|By Michael Wacht
Two Tampa District United Methodist churches impacted by separate incidents of sexual
misconduct by clergy have been assigned new, full-time pastors and are ready to move
forward, according to David Brazelton, the districts superintendent.
Although the healing process is an on-going one, Brazelton said he felt the churches
had worked through some of the issues of forgiveness and "are ready to move on."
The Rev. Scott Brand has been appointed pastor of Cork United Methodist Church in Plant
City, replacing former pastor James D. Hug, 29, who was arrested Oct. 26 on one count of
sexual battery and 12 counts of lewd and lascivious behavior. Hug surrendered his
credentials as an ordained deacon and probationary member Oct. 27.
Brand has been serving as associate pastor at Tampas Palma Ceia United Methodist
Church since 1998.
The Rev. Stan Beatty has been appointed to Tampas Forest Hills United Methodist
Church. He replaces Lawrence W. Kilbourn, 43, arrested by federal authorities Oct. 21 on
one count of receiving child pornography via his computer after voluntarily turning
himself in to police.
Kilbourn surrendered his credentials as an ordained elder Oct. 15.
Beatty transferred to Florida from First United Methodist Church, North Kansas City,
Brazelton said members of both churches are very thankful for the support they received
from the district and conference while dealing with the crises.
"Thats the connection at its best," he said. "When they see
taking care of them and working things out
they really appreciate
Kilbourn pleads guilty
Kilbourn pleaded guilty Feb. 2 to receiving the illegal computer files, according to a
Feb. 3 story in the Tampa Tribune. He faces a possible 15-year sentence and $250,000 fine.
The court had not set a date for sentencing.
Kilbourn also faces life in prison if convicted of a state child-sex charge of sexual
battery on a child younger than 12.
That charge stems from a videotape showing a man fondling a young child. A ring on the
mans hand and furniture in the video have led authorities to believe the man is
Kilbourn and that the tape was made during the time he served Faith United Methodist
Church in Bradenton.
Another former church gets back to normal
Members at the Faith church, which Kilbourn helped found in 1986, are also ready to put
the crisis behind them, said the Rev. Doug Pareti, the churchs pastor.
"A lot of individuals are still dealing with stuff," Pareti said. "The
church as a whole is sick and tired
and wants to move on."
After the story about Kilbourn broke last October, Pareti said worship in the church
declined by about 25 percent, and the youth ministry suffered a larger loss in activity.
Although worship attendance has returned to its previous levels, the youth activity is
Pareti said putting the crisis behind them might not be likely for at least another six
months. Kilbourns hearing on the state charges is April 10 in Manatee County, where
Faith church is located. Pareti said he expects Kilbourns attorney to ask for a
continuance until September.
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