Former Children’s Minister Pleads Guilty to Sex Abuse Charges

021814 CO Eddie Hearing 400
Deputies lead Jeffrey Eddie out of the Colbert County Courthouse on Tuesday, February 18. (Photo: Carter Watkins/WHNT News 19)

Deputies lead Jeffrey Eddie out of the Colbert County Courthouse on Tuesday, February 18. (Photo: Carter Watkins/WHNT News 19)

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – A former children’s minister in the Shoals has pleaded guilty to multiple sex abuse charges.

Jeffrey Dale Eddie pleaded guilty Friday morning to 16 counts of sodomy, three counts of sexual abuse and one count of child pornography.

Court documents show Eddie admitted to committing multiple sex acts on children from Highland Park Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, where he was the children’s pastor.  He was arrested in February.

Investigators say the incidents happened between the summer of 2010 and the fall of 2013 at the church.

WHNT News 19 contacted Highland Park Baptist Church on Friday.  Lead Pastor Brett Pittman released this statement:

“These last few weeks have been some of the most difficult days in the history of our church and our community. After today’s events, however, we hopefully will be able to move forward and begin healing.

As we look to the future, we will continue to prioritize assisting the families who have been victimized by the actions of a man who was not what he appeared to be. We have established the Highland Park Baptist Church Counseling Fund. This fund will serve to offset the counseling costs for these families. Anyone who would like to contribute can do so at any Progress Bank, First Metro, or Bank Independent location.

I want to express my continued appreciation for the hard-work and commitment of the Muscle Shoals Police Department, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office in seeking justice in this case. I would like to ask everyone to continue to pray for healing in the lives of these children, their families and our entire community.”

Highland Park Baptist has also posted information on its website to help parents talk with their children about sexual abuse.

Read more coverage of this case on WHNT.com.

9 comments

    • Mary

      I am so Happy the Church supported the Family and the attorneys’/DA thought about the children. My family and I went through this about two years ago. The church my family I attended for twenty – three, they did not support my family. The church allow the man to server In the church after he was arrested and plead guilty to a reduced charge .The church I attended got an attorney after I sent them legal paper work showing the man lied about he was not found guilt and did not plead guilty to a lesser charge. The church said I was harass them. Also some of the leaders was telling lies on my child and said that she cause the abuse. My family did not want our child to go court and the man did not either so we ask the man to get professional help and he had to pay court cost. The man refused to a polygraph and he changed his story many times. MY FAMILY WAS VERY HURT. THE CHURCH I ATTEDNED ONLY THOUGHT ABOUT THE NAME OF THEIR CHURCH AND NOT MY FAMILY. My family has moved on, we know God got our back and No weapon that is formed against us shall prosper.

  • Hailee

    That is so disturbing, this man is suppose to be teaching these children about the Good Lord and instead implanting devilish acts in their life. I just hope these children’s faith can stay strong and this demon has not corrupted those pore children.

  • jamison jones

    As always, thats how they are. Very unassuming, meek, come across as polite, they welcome you at the church with a stare and fake smile, they donate to every cause at every opprotunity, they coach kids…i mean, i believe only women should work with kids at sunday school. A grown azzz man has no business working with kids at a sunday school much less a day care. Let the men go preach to inmates in a jail or prison or take it upon themselves to be look-outs for homeless people.

  • dianerhansen

    Those are MY Private Parts
    This book helps children open healthy communication about what is okay and what is not okay when it comes to touching private parts of the body. It uses child-friendly rhyming and colorful illustrations by a four-year-old to incorporate messages about sexual abuse prevention. Statistics and information on childhood sexual abuse are included for parents and educators.
    Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Healthy Relationships, Sexuality and Disability Resource Sexual Health and Human Rights Guide 2011 page 20
    Now in Spanish “Esas Son Mis Partes Privadas!”
    Order on Amazon. Quantity discounts available at http://www.dianerhansen.com
    #childsexualabuseprevention #childsexualabuse #sexabuse @dianerenehansen
    #CranioSacral Therapy http://www.upledger.com helping survivors heal the emotional scars left in their body from childhood traumas. The ACE Study http://www.acestudy.org is powerful research linking childhood trauma to long-term health and social consequences. The body just doesn’t “get over” trauma. This traumatic energy could actually manifest itself into disease.
    #TAALK Talk About Abuse to Liberate Kids http://www.taalk.org Darkness 2 Light http://www.d2l.org

  • Yvonne Williams

    I agree with all of these comments. How can someone say they are a man of GOD and then do this?

  • Nuclear Mike

    Here is a real life reason why there should never be gay Boy Scout Leaders and gay youth ministers in our churches…

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