Former youth minister sentenced for sex crimes

Former youth minister sentenced for sex crimes

A judge in Cherokee County, Ala., has sentenced a former Southern Baptist youth minister to 10 years in prison for sex crimes, but it won’t add any time to the 15-year sentence he already received in another county.

According to local media, Mack Allen Davis, 74, former youth minister at Lakeside Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was sentenced June 19 by Judge Jeremy Taylor in Cherokee County to 10 years in prison for attempted sodomy in the second degree and 12 months in jail for each of seven counts of sexual abuse in the second degree.

mack allen davis
Mack Allen Davis

The sentences will run concurrently with a 15-year sentence handed down May 15 in Jefferson County Court in Birmingham.Cherokee County authorities arrested Davis in April 2014 after two men came forward claiming he sexually abused them from the late 1970s throughout the 1980s. One of the alleged victims said the abuse began when he was 9.

After Davis was released on bond, he was rearrested in Jefferson County on a grand jury indictment charging him with three counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor between the ages of 12 and 16, one count of first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty to those crimes in December.

On June 19 Davis entered pleas of guilty to all charges in Cherokee County. Other crimes allegedly occurred in a third county, St. Clair County, at Camp Chula Vista, a Christian conference and retreat center east of Birmingham owned by the Church of God based in Anderson, Ind.

Davis came to Lakeside Baptist Church in 1977 as minister of youth and recreation and the following summer was also named director of the church’s camp. He retired in 1999 at age 59 after his wife filed for divorce.

One of the alleged victims claimed the pastor at the time, Mike McLemore, wasn’t forthcoming about the reason Davis took early retirement. McLemore later became director of missions for Birmingham Baptist Association. Associational leaders investigated the allegations in 2010 and 2014 and reported they found no evidence that McLemore tried to cover up sexual abuse.

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