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Wednesday, November 26, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

Youth Minister's Wife with 16-Year-Old Church Member

Pastor Gerald Thompson from Salem Baptist Church said 28-year-old Melissa Jones came to him last Thursday crying. She confessed to having sex with a 16-year-old member of the youth ministry that her husband runs.

Prosecutors say the affair started in September. Jones faces up to 7 years behind bars for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

"The Bible says be sure your sin will find you out. And her sin found her out," said Thompson. It's a sin the congregation at Salem Baptist Church is trying hard to forgive.

"What she did was a betrayal. She betrayed my trust in her, betrayed the churches trust, betrayed her husbands trust and betrayed the trust of the teenagers. And there's absolutely no excuse for what she did," said Thompson.

Now parents like Gary Perry struggle to tell their teens about Melissa Jones. He says her actions should not tarnish the youth group. But he doesn't understand why she did it. "

Your first instinct is not believing it. If you knew her and the young man like I do, you'd be shocked also." said Perry.

Perry's son is part of the youth group and saw Jones and her husband Dean more than once a week. Now that friendship is part of a life lesson.

"I've already talked to my kids about it. You've got to think about consequences of what you do. No man lives and dies to himself. Everything you do affects everything else," said Perry.
Dean Jones, Assistant Pastor, with wife, Melissa

Jones was kicked out of the church, but her husband and two children can stay. Pastor Thompson wants everyone to know. He will not let one person's mistake, change the church he's loved for 20 years.

"Storms come in life but we don't have to be blown away by the storms if we keep our eyes focused on the lord we'll make it through alright," said Thompson.

"This is no reflection on this church or on Christ himself. We're all human and we all make mistakes. The church is a good church, good pastor, good people, and we'll just go on.

Jones is out of jail on $10,000 bond.

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