Youth pastor faces sex charges

Jonathan Tyler Giles

By Chris Smith and Ann Wallace

The Tennessean

June 26, 2009

A Clarksville youth minister has been charged with having sexual contact with minors.

Jonathan Tyler Giles, the former youth minister at Spring Creek Baptist Church, has been charged with three counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, sexual battery by an authority figure and two counts of soliciting a minor.

"Everyone is concerned when allegations like these are made," said the Rev. Paul Bunger, senior pastor at Spring Creek Baptist on Trenton Road. "We are praying for all of the parties involved."

Giles, 24, of Cider Drive, was one of the three pastors at Spring Creek Baptist and had been the church's associate pastor to students and the Family Life Center director.

Clarksville Police Det. Demone Chestnut began investigating Giles on June 15 based on a state Department of Children Services referral, according to Clarksville police. Giles resigned from the church earlier this month.

Giles was responsible for more than 70 teens and pre-teens in his capacity as a youth pastor, according to court affidavits filed by Chestnut. He is accused of propositioning some of those teens by text messages sent before and after church services and activities.

Giles admits texting

In the course of the investigation, Giles, with his attorney present, admitted his inappropriate text messages caused him to resign from his position at the church. Giles stated that he has had no sexual contact with any minor in the ministry, according to court affidavits.

The affidavits concluded: "However, the content of the text messages contradicts the defendant statements."

Giles is in Montgomery County Jail on $750,000 bond. He was still in jail as of Thursday afternoon and could not be reached for comment.

Anyone with information about can call 615-503-3298, or the TIPSLINE (615-645-8477).

SNAP Note:  Spring Creek Baptist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, is shown as an SBC-affiliated church.