Tuesday, June 12, 2007

youth minister acquitted on charges of theft

A judge found Chris Brown, former Youth Minister at New Hope Church of God in Fayette County, not guilty on all six accounts of theft Thursday morning.

The charges came after Brown admittedly sold hundreds of his students CDs to local pawnshops. The CDs were collected by Brown for an end of the year event named “Smash the Trash”, in which students from his youth group would smash piles of CDs by non-Christian artists with sledgehammers. “He told us that listening to secular music would ruin our minds and lead us straight to hell”, explained one student, “so we brought in all our secular CDs and were going to smash every single one of them. Well, not every one…he said that Creed and The Fray were okay.”

From Dr. Dre to Dora the Explorer, Brown collected nearly 1,000 CDs in the weeks leading up to the event.

"Smash the Trash" was scheduled for the last weekend in May but was mysteriously canceled the day before. Parents immediately began asking for their children’s CDs back and Brown eventually confessed.

“This was not some elaborate plan.” He states, “I honestly collected the CDs in order to smash them with my students. I did not intend to sell them from the beginning. I’m not evil. I’m just weak.”

Brown goes on to explain that after hearing a sermon titled “Multiply Your Money God’s Way” by New Hope Senior Pastor, Greg Overshow, he sat in his office, dejected, trying to think of ways that he could supplement his income. “I was sitting there wracking my brain when I looked over saw the pile of boxes filled with the kids’ CDs and...and the idea just came to me. I fought the temptation for days, but with the news that my wife was pregnant again, I guess I just caved. I mean my salary here is a joke.”

Brown, 24, and his wife Melissa, 23, were married as freshman at Templeton Christian College in 2001. Melissa is currently pregnant with their 5th child.

The Browns were already having a hard time making ends meet and had reportedly missed their last two months of rent. But when asked about his large DVD collection, designer jeans and Xbox 360, Brown jovially replied, “Hey I’ve got stay relevant, right?

The students’ parents were not so light-hearted about Brown’s lack of judgment. Six separate couples pressed charges. “He used religion to manipulate our children into giving away their secular CDs and then sold them for his own profit. It is inexcusable”, one outraged parent replied. Another added, “We have spent hundreds of dollars on those CDs. He had no right to do what he did.”

The judge, however, saw it another way as he ruled in favor of the defendant, claiming that because the students willfully gave away their CDs, that they forfeited any and all legal proprietorship of them.

“I was extremely relieved with the verdict.” Brown said upon leaving court Thursday as a free man, “I was worried I was going to be locked up in some dark cell for the rest of my life. But now it looks like my future is bright and clear.”

At least the near future, anyway.

As one of Brown’s junior high students, 12 year old Brittany Mehaffey, puts it, “He told me that people who listen Kelly Clarkson CDs will go to hell. If that is true, then I wonder if people who steal Kelly Clarkson CDs from little girls and pawn them off will go to hell, too.”

Maybe. But that is something only the Ultimate Judge can decide.


Dustin said...

this has got to be a Lark News article right??? Please, tell me it is.

Going Weston said...

Brittany's comment is the best

bill said...

no, its not lark news. although it is fake. i wrote it for fun yesterday.

michaelCODY said...

I would cry if that happened to me. Some people think Elvis is devil music but on my Elvis Greatest Hits CD there are tracks, "Crying in the Chapel" and "How Great Thou Art" so would I be able to keep this or would this be handed over to be smashed?

Dustin said...

did you really write that bill?

bill said...


Dustin said...

that was really good! I can actually imagining this being a true story. I love the last quote from the junior high student. it made me giggle.

chad. said...

oh man...I thought this was real! I was seriously about to go down the hall and tell everybody the disgusting news of this youth minister. I guess its always good to read the comments first.