Fresno pastor arrested on felony child molestation charges

John Bonine, 43, pastor of Sierra Heights Baptist Church in Fresno, California

By James Guy / The Fresno Bee 09/13/07

The pastor of a north Fresno church remained in Fresno County Jail Wednesday night on felony charges of child molestation.

John Bonine, 43, pastor of Sierra Heights Baptist Church, was arrested Monday, according to jail records.

Fresno police officials released no information on the arrest, but in a message directed to church members, Mansel Trimble, youth pastor at Sierra Heights, confirmed the charges and called the situation "difficult and painful" for the church community and Bonine's family.

"We are looking for any way that we can be supportive to our pastor's family," he said, and also indicated concern over "Pastor Jeb," as Bonine is known at Sierra Heights.

"We also recognize that our congregation is a victim," he added. "Further, we understand that the view of the community toward Christ and our church suffers. Our compassion also extends to Jeb Bonine as he faces the consequences of these charges."

Trimble met with the Sierra Heights community Wednesday night, where he organized a leadership team to deal with the crisis. In place of Bonine, the church planned to have Glen Paden, a former president of the California Baptist Foundation, preach the Sunday service.

The reporter may be reached at or (559) 441-6339

See also: 

CBS47-TV video - "Pastor from Sierra Heights Baptist Church is arrested"

Former Fresno pastor convicted of child molestation, ABC-30, 4/10/2009

SNAP note: Sierra Heights Baptist Church is shown as an SBC-affiliated church.