Home Christian News Texas Church Fires Pastor Charged With Internet Crimes Against Children

Texas Church Fires Pastor Charged With Internet Crimes Against Children

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Screengrab from @KTRK News

After its longtime pastor was arrested last week for allegedly distributing child sex abuse materials, a Texas church immediately removed him from office. Texas Pastor Bruce Hollen, 63, was arrested on May 8 and has been charged with possession with intent to promote child pornography. In court Friday, his bond was set at $30,000. Hollen is currently being held in the Montgomery County Jail.

Editor’s note: This article refers to child sex abuse materials, which some readers might find triggering and/or disturbing.

Hollen’s arrest stemmed from an investigation conducted by a county task force on internet crimes against children. In court documents, authorities said they obtained photographs of girls between the ages of 9 and 12 who were unclothed from the waist down. Some of the photos depicted girls who were participating in sex acts.

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Texas law defines “promotion” of child pornography as knowingly or intentionally possessing material that visually depicts minors—those younger than 18 at the time the images were created—and that depicts the children engaging in sexual conduct.

Church Responds to Allegations Against Pastor

According to Hollen’s personal Facebook page, he has been a pastor at Calvary Chapel of The Woodlands since July 2000. The Woodlands is located about 30 miles north of Houston.

Photos of Hollen and his wife have been removed from the church’s website. Some videos of Hollen conducting worship services have also been deleted.

When a local TV station went to Hollen’s house seeking comment, no one opened the door. Last week, a church representative told ABC13 that leaders were working to keep the church running and “don’t have all of the information.”

The link to Calvary Chapel’s website homepage now goes directly to the following statement:

The board of Calvary Chapel of The Woodlands has discussed the allegations against Pastor Bruce Hollen and has unanimously decided effective immediately that as of 5/8/2024, Bruce Hollen is stripped of his role as lead pastor of Calvary Chapel of The Woodlands. The board hereby has determined that Bruce Hollen no longer has authority, authorization, or permission to conduct any business on behalf of Calvary Chapel of The Woodlands. He may not hold himself out as a leader in any capacity for the church, and he may not speak on behalf of the church in any capacity.

Church Meets at a Local Public School

Calvary Chapel of The Woodlands meets in the auditorium of McCullough Junior High School, a local public school. District officials said because the church services take place on Sundays, none of its students are present in the facility.

The church’s meeting location sparked renewed concerns on social media about the separation of church and state.