An Assemblies of God pastor was forced to resign from the helm of Five Rivers Church in Elkton, Maryland, last Sunday after his 18-year-old son, Caleb Doyle Chase, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree rape stemming from allegations he sexually molested a 12-year-old boy and sexted a 13-year-old girl a week earlier.
The forced resignation comes for Pastor Jim Chase after just a year-and-a-half in the position he was excited to start in the summer of 2016.
"I know many are wondering what's all the conversation about Lucia Chase, Caleb and I. We are moving to Elkton, Maryland. We are going to be Lead Pastor at Five Rivers Church. Yes, it's an Assembly of God church that has a rich history. We are blessed to follow a pastor who retired and the church is healthy and ready for what God has next for them on their journey serving the community of Elkton," the pastor wrote in a Facebook post to his friends at a small church in Seagraves, Texas, at the time.
On Friday, Rodney Wilmer, a member of the Five Rivers Church's elected board of deacons, told The Christian Post they asked him to leave.
"We just asked for his resignation and he accepted three days later," Wilmer said.
The resignation was made effective on Friday, Jan. 19. The Five Rivers congregation which consists of just over 100 members were informed of the resignation the following Sunday.
"The church was happy that the safety of children was being taken seriously," Wilmer added, noting that he could not say if the church asked for Pastor Chase's resignation because of the arrest.
He did say, however, that the congregation only found out about what had happened "a couple of days before it was in the papers."
The church, he added, is now cooperating with police.
A police statement cited by the Cecil Daily said Caleb, who will turn 19 on Jan. 29, sent the 13-year-old girl an explicit photo of himself and asked if they would have sex sometime last October or November. He was charged with sexual solicitation of a minor for that incident.
Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 13, 2017, police say Caleb allegedly had two criminal encounters with a 12-year-old boy.
In the first encounter which allegedly occurred "a few days prior to Halloween," Chase picked up the boy at his home and drove him to the church to play basketball. When they got inside the church, police say Caleb turned off the lights and started fondling the boy from behind over his clothes. He was able to fend off Caleb, however, and hid inside the church.
"Moments later, (the boy's) guardian arrived and found the doors to the building were locked. The guardian began pulling aggressively on the doors, until Caleb Chase answered them. The boy left with his guardian," court documents said.
Several weeks later, Caleb and the boy were heading to Holly Hall Elementary School together to meet another boy to play basketball when the second incident happened.
Caleb drove the boy to the church parking lot and allegedly fondled him inside the car and tried to force him to perform a sex act on him.
"The victim advised that Chase told him that he had to perform the act or Chase would kill him. Chase then pulled out a knife and showed it to (the boy)," court records say.
The boy was able to escape Caleb's advances again. Caleb has since been charged with attempted first-degree rape, attempted second-degree rape, sexual solicitation of a minor, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense, according to the Cecil Daily.
Wilmer said he has had no contact with Pastor Chase or his family since he resigned but noted that the church has set up an email account where members can report incidents of sexual abuse in the church.