Shelby County Reporter

Youth pastor arrested on child sex charges


Thursday, October 18, 2007

A former youth pastor faces charges of traveling to Tennessee to have sex with a teenage girl.

Donald Brent Page, 33, was indicted Tuesday by a Memphis grand jury on charges of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor. The Calera resident was arrested Oct. 6 for traveling to Tennessee to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl for sex, according to Memphis FBI.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports Page used the online name "badlilboy8898" to arrange a meeting with the girl, who was actually a member of the FBI's Crimes Against Children Task Force. He was arrested at a Memphis apartment with condoms and wine coolers in hand.

Prior to his arrest, Page served as youth minister of Dogwood Grove Baptist Church in Montevallo. Church pastor Todd Burr said Page called him the night of his arrest to resign.

"I let him know that he had no other options," said Burr. "I was sad for his family because of the decisions he made."

Page would have been fired as soon the church learned of his arrest had he not resigned, Burr said.

No local parents or children have come forth with accusations against Page, and church policy prevented him from ever being alone with children, Burr said.

"It's shocking. He was doing a good job with the youth," said the pastor. "If there were any indications, we didn't pick up on them."

E-mail and MySpace correspondence between Page and youth members were turned over to the FBI, but nothing inappropriate was found.

"It was bulletins about upcoming events, nothing really personal," said Burr.

The Sunday morning after Page's arrest, church officials met with youth group members and their parents to discuss what happened. The pastor later announced the charges to the entire congregation during morning worship.

"Needless to say, it was not a pleasant day for our church," said Burr.

Still, he hopes something positive can come from Page's arrest.

"It's made people more aware. This isn't something you watch on TV. It's in our own backyards," said Burr. "If there's any good, it's opened our eyes to take precautions even with those you trust and look up to."

If convicted, Page faces up to 30 years in prison and fines of $250,000.

See also:  "Montevallo youth pastor charged with sex crimes," The Alabama Baptist, 10/25/07 (showing that Donald Brent Page also worked at Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster, AL, and Hillcrest Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL.

SNAP Note:  Dogwood Grove and Siluria Baptist are shown as SBC-affiliated churches.