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Birmingham-area administrative pastor arrestedcomment (0)

July 24, 2014

A staff member of Sharon Heights Baptist Church, Birmingham, was arrested June 5 after two individuals came forward claiming they were sexually abused as children.

Jay Strickland, 50 — a nurse anesthetist, paramedic and administrative pastor at Sharon Heights Baptist at the time — is charged with two counts of sexual abuse and one count of sodomy.

Police say an investigation was launched in April after a male victim came forward and reported he had been abused by Strickland when he was a child. During the investigation, detectives learned of a second victim, a female, who reported being abused as a child as well. Both alleged victims are now adults and live out of state.

Terry Trivette, senior pastor of Sharon Heights, said legal authorities were notified and Strickland was placed on an indefinite leave of absence from the church when the allegations surfaced. After his arrest, Trivette said, Strickland “was formally relieved of his duties and is no longer employed by [the church].”

Strickland posted $70,000 bond and was released the day he was arrested. His preliminary hearing was set for July 17 but he was granted a postponement until Aug. 21. Strickland maintains he is innocent.


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