• 68°

Pastor accused of molesting children

POPE (AP) — A Mississippi pastor is in custody, accused of molesting children.

Willie Forrest, pastor of Springhill Pope Missionary Baptist Church in Panola County, is charged with three counts of molesting children under the age of 15. District Attorney John Champion said victims were molested at the church and at Forrest’s home in Coldwater, which is in Tate County. The pastor was arrested at home Monday.

Forrest has been pastor of the church for 14 years. Church members told local media they are shocked by the allegations. They say they haven’t heard any rumors or talk about sexual impropriety at the church.

Champion is district attorney for DeSoto, Panola, Tate, Tallahatchie and Yalobusha counties. He did not release details about the allegations against Forrest, saying the case is still under investigation.

Forrest was being held in the Tate County jail. It was unknown if he’s represented by an attorney who could speak on his behalf.