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‘Sin is dark, and it destroys’: Wife of pastor who killed himself is praying for those he hurt

Jarrett Booker, 37, the former youth pastor at Nashua Baptist Church in Nashua, N.H., took his own life on Nov. 27, 2023.
Jarrett Booker, 37, the former youth pastor at Nashua Baptist Church in Nashua, N.H., took his own life on Nov. 27, 2023. | YouTube/The Average Fat Biker

Two weeks after Jarrett Booker, a New Hampshire youth pastor, died by suicide following allegations of child sexual abuse, his wife expressed a tumultuous mix of emotions in a Facebook post, acknowledging the destructive nature of sin and praying for those harmed by her husband’s actions.

Jarrett Booker, 37, a pastor at Nashua Baptist Church, took his own life on Nov. 27, two days after being fired for allegedly sexually abusing minors and amid a police investigation into the accusations.

On Friday, Jarrett’s wife, Rachel, shared her emotions in a Facebook post.

“The last two weeks have been a blender of emotions, one that is still spinning violently at every turn,” she wrote. “Sin is dark, and it destroys. We hate it, we are grieved by it, and we continue to pray for all of those who have been hurt. JB had his demons, I won’t pretend that he didn’t. His choices caused harm. The hard truth I am learning is that there are questions for him that will go without answers in my lifetime. But I will hold fast to the hope of the Gospel and press in to the church, family, and friends who have not left our side throughout any of this.”

She also quoted Ephesians 2:4-6, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

The Nashua Baptist Church, where Booker served in youth ministry and worship, released a statement on Nov. 29, two days after his death. The church’s elders and deacons described the situation as immensely complex and painful. They condemned all forms of abuse, reaffirming their commitment to transparency and support for the victims.

The church had terminated Booker’s employment on Nov. 25, following an internal review that uncovered evidence of misconduct.

This internal review was prompted by “credible allegations” of sexual abuse against minors, leading to a criminal investigation. The Nashua Police Department, through Sgt. John Cinelli, had confirmed the ongoing investigation into Booker’s alleged crimes.

The church had initially withheld details of the allegations to preserve the integrity of the legal process but later informed their congregation and pledged to share pertinent information as it became available.

Booker, who had been with the church for nearly a decade, worked closely with teenagers and led musical worship.

According to his obituary, he was adopted at 18 months old and is survived by his parents, wife, son and other family members.

Many had known and respected Booker for years.

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