A convicted Illinois sex offender found work as a youth pastor in his uncle’s Cocoa, Florida church. Jermel Manns was using the name Jermel Beckford while working with the church’s children. His youth group called him Pastor J. He was arrested for sexting a teenager from his youth group. His uncle claims no knowledge of Jermel’s past conviction for molesting a teenage boy.
The senior pastor at the church, and Jermel's uncle, Errol Beckford, said he knew nothing of his past and was stunned to hear of his arrest.
“I says, what? Are you kidding me? He was a good pastor. He had 75 kids here. He built it up and they loved him," Beckford said.
If Errol Beckford knew nothing of Jermel’s past, then why did he let an adult male assume a new identity when working at the church? I think it’s possible that uncle Errol knew what his nephew hid in his past. It’s actually a reasonable explanation. Of course, I doubt the pastor would admit it because that would make him at least partially responsible for Jermel’s crimes. Pastor Erro Manns is obligated to protect his congregation’s children from sexual predators. I’m betting there was no background check.
The church involved is the Celebration Tabernacle Church in Cocoa, Florida.