Local associate pastor charged with lewd acts

Staff Reporter

Greenwood Today

October 27, 2010

Recent allegations against an Associate Pastor and Minister of Music was the focus of Wednesday nights service at Emerald Baptist Church.

Monday the mother of a 13 year old girl and attendee of Emerald Baptist Church met with authorities to alert them to allegations made by her daughter. The mother of the victim stated that Norman Henley Keesee, 57, of 105 Augusta Circle, Greenwood had inappropriately touched her daughter on several occasions.

The victim stated that during private keyboard lessons conducted in the victims bedroom, Keesee would touch areas of her body that were not conducive with the lesson. The victim said that she would pull away from Keesee but that he would continue his actions during the lesson. According to the mother, Keesee had given her daughter keyboard lessons from February to July of this year. The victim had told her mother at the end of July that she no longer wanted to play the keyboard, which according to the mother was very strange at the time. The victim also gave a second child's name with which Keesee had given keyboard lessons.

Reverend Curtis L. Eidson, Pastor of Emerald Baptist Church presented to the Wednesday night congregation the charges that have been placed against Keesee, stating “He (Keesee) is still my brother in the Lord and the victim is still my sister in the Lord.”

Keesee is an ordained minister and has been employed with the church for 7 years, 3 of which he has held a full-time position. Serving as associate Pastor, Keesee's main focus lies with the music ministry and the various activities which are associated with such.

In reaction to the charges of sexual misconduct and lewd acts against Keesse- Pastor Eidson, the church deacons and the church personnel committee have decided to place Keesee on a temporary paid leave of absence until the situation has come to a conclusion. During his absence Keesee is not allowed onto Emerald Baptist Church property or to attend its sanctioned events. Eidson told the congregation “This is not an admission of guilt or belief in his innocence, we are protecting Emerald Baptist Church.”