A former youth pastor at Heritage Christian Church was fired from the position “some time” before the church learned of allegations that he sexually molested a boy under the age of 16, according to Heritage Christian Pastor Doug Fultz.
Nathan Donald Moore, 24, is accused of having sexual contact with the male juvenile on six different occasions at Moore’s home on the far southern edge of Fayette County. But the church was unaware of those allegations when Moore was dismissed “early this summer,” Pastor Fultz said.
At that time, Moore was fired for not following the leadership direction of Pastor Fultz or the church elders, Fultz said.
“We became aware of the investigation some time after that,” Fultz said, later adding that Moore was let go because he was taking the youth ministry in a different direction than the church thought was necessary.
“We were trying to lead him, and he wasn’t responding,” Fultz said.
Moore has been charged with six counts of felony child molestation, six counts of felony aggravated child molestation and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes. He remains in jail awaiting a bond hearing in front of a Fayette County Superior Court judge.
As youth pastor, Moore was charged with working with the church’s youth from seventh grade through the senior year of high school, Pastor Fultz said. The church discussed the matter with the congregation this weekend, and Dr. Greg Moffatt, a licensed counselor.
Fultz said the church will let the sheriff’s department continue its investigation, while the church’s main priority is to “help people walk through this spiritually and emotionally.”
“Our role is not to try and determine what happened here,” Fultz said. “It’s just to minister to people as they have needs. That’s the stance we’re taking.”
According to the arrest warrants filed in the case, the incidents happened between March 1 and Aug. 31 at Moore’s south Fayette home.
Fultz said the church has cooperated with the sheriff’s investigation, and that the church is “very impressed” with lead detective Josh Shelton.
Heritage Christian, with a congregation of more than 1,100, is a non-denominational church that is affiliated with the Independent Christian Churches organization.
Its campus is just east of Peachtree City near the intersection of Redwine and Bernhard roads.