See update at bottom of story.
(Memphis)— A Memphis minister faces aggravated statutory rape and sexual exploitation of a minor charges.
50-year-old Orlando Wallace is behind bars, accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl, while another 15-year-old girl took pictures on her cell phone of the two in the act.
” He`s a minister, but he don`t work here. He`s just a preacher here,” said Pastor of Lakeview Community Temple, Jesse Lipford. Wallace is associated with the church.
Sunday, Lipford was disturbed by the news.
“It bothers me any man, would do that.” It’s a child.”
Lipford wasn`t happy to see our cameras Sunday morning, or that the church`s name was caught up in the shocking story.
” The church had nothing to do with this, this didn`t happen at the church.” stressed Lipford.
Police say it happened at the teenager`s home and Wallace and the teen sent sexual photos to each other electronically on different occasions. The police report also shows, that the minister admitted to having sex with the teen when he was arrested.
News Channel 3, stopped by his Whitehaven home to see if someone there could tell us how Wallace might know the victim, but a woman inside the house pulled back the curtains and said, “no comment.”
Court records show this isn`t the first time the minister has faced criminal trouble.
He`s been convicted twice of patronizing prostitution in Shelby county.
” That`s not his character, I didn`t know he was like that. He seemed to be a good man for all I knew, I didn`t know all this stuff was going on.” expressed Lipford.
Wallace will face a judge Monday.
AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM
PASTOR JESSE LIPFORD,
LAKEVIEW COMMUNITY TEMPLE COGIC
Memphis, TN – First and foremost, Elder Orlando Wallace, a member of Lakeview Community Temple Church Of God In Christ, is not the Pastor or an Assistant Pastor of the church. He is only an ordained Elder. Please refer to him as an Elder in your future news segments. Elder Jesse Lipford has been the Pastor of the church for over 35 years.
In light of the alleged allegations against Elder Wallace, Pastor Jesse Lipford, has removed him “effectively immediately” of all of his ministerial duties as an Elder until the matter is completely resolved. Pastor Lipford made this statement to the congregation on last Sunday during worship service.
None of the alleged victims are members – or affiliated with Lakeview Community Temple Church Of God In Christ in anyway. In addition, none of the alleged acts took place in the church.
The video, which aired on news segments Monday evening with Elder Wallace in the pulpit at the church, was old footage three years ago when he was facilitating a service. The video does not imply in any way that Elder Wallace is the Pastor, or the Assistant Pastor of the church. Pastor Lipford gives all of his seven Elders an opportunity to preach, teach, and preside during worship services at the church.
“The church is not responsible for any of its members’ questionable lifestyles,” Elder Jesse Lipford, pastor of the church pointed out. “We teach holiness, and we expect our members to live godly lives in the presence of the Lord, their families, and the community.”
“I was shocked to hear of the allegations against Elder Wallace,” Pastor Lipford added. “We are praying for the alleged victims, their families, and the family of Elder Wallace.”