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Illinois Pastor Arrested for Sexual Assault

Antwon M. Funches, Sr., pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Freeport, Ill., has been charged with sexually assaulting a member of his church, according to news channel WREX.

Funches allegedly assaulted a church member on June 18 while visiting the member’s home to repair a refrigerator. He was arrested on July 8, but according to the church’s Facebook page, he was still preaching from the pulpit Sunday, July 11. His topic was “War-Time Stress,” taken from Psalm 20. The first verse of the psalm says, “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.”

“He was my pastor that I trusted dearly,” said the victim in the court’s order of protection. “I didn’t deserve to be violated.”

St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church was founded in 1911. Funches has been the pastor since 2016. The church has not issued a statement or responded to media inquiries about Funches’s arrest.

Funches’s LinkedIn profile says he is a veteran of the U.S. Army and former operations manager with RadioShack.

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Steve Rabey

Steve Rabey is a veteran author and journalist who has published more than 50 books and 2,000 articles about religion, spirituality, and culture. He was an instructor at Fuller and Denver seminaries and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He and his wife Lois live in Colorado.