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The congregation of God’s House Church in Dry Ridge is in shock after their pastor was arrested last week on charges of child pornography.
Todd Cummins, a deacon at the church on Broadway in Dry Ridge, was out of town on a college visit with his son when he got a call.
“Shock is the best way to put it. It was disbelief and also a feeling I’d been betrayed,” Cummins said. “You don’t think your pastor is into child pornography.”
Cummins said church leaders met on Feb. 19 and decided to remove Jerry Cannon, 62, of Crittenden, as pastor.
“These allegations are serious and even if they were proven to be false, the allegations alone in my opinion are enough to remove him as pastor,” Cummins said.
God’s House Church was formed four years ago when Cannon left a church in Northern Kentucky. It is a non-denominational church and averages between 60 to 80 for Sunday services.
Cannon, who also worked as a land surveyor, is accused of using more than a dozen Facebook accounts with different names to post and solicit child pornography on the Internet. According to affidavits filed by the FBI, Cannon said he liked nude and topless photos of girls ages 10 to 16.
The FBI seized computers, cameras and Cannon’s cell phone when they arrested him on Feb. 18.
Cummins, who along with other leaders will fill the pulpit, until a new pastor is hired, said his thoughts and concerns now lie with Cannon’s wife, Donnie and the couple’s five children.
Cummins said he had visited Cannon’s family.
“They’re trying to find some normalcy,” he said.
Despite the church’s decision to remove Cannon as pastor, Cummins said the members will be there as a support.
“We’re going to be there for his family,” Cummins said. “There’s nothing we can do to take away their pain or the shame of having their husband and father arrested, but we’ll support them the best we can.”
Cummins said the congregation at God’s House was close knit.
“I’d never have guessed anything like this,” he said. “Some asked me if it was tough on my faith, but actually I think something like this should make you draw closer to God because it just goes to show that even a man of God can fall tempted by the lies of this world.”
He said the church would move forward.
“These allegations are horrific, but we forgive him, but we don’t condone, at all, what he’s accused of doing,” Cummins said.
Cannon is being held in the Boone County Detention Center and is expected to be extradited to Alabama.