If you’ve been waiting for the situation at First Christian to settle down, you’ll be waiting a long time! As they dig deeper into the circumstances surrounding FCCF, more “interesting” topics keep popping up. This is fresh from the RFT.
But the bookish English professor was nowhere to be found among the well-wishers who gathered at First Christian Church of Florissant earlier this month for the college’s graduation ceremony.
Lay’s conspicuous absence was no accident: He’d been banned from the church’s premises in April, one month after he’d started raising questions about the way the church’s senior pastor, Steve Wingfield, handled allegations of sexual abuse.
In a meticulously researched report titled “Is It Enough: Sexual Abuse Within the Church: A Case Study at First Christian Church of Florissant,” Lay accused Wingfield of ignoring warnings about a youth minister named Brandon Milburn. A former student of Lay’s, Milburn had once been a rising star in the north county megachurch. Last year, Milburn was unmasked as a serial child molester.
In 2014, Doug Lay sent his accusation-filled report, “Is it Enough,” to FCCF leadership. As documented in a Riverfront Times investigation, Milburn started hanging around First Christian Church of Florissant, or FCCF, in 2005. That’s also where he found his victims, two eleven-year-old boys, whom he abused repeatedly between 2007 and 2009.
Lay’s questions about FCCF’s pastor put him in a tough position: His employer, St. Louis Christian College, depends on financial contributions from area churches to stay afloat. That includes the deep-pocketed FCCF, which last month filed a defamation lawsuit against Lay for publicly airing his criticisms of Wingfield and the church.
Two weeks after the graduation, Lay announced through his lawyer that he would be leaving the college after a 17-year career.
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