Social media allegations of abuse at Decatur church

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DECATUR, Ala. – Allegations that a Decatur pastor acted inappropriately toward youth at GracePoint Church in Decatur have been circulating on social media.

GracePoint Church in Decatur publicly identifies as an interdenominational church.

Over the past few weeks, several people have shared stories online claiming they were groomed and abused by a pastor there.

Taylor Byrd posted a video on TikTok describing allegations of abuse at the church, it has more than 40 thousand likes.

“At one point I was hanging out with my friends that I attended the church with, and he had video called me and he was shirtless about to get into the shower, that was a huge red flag to me and that was the last encounter,” Byrd said.

News 19 checked with multiple police departments looking for criminal complaints, there was one in Hartselle from 2007 that named the same GracePoint Church pastor, but no charges were filed.

Because the pastor in question is not currently facing criminal charges that News 19 is aware of, we are not publicly naming him.

Since Byrd’s TikTok, others on social media have shared similar stories about the same pastor.

“When he would lay hands on me, he would lay hands on me,” said Byrd. “He would constantly offer me with ‘why don’t you come to this one-on-one ministry with me, I can give you some pointers, I can give you some guidance,’ things like that.”

Byrd said he chose not to come forward earlier because he was a worship leader at the time of these experiences and explained that he feared exposing someone in power at the church. He said that he doesn’t plan to file a criminal complaint, but he wants others to know they’re not alone.

“When I found out that I was not the only one when I found out that there were dozens and people keep coming out about it, when I found that out, it made me so sick that I could not eat my lunch,” Byrd said. “I got physically sick.”

Hartselle Police Department, Decatur Police Department, and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office told News 19 they are aware of the social media allegations, but no one has come forward to file a criminal complaint.

The GracePoint Church in Decatur no longer has a viewable Facebook page or website.

News 19 went to the church. Someone claiming to be a relative of the pastor told us that his lawyer would send through a statement. We have not received a statement.

News 19 called the church and reached out to the pastor in question via phone. We were unable to get in touch with him.

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