By Melissa Knopper, Rocky
Denver police arrested a
26-year-old youth minister with St. John's Church of God
in Christ after a 15-year-old member accused him of
MacFranklin Alexander, of 4800 Hale Parkway, faces
charges of felony sexual assault on a child, sexual
assault on a child by one in a position of trust and
sexual assault on a child involving a pattern of
Alexander is accused of having ongoing sexual contact
with the girl for about three months, said Lt. John
Priest of the Denver Police Department's Crimes Against
"This individual has known the victim for some time,"
Priest said. "He is the minister of music for the church
and deals with young people."
Investigators do not believe that Alexander, who was
arrested Wednesday, was involved with any other children
in the congregation, and he does not have a history of
sexual abuse convictions. Priest would not comment on
where the alleged assaults took place.
The head minister of St. John's Church of God in
Christ, Jay Betts, was not available for comment
Thursday. But the spiritual leader of the Church of God
in Christ denomination for the state of Colorado, Bishop
Frank Johnson, said he was looking into Alexander's
Johnson said he was not sure if Alexander was a
licensed member of the clergy or simply a member of the
congregation who has the title of minister.
"We won't tolerate anything like that," Johnson said.
"He can't have anything to do with the church if he has
been accused of something like this."
Johnson said the Church of God in Christ is a
Pentecostal denomination with 53 churches in
St. John's Church of God in Christ is a tiny
congregation with just a handful of members, said Pastor
Phil Campbell of Park Hill Congregational Church at 2600
For the past few years, Campbell's church has been
renting space to St. John's Church of God in Christ
because it does not have its own building. Members of
the church use one of Park Hill Congregational's Sunday
school classrooms for their weekly services and a
Wednesday evening Bible-study session.
"They are kind of like what people describe as a
storefront church except they don't have a storefront,"
Campbell said. "When they have big gathering, about 20
Campbell said he does not know Alexander well. He
said he doesn't have any reason to believe that the
assaults took place in the church.