The Lead Pastor of Better Life Church in Morehead has given a statement regarding the investigation of alleged sexual misconduct involving the church’s former youth leader.
Pastor Daniel Lucas spoke on the case regarding now resigned Student Pastor Jacob Steagall near the end of Better Life’s virtual service Sunday. Lucas’ statement served mainly as an apology, firstly for how the church’s initial communication on the matter, “caused misunderstandings to grow and circulate.” Lucas says the limited communication is due to the fact that the matter involves an ongoing investigation.
In the message, Lucas went on to address the alleged victims as well.
Lucas also encouraged anyone with information pertinent to the investigation to contact the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department, adding anyone wanting to speak with church leadership on the matter should call the Better Life Church offices.
The full statement from Pastor Lucas has been transcribed below:
“Over the last 13 days information has come to light about multiple incidents involving our now former youth pastor Jacob Steagall. Unfortunately our initial communications caused misunderstandings to grow and circulate. We apologize that our initial communications were limited due to the fact that this situation involves an open investigation. Because of this, there is information we’re still not able to publicly disclose at this time. However it is important to us to protect the privacy of the victims, so we ask that you please respect the confidentiality needed for this type of situation. We also ask that you refrain from speculation or gossip, and if you have seen or heard something that you feel is pertinent to the investigation, please contact the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 606-784-5446.
To the victims and their families: I would personally like to take a moment to apologize to you. Apologize that this happened at Better Life Church. Apologize in our original statement and you were not mentioned, or the hurt or the pain that you’ve endured. We believe that transparency and safety are essential elements of a successful ministry. This situation has propelled us to audit and evaluate all of our human resources and safety practices among our staff, interns, employees, volunteers, as well as those pertaining to child protection. We will be updating them going forward to ensure that we are ministering in a safe and responsible manner.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with the church leadership about this, please contact the church office at 606-780-0084. As soon as this investigation is complete we will update all of our youth parents in our church membership further. We ask that more than anything else you will continue to pray for everyone who is involved.” --Daniel Lucas, Lead Pastor at Better Life Church