Children’s minister in Madison County arrested, charged with sexual abuse of a child

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - A children's minister from Bethlehem Baptist Church in Hazel Green has been arrested on two charges of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12. The church has confirmed to WHNT News 19 James "Javie" McNeal was arrested yesterday.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office confirms one victim filed a complaint about an incident that happened at the church where McNeal served as a children's minister for six years.

Lon Ostrzycki, lead pastor of the church, says "McNeal has been terminated and isn't allowed on the property."

James McNeal (Image: Madison County Sheriff's Office)

James McNeal (Image: Madison County Sheriff's Office)

Church leaders are working with the families involved.

Ostrzycki called the situation a bad mistake and says McNeal will suffer the consequences. He also says the church will continue to preach Jesus and they will pull together as a church family and pray.