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Pastor of popular BR church apologizes for shuttered youth program in social media post

2 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, April 29 2021 Apr 29, 2021 April 29, 2021 1:15 PM April 29, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The lead pastor of one of the largest churches in the capital area is apologizing for how a youth program shut down by the church years ago allegedly treated its participants. 

Pastor Jonathan Stockstill made a lengthy post on Facebook Wednesday apologizing for the issues reported in the 220 student ministry at Bethany Church. In his post, Stockstill said most of the problems were tied to the 220i internship program associated with the student ministry. 

The church ran the ministry from 2005 to 2013.

"It’s obvious to me now and to the current leadership of Bethany Church that we significantly missed the mark in that program in many ways. Although our intention was to train young leaders, and some positive fruit came from it, it is stained with the bad experiences of many," Stockstill's post read in part. "As a result, we recognized that it was not a good culture and discontinued the program almost ten years ago, but have now realized how much pain it caused."

Commenters on social media referenced vague allegations of bullying within the program, though the church did not detail the behavior that led to them ending the program.

According to a post from the church in 2013, more than 500 interns graduated from the 220i program. 

WBRZ has reached out to the church for more information.

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