Church Gives Sex Offender a Second Chance

MIDLAND Pastor Phillip Rutledge is on the pulpit Sundays at Ranchland Heights Baptist Church. He's also a low-risk sex offender because of two Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child charges back in 2003. He is registered with the state.

CBS 7 received a call from someone who went to the church concerned because they found out about the pastor's status by word of mouth outside of the church. Church officials confirm they knew of his status before hiring him.

"Our administration knew about Bro. Phillip's history before the hiring, and the vast majority of the church knew about it as well. We believe that God can change people, and we believe that God has forgiven Bro. Phillip as well."

They also confirm not all of the congregation is aware that Pastor Rutledge is a sex offender.

"I can't tell you that 100 percent of the people know, but the vast majority know." said Deacon DJ Rambo.

While the law does not say sex offenders can't serve in church, it is up to the discretion of the congregation.

"We make sure children are never by themselves in the sanctuary or any activities alone with the Pastor. He is very cautious of it as well." said Rambo.

In a photo on the church's Facebook page, the pastor is seen helping baptize a youth at the church.