The Christian Post reported that Matt Pitt, founder of one of the nation’s largest youth ministries called The Basement, was arrested last week for impersonating a police officer and attempting to evade arrest by leaping from a 45-foot cliff. According to the article, Pitt has been dodging longstanding rumors of drug use. Alabama police said Pitt was lucky the jump didn’t kill him.
“For his family’s sake and for his I am truly glad he is OK. As I said before, going to jail may very well have saved his life,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Randy Christian. Pitt is currently being held without bond and awaiting results of a drug test.
Some local Christian leaders expressed their frustration with Pitt’s behavior. “I think we have to be careful not to let him off the hook as a victim,” Lyle Dorsett, the Billy Graham professor of evangelism at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School told AL.com. “He needs to face up to the fact that he’s basically dishonest. He needs to get out of the ministry and get himself sorted out. He’s got an inability to live in the real world.”
Staff at The Basement ministry made a statement on their blog that “The Basement is stronger than ever and continues to meet for its weekly events just like it has done for the past 10 years.” The statement also affirmed their appreciation for “prayers for Matt Pitt, his family, and the Ministry, but continue to pray for the Gospel message to reach everyone that has not heard about God’s unconditional love.”