Alabama pastor charged with rape, sodomy may have used church to contact victims

Police car.
Police car. | Unsplash/Michael Förtsch

Authorities in Alabama arrested a local pastor as part of a sexual assault investigation, believing he may have contacted some of the victims through a church in Mobile. 

The Mobile Police Department Special Victims Unit arrested 35-year-old Bradrick Vail Sr. on Sunday. Multiple victims had come forward and helped the police identify the suspect. 

As WPMI-TV reported Sunday, authorities located and charged Vail with three counts of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree sodomy and three counts of sexual abuse. After conducting a preliminary investigation, the authorities suspected that Vail used a church in Mobile to contact his victims. 

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Investigators believe that there may still be more victims. The Mobile Police Department is urging anyone with information to come forward to help further the investigation. 

Mobile Police confirmed that Vail is a pastor at a church in Mobile and that the alleged crimes occurred in Mobile and Prichard, according to Fox 10

According to his Facebook account, Vail was the pastor of Tree of Life Deliverance Ministries and studied at Heart Bible International University. The church was established in August 2020 in Theodore, according to information posted on a state government database

"Well, when I seen it on the news it broke my heart," local Pastor Nathaniel Wilder, who lives near the church, told Fox 10. "Because I'm a pastor also, and things like this really give the Church a bad name. You can't take one incident and blame all pastors for it and I just pray the best for him."

"The Church has been taking a beating here lately, not just here in Mobile, but all across this country," Wilder added. "Because of the things that some of these pastors are doing. And we don't know if it's true or not, you're innocent until found guilty. I'm not accusing him of anything. I just pray that these pastors will get their acts together."

The news of police arresting an Alabama pastor suspected of sex crimes comes not long after the arraignment of 71-year-old associate pastor Randy Saylor in Michigan. The pastor was the second clergyman and the third leader from the Michigan-based Living Word International Church arrested following accusations of criminal sexual conduct. 

Saylor was arraigned earlier this month on charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person younger than 13 and second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The associate pastor allegedly committed these crimes in 2013. 

In a statement at the time to Midland Daily News, Living Word Church Administrator William Bailey said that the congregation was "deeply saddened and concerned" about the situation.

"It has come to our attention that Randy Saylor, a member of our pastoral team, is under investigation for allegations of sexual abuse," Bailey stated.

"There are no allegations that the abuse took place at the church or involved the church in any way. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement authorities in their investigation. Randy has been suspended from all duties pending the outcome of the investigation."

Last November, the Rev. James Randolph, a minister at Living Word Church, was charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct, including one that allegedly involved a minor younger than 13. Randolph's crimes are believed to have taken place in 2011.

In a statement to The Christian Post last year, Josh Barclay, Mark Barclay's son, said Randolph was placed on administrative leave "pending the results of the criminal justice process."

Brandon Saylor, the 44-year-old son of Randy Saylor, was also arrested last July and sentenced last month to serve up to 15 years in prison on three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child younger than 13, WNEM reported. The 44-year-old served as a church volunteer and leader. 

Earlier this month, Brandon Saylor was resentenced and required to maintain electronic monitoring for the Sex Offender's Registration Act for the rest of his life, according to WNEM. 

Televangelist Mark Barclay is the founder of Living Word International Church, a minister known as the self-styled "Preacher of Righteousness" who presents his ministry as family-themed. In 2013, the televangelist asked his followers for $79,000 to repaint a luxury jet, which he said "actually belongs" to the Lord.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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