According to one church official, the former pastor had been with Grace Family Baptist Church for at least a decade.
According to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, former Southern Baptist pastor, Stephen Bratton, 46, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for child molestation last Friday.
Authorities say he admitted to molesting a teen starting when she was 13 and continuing for about five years. The victim is also a member of his family.
The Grace Family Baptist Church gave a statement in 2019 saying:
“This activity is wrong according to biblical and civil law and the church condemns this behavior as abhorrent.
Stephen [Bratton] is no longer in a position of leadership at the church and is no longer receiving a salary.
Stephen Bratton was also excommunicated by the church the following Sunday, May 19th . Therefore he is no longer a member of the church.”
According to Thomas Gilliland of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, he was accused in 2019 of subjecting a teen to inappropriate touching that escalated to “sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week” from 2013 to 2018. Bratton admitted to sexually abusing the adolescent girl for about five years, beginning when she was 13 years old.
Bratton resigned from the Grace Family Baptist Church in Cypress Station in May 2019 after confessing to other pastors that he had committed the crime.
“After this man confessed to them, several other pastors came forward to tell authorities what was going on, and we applaud those people of conscience,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.
“This man, who had risen to a position of authority in the church, made a child a victim and betrayed the trust of his community. The victim and his community were due justice, which they received,” Ogg added.
The assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, Brett Batchelor, believes it is critical that victims in cases like this receive justice.
Batchelor stated, “We need to protect the community and future victims.” “It’s also an important part of the victim’s recovery.”