TERRY SMITH: GUILTY, BUT WHO CARES?

UPDATE “God’s Man: Savior or Seducer?” That was the question asked by D’s September 1988 story on the doings of terry Smith, the pastor of Richardson’s Canyon Creek Baptist Church. At the time Smith was denying that he had had affairs with female church members.

Now, according to a Dallas judge in a civil trial, the answer is clear; seducer. Judge Catherine crier held that Smith and the governing board of the church were guilty of “gross negligence. . .and indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of Kristina Becker,” a former church member seeking massive damages from Smith and Canyon Creek.

Judge Crier turned down the bulk of Becker’s $1.2 million claim, but ordered Smith to pay $2,901.90, or just over half of the counseling fees incurred by Becker after her affair with Smith. The judge held that exemplary damages were not needed since Smith, now exposed as an adulterer, would probably find further pastoring “difficult if not impossible.”

Well, not that difficult. The same deacons condemned by Judge Crier quickly issued a report that-surprise-clears Smith and themselves of any wrongdoing. The report, which reminds the faithful that St. Paul and Jesus Christ also had their troubles with the courts, stresses the Biblical requirement that eyewitnesses substantiate accusations against members of the flock. There were no eyewitnesses to the Smith-Becker fling. His critics don’t accuse the pastor of being dumb.

Newsletter

Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.

Comments