaching the warning signs and red flags that are evedent there is abuse? Something, anything that will let these pervs know they can not hide behind the church anymore!!!

  8. Pastor Robert O’bannion announced to prayer group that a test was done to one of the girls in Az and found she was still a virgin. He used this fact as evidence that she was lying. They pray for Josh all the time yet NEVER have prayed for the victims only have spread slanderours statements about them and because they have threatened to sue everyone who says anything negative about Josh. this post is all alegedly.

    • Threatening to sue is just a scare tactic. Slander is hard to prove. Trying to frighten people into silence just proves the abuser is making a pitiful effort to still control the vics and the situation. It’s childish. It like when kids are playing and little bobby does something mean so little katie says “I’m telling” so little bobby say “if you tell I’ll break your dolly”. then does the mean thing again. Only this time to little susie or jane.

      And tell pastor o’bannion that just because a girl is a technical virgin doesn’t mean squat!!! Maybe it was oral, anal or manual abuse. Or maybe he just didn’t have the girth the remove the hymen. (sorry to be so graphic).

      in any case God knows the truth and we should pray for everyone (yes even the abuser)

  9. Hi Danni. Question. Are their laws against the family of Joshua to contact the victims and call them liars? Yeah Josh’s Aunt Shiela is harassing a victim.

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