Assistant pastor of Gospel Baptist Church faces sexual battery charge

POLAND TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – The assistant pastor of Gospel Baptist Church in Poland is facing a sexual battery charge.

Christopher Stivers, 31, was arrested Wednesday morning. According to a police report, the charge stems from an incident reported Tuesday on Clingan Road.

Darrell House, spokesman for Gospel Baptist Church, released the following statement:

Tuesday evening, Nov. 22 at approximately 8 o’clock p.m., Pastor Ron Royality, senior pastor of Gospel Baptist Church, was made aware of a situation between Pastor Chris Stivers, assistant pastor of Gospel Baptist Church, and a teenage girl of one of our church families. Mr. Stivers is scheduled for arraignment in the Struthers Municipal Court Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 9:30 in the morning. There’s no further details available at this time. Our prayers are with the family of the teenage girl and Mr. Stivers’ family.”

According to Gospel Baptist Church’s website, the church has a school for children in kindergarten through twelfth grade. House would not say whether Stivers is still employed there and offered no further information.

Wednesday, Stivers’ bond was set at $100,000. He is scheduled to appear in court again on December 2 for a preliminary hearing.