(WREG-TV) New information is coming out about a former Arkansas pastor facing a number of sexual assault charges involving children.
Larry Michael Berkley, who once was the pastor of a church in Henning, Tenn., is accused of providing kids booze drugs and porn, then sexually assaulting them, all while he was a pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church in Harrison, Arkansas.
Former pastor Larry Michael Berkley was arrested at a cemetery in Covington, Tenn., Monday afternoon.
He had just finished a funeral service when sheriff’s deputies, warrant in hand, took him into custody.
According to police in Harrison, Arkansas the investigation into the former pastor started March 28, 2014, while Berkley was a pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church.
Through mid-April, more than a dozen young male victims, all between 14 and 18 years old, were interviewed by police.
One victim said he went to Berkley’s house in Harrison under the pretense it was a Bible study.
Once there, he was allowed to drink, smoke marijuana and a Hookah.
Several victims reported they and Berkley would walk around the house naked and, on more than one occasion, Berkley had sexual contact with them.
They would also watch pornography and he even took them to a funeral home to look at a dead body.
A church employee at Shiloh Baptist also reported at least $4,400 is missing from the church, money Berkley was supposed to use to make a payment on a mission trip.
Two and half years ago, Berkley was senior pastor at Victory Batist Church in Henning, Tenn.
He was asked to leave the church, but no one at Victory wanted to talk about the charges against Berkley or exactly why he was asked to leave Victory Baptist.
Veronica Powledge lives near Victory Baptist and said she actually met Berkley once while she was out for a walk.
She said the accusations are a shame.
“That’s just disgusting. I just, that hurts me so bad. I just can’t believe a pastor would do that. Man, that’s something else,” said Powledge.
Victory Baptist Church Pastor Obadiah Hedrick said in a statement that he is “saddened by the news of Berkley’s alleged activity and we are praying for him and healing for those involved.”