Pastor arrested for soliciting prostitution amid human trafficking investigation

Wikimedia Commons/Rantemario
Wikimedia Commons/Rantemario

A North Carolina pastor and Christian school teacher has been arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution as part of an ongoing human trafficking investigation, according to the Gaston County Sheriff's Office.

Sixty-five-year-old Frank Johnson, the pastor of Hands and Feet Fellowship in downtown Gastonia and a teacher at a nearby Christian school, was arrested by Gaston County deputies on March 11.

He was charged with a misdemeanor prostitution solicitation and released later that day on a 1,500 bond, court records show. 

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

Johnson served as a middle school science teacher at Community Christian Academy's Dallas Campus. 

Johnson's biography description, which was still active on the school website as of Wednesday morning, states that he was in his third year at the school and tutored children in several subjects, including math, science, Bible, music and chess, for several years. 

"I felt called by God to serve here at CCA, and really love the work that is going on here with our kids," he wrote.

At the school, he also spearheaded a school-sponsored podcast called "Our Morning Take."

A Community Christian Academy spokesperson told The Gaston Gazette that Johnson is no longer an employee. 

Johnson will make a court appearance on May 7.

Parents at the academy were alerted of Johnson's charges via a message from the school, according to WSOC.

A parent who chose not to be named told the outlet that Johson also led worship at the school. 

"We expected them to be held to a higher standard especially with it being a Christian school," the parent was quoted as saying, wishing the school was more forthcoming about the details of the charge. "You can't trust anybody in this world but you would expect to be able to kind of trust somebody like that." 

Authorities couldn't reveal more information regarding Johnson's case as it is part of an ongoing human trafficking investigation. Johnson hasn't provided public comment except to say that he has an attorney and that the allegations have destroyed his life. 

Other pastors in recent years have been charged with prostitution. 

In November 2021, megachurch Pastor John Blanchard of Rock Church of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was charged with felony soliciting prostitution of a minor and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution. He was among 17 men busted in an online sting operation by police on Oct. 29, 2021.

The charges were eventually expunged even though a special prosecutor concluded that the charges brought against him were "sound." Chesterfield County Police Chief Col. Jeffrey S. Katz of Virginia opposed the decision of Commonwealth Attorney Stacey Davenport to drop the charges due to "lack of evidence." The police chief contends that his investigators have presented less compelling evidence in other cases that led to a conviction.

Katz spoke out after Blanchard's attorney filed a motion to "seal all police or court records, transcripts, and investigative records associated with this case."

"When someone: 1. Rents a car, 2. Texts a phone number posted on a known sex worker website, 3. Solicits a 'qv' ('John' lingo for a 'quick visit'), 4. Makes multiple inquiries if the person he's texting is 'affiliated with law enforcement,' 5. Drives two and a half hours to a hotel and knocks on the hotel room door — as directed by our undercover '17-year-old,' I believe a jury of Chesterfield County residents deserves to weigh in on the matter of criminal culpability," Katz stated.

"Despite numerous convictions on cases with similar — and in some cases less compelling evidence — we have not been given any guidance as to where this investigation fell short of prosecutorial expectations. Moreover, the public has not been provided an explanation."

Nicole VanDyke is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles