A South Carolina student pastor has been put on leave after he reportedly handed out stickers to minors that read, “I [love] hot youth pastors,” Religion News Service reports.
The stickers first gained attention after someone posted an image on social media claiming their 14-year-old sister had received the sticker from her 35-year-old youth pastor.
In an announcement this Sunday, Fairview Baptist Church in Greer, S.C., said that its student pastor, Cory Wall, has been placed on administrative leave while the church conducts an investigation.
“We take this matter very seriously and want to be proactive as we move forward. Our main goal is to always make our campus a safe place for anyone who attends,” the church’s statement reads.
From Religion News Service:
The original social media post, which blurred the name of the church involved, claimed a youth pastor had given “i (heart) hot youth pastors” stickers to students during Midweek. Midweek is the weekly gathering for students in sixth grade through high school at Fairview, according to the church website.
Another social media post claimed to show an email exchange between Wall and someone expressing concerns about stickers being distributed at Midweek.
“We’re updating our church-wide database, and I encouraged kids to come see me to get a sticker and update their information,” reads the email reportedly from Wall.
Hall claimed his intentions were pure and he only “meant to poke fun of the ‘I Love Hot Mom’ culture.”
“In hindsight, the joke was of very poor taste and a mistake on my part. I do apologize for their distribution,” he said in the email.