TATE COUNTY, Miss. — A Mississippi pastor is accused of sexually molesting children at his church and on his property.
Willie Forest was arrested at his home in Coldwater and charged with three counts of molesting children, including the sexual battery of a vulnerable person under the age of 16.
District attorney John Champion confirmed the crimes occurred at the pastor’s church, Spring Hill Pope M.B Church in Panola County, and on his property, but would not provide any further details.
Forest’s neighbor, Alexander Davis, said he is shocked. He said he and Forest used to sing together, and they each had a group.
“I really don’t know,” Davis said. “I just — stuff happens, and you just don’t understand.”
Forest’s church was empty on Tuesday, but word has already spread throughout the community.
No one answered the door at Forest’s home, but one woman who asked not to be identified said she went to school with him and would have never thought he could do such a thing.
Forest is currently being held at the Tate County Jail. He could face more charges, Champion said.