A church pastor and longtime director of a Miami County, Kan., homeless shelter has been charged with sexually molesting a child.
Jay Preston, pastor of Grace Revolution Church of the Nazarene and president and CEO of My Father’s House in Paola, was charged Monday in Miami County District Court with felony aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
According to Miami County Attorney Elizabeth Sweeney-Reeder, the charges stem from an incident in rural Miami County on July 7 or 8.
The charges say Preston, 57, engaged in “lewd fondling or touching” of a child younger than 14.
He was arrested on the charge Saturday and is being held in the Miami County jail on a bond of $500,000.
My Father’s House issued the following statement on its website:
“Per action by the Board of Directors for My Father’s House Community Services, Inc., Jay Preston, President/CEO of My Father’s House Community Services, Inc., has been placed on an unpaid leave of absence due to a personal matter. Beth Waddle has been named as Interim President/CEO of the organization and will be handling day to day operations. My Father’s House continues to provide all services and appreciates the support of the community.”
Reached Wednesday, Waddle said she and My Father’s House staff would not comment further at this time.
Last year, Preston was given the honor of sitting in the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat at Kauffman Stadium during a Royals game.
He started the church and the nonprofit My Father’s House in 2003, according to online biographical information.
It provided services to residents of Miami, Linn and four additional rural counties.
Preston detailed his own experiences and ministry in a few blog posts on the My Father’s House website.
“I have seen children who are ignored and abused by their parents,” Preston wrote in 2010. “I have seen children who were molested and raped in their homes, places that ought to be safe and pure. I have seen countless fatherless daughters walking wounded through life and trying to find love in the arms of some guy who only sees them as an object for his gratification. I have seen women beaten emotionally and physically by the men they once loved. I have seen the bruised and battered psyches of men, women and children from all strata of society. I have seen too much.”