Panola County pastor accused of molesting children

Published 4:58 pm Wednesday, August 19, 2020

This article was filed by the Associated Press about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday


POPE – A Mississippi pastor is in custody, accused of molesting children.

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Willie Forrest, pastor of Springhill Pope Missionary Baptist Church in Panola County, is charged with three counts of molesting children under the age of 15. DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion said victims were molested at the church and Forrest’s home in Coldwater, where he was arrested Monday.

Forrest has served as pastor of the church for 14 years. Church members tell WMC-TV they are shocked by the allegations. They say they haven’t heard any rumors or talk about sexual impropriety at the church.

Champion did not release details about the allegations, saying the case is still under investigation.

Forrest is being held in the Tate County jail. It was unknown if he’s represented by an attorney who could speak on his behalf.