A convicted sex offender can keep on preaching, but children are barred from attending his sermons.
The Florida Times Union reports that lawyers for Darrell Gilyard withdrew a motion to allow minors at sermons conducted by the former Jacksonville, Fla., megachurch pastor.
Though children are not allowed, attendance at the Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has spiked since Gilyard began preaching in January, less than two months after he was released from prison, according to the Times Union.
“He was down on the ground, and the church was down on the ground, and we both needed to get up,” Deacon Paul S. Newman Sr. told the paper.
Gilyard pleaded guilty in 2009 to molesting a teenage girl from his former Jacksonville church and sending lewd messages to another, according to a previous Times Union article.
Since Gilyard joined the church, protesters have greeted him when he comes to work.
"A minister who has done such evil should not be restored to the pulpit until his repentance is as notorious as his sin," George Harvey, pastor at Mt. Charity Baptist Church told News 4 JAX.
Under the terms of his probation, News 4 JAX explains, Gilyard is not allowed to have "unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old."
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