Metro Police in Nashville have arrested a long-time pastor with eight counts of aggravated sexual battery for alleged molestation of multiple boys, WBRC News reported Friday.
Matthew Dennis Patterson, 45, who goes by Denny, resigned from Nolensville Road Baptist Church on September 24 and moved to Pennsylvania. Three days later, church members reported to police that Patterson had asked children to sit on his face.
Detectives identified multiple victims, mostly boys, going back to 1998.
Patterson was extradited to Nashville on Friday and police are anticipating additional charges, The Tennessean reports.
“We here at Nolensville Road Baptist Church want to let our community know that the sinful actions of one man does not reflect upon the church as a whole,” congregation spokesperson James Thomas said. “We remain committed to truth, transparency in all our operations, and for the care and support for the victims and family who have been victimized by the alleged perpetrator.
The newspaper noted that Patterson was a vocal opponent of LGBTQ anti-discrimination bills.
“We want to make sure we keep the pressure on, let them know that anytime they bring this up, we’ll be down here to oppose it,” Patterson told The Tennessean in 2003.
BREAKING: Denny Patterson, 45, former long time pastor at Nolensville Road Baptist Church who resigned last year, just returned to Nashville from Pittsburgh on sexual battery indictment charging him with the alleged molestation of children who attended the church. pic.twitter.com/shzdyXIq8C
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 30, 2018