Mt. Juliet student pastor arrested for sex crimes in NC - WSMV Channel 4

Mt. Juliet student pastor arrested for sex crimes in NC

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MT. JULIET, TN (WSMV) -

Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet says, as a senior pastor, not much surprises him anymore. But when he received a late night email about one of his own fellow pastors, he was not only shocked but disturbed.

"We knew that it was serious enough to get the authorities involved," Locke said.

In the email, a young woman claimed that for years, 34-year-old pastor Michael Light had sexually assaulted her when he was a youth minister at her church in North Carolina.

Light has been a student pastor at Global Vision in Mt. Juliet for the last few months.

"It blind sided me as his friend and as the pastor of the church. It blind sided our people," Locke said.

An Alamance County Sheriff's Deputy in North Carolina says the alleged assaults went on from 2005 to 2007 when the girl was 13 to 15 years old. He says they allegedly happened at different locations across the county, including the homes of both Light and the young girl.

"It was a very difficult night, obviously, when I had to reveal some of this to the church family," Locke said.

Light had also worked with local children at Global Vision.

"He would head up our blasts for the kids or maybe a special service, he would speak to them and things. As a student pastor, Michael was in charge of the other volunteers in the church that actually led our teenagers," Locke said.

Light was immediately removed from the church staff when the email surfaced and church leaders swiftly contacted police. Church leaders say they had no knowledge of any past problems with Light until these allegations surfaced.

Locke says the church has a very strict policy of background checks, but this was something that had never been reported or investigated. No wrongdoings have been reported at the Mt. Juliet church, Locke said.

"This totally knocked our church off-guard. It really hurt some people. We are just going to have to pick up the pieces and move forward," Locke said.

On Monday, Light turned himself in to deputies in Alamance County. He faces 11 counts of sex crimes, including three counts of felony statutory rape. He appeared in court Tuesday and has bonded out of jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 16 in Alamance County.

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