Church policies for sex offenders

Grace involves open arms—and policies that set clear boundaries.

Read the main article, "A residential ministry deals with the sex offender registry."

On Sundays, Good Samari­tan’s men head to Christian Heritage Church, a Pentecostal congregation a few doors down from program offices. Lead Christian Heritage pastor Steve Dow, whom Good Samaritan leader Glenn Burns calls an “old cowboy from Oklahoma,” was the one who offered Good Samaritan a place to land after the program was booted from Woodville.

A strict set of program rules govern the men’s church involvement, says Good Samaritan’s Andy Messer. They aren’t allowed to be alone in the building. They’re restricted to public zones and don’t have access to the children’s areas. They’re never allowed to talk with a child alone. Violations mean expulsion—there’s no grace period, Messer says.