Tommy's Ordination Suspended
Following the allegations of Brad Dunning
and three other boys, Tommy's ordination with the Church of God
(Anderson) was suspended in 1985, and Tommy was notified of this fact via the following letter.
This letter claims that Tommy "admitted" to certain "improper counselling procedures." When asked what that might
have been, one alleged victim recalled that when the charge was made that Tommy had propositioned a boy, the
explanation was given that he was trying to expose that boy as being someone who was trying to lead other
boys in the school into homosexual activity.
When the boy in question, Brad Dunning, now
a United Pentecostal preacher, was asked on January 3, 2007,
about this explanation, he said that that was the first time he had ever heard of such a thing.
The 1985 Illinois Ministerial Credential Committee Letter
October 25, 1985
Reverend Tommy Shelton
Route # 1 Box 189-B
West Frankfort, Illinois 62896
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE
CHURCH OF GOD IN ILLINOIS
GEORGE L. NEWTON
Phone: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
P.O. BOX J
MT. ZION, ILLINOIS 62549
Dear Tommy :
On October 25, 1985, the Illinois Ministerial Credentials Committee
of the General Assembly of the Church of God in Illinois met
in regular session at the Church of God State Office building
at 4225 South Camp Warren Lane, Decatur, Illinois at Camp Warren.
In concern for your best interest and the Church of God, the
following action was taken:
"The ordination of Tommy Shelton has been suspended immediately
until further notice pending the results of the official police
investigation concerning criminal sexual abuse charges against
him. This action is effective this day, October 25, 1985."
This action was taken for the following reasons:
Improper counseling procedures followed by you and admitted by you.
Numerous charges of misconduct reported to this committee.
We have been advised that an investigation is underway
by the West Frankfort Illinois Police Department concerning criminal
sexual abuse charges against you.
Controversy surrounding your ministry and personal lifestyle.
Tommy, you are advised to surrender your Ordination Certificate to this
office in the enclosed self addressed envelope and to cease all
activities related to ministries of the Church of God until you
are further advised by this committee.
Be assured this was not an easy decision for this committee to
make. We will be praying for you and your family that God's complete
purpose will be accomplished in your life.
If we can be of help in any way, please do not hesitate to call.
|George L. Newton
|Tom E. Smith
||Keith Huttenlocker, Division of Church Service
Edwin R. Beasley, State Chairman
Pastors - Southern Illinois District Churches of God
"Illinois Ministries... Striving for Excellence"