A Kannapolis youth pastor has been arrested and charged with sex offenses against a 13-year-old church member.
Benjamin Ross Hollifield, 25, of Salisbury, is in the Rowan County Detention Center on $1 million bail on charges of felony indecent liberties with a child and felony statutory rape or sex offense with a minor six or more years younger than himself, jail records show. He was placed in jail on Friday, records show.
The Salisbury Post reported the victim is 13. Hollifield was youth and outreach pastor at Piedmont Baptist Church, multiple media outlets reported.
In a statement on its website, the church said one of its employees was fired “for abusing a child and violating the church’s trust and policies.”
The church’s statement said its senior pastor reported the case to police.
“Our church has zero tolerance for child abuse,” the statement said. “We believe that transparency, child safety, and accountability are essential for successful ministry, and we are fully committed to ministering to our entire community in a safe and responsible manner.”
The church is on Wright Road in western Kannapolis.