Mary Sanchez

August 5, 2014

Trial of the Rev. Stan Archie reveals an enigma

He’s an exemplary man who pulled himself from childhood abuse, a gang and drug dealing to become a pillar of the community, respected enough to head the Missouri State Board of Education. But he might also be a deviant man who used his position with a church he co-founded to inappropriately counsel women, turning the sessions sexual, including an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

The Rev. Stan Archie’s image shifts, depending on who is telling his story.

He’s an exemplary man who pulled himself from childhood abuse, a gang and drug dealing to become a pillar of the community, respected enough to head the Missouri State Board of Education.

But he might also be a deviant man who used his position with a church he co-founded to inappropriately counsel women, turning the sessions sexual, including an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

A jury will decide. Closing arguments are expected Wednesday in a civil suit against Archie. His former assistant at Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, 4509 Troost Ave., says Archie had an affair with her, then targeted her for harassment and defamation when she ended it.

A separate civil suit, one that attorneys said has been resolved, accused Archie of child sexual abuse, defamation and counseling malpractice in the case of the 15-year-old former church member. That now 24-year-old woman testified at the ongoing trial.

None of Archie’s accusers are named in the suits. It’s a complicated case, not only because the two suits entwine, but because the church is also named as a defendant. Allegations are that its leadership knew of tendencies by Archie to abuse his power and did not protect the former assistant, who attended the church with her husband.

Archie is also married. His wife of 30 years testified Tuesday, defending her husband. Archie also testified, denying an affair with his former assistant or that church elders conspired to protect him from accusations.

He also told of his own abuse. When he was an elementary-age boy, a woman began to sexually abuse him and at one point cut on his genitals, Archie said. He also told of being “jumped into” a gang at age 8 and of later selling drugs. But his mother led him to the Bible, he said. His church focuses on scripture for a biblical alternative for living.

Archie has served as a chaplain with the Kansas City Police Department and also on the city planning commission.

Then-governor Matt Blunt appointed him to the state board in 2006. It was a significant move, viewed as an effort to add a supporter from the school choice movement. Archie was on the board of University Academy, a charter school. Archie resigned as president of the state board in January 2013, two days after the suit accusing him of child sexual abuse was filed.

To reach Mary Sanchez, call 816-234-4752 or send email to msanchez@kcstar.com.

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