A New Hampshire church is working through the tragic loss of one of its ministry leaders after he reportedly took his own life on Nov. 27, following sexual abuse allegations being investigated against him.
On Nov. 22, Nashua Baptist Church leaders learned of a criminal investigation into conduct of one of its pastors, Jarrett Booker, 37. Allegations of sexual abuse against minors had been made against Booker, a father, husband and pastor of student ministry and worship. He had reportedly been a trusted part of the church for nearly a decade.
An internal review made by the church uncovered additional evidence of misconduct that “undeniably violated the moral and ethical standards” expected of church staff, the church said in a statement. Church leadership terminated Booker’s employment on Nov. 25. The congregation was informed of the situation the following day.
Following news of Booker’s suicide, the church noted, “[Booker] took his own life, refusing to face the consequences of his actions. This event has added immeasurably to the complexity and pain of the situation.”
Booker leaves behind a grieving wife, son and additional family members.
The church statement closed with, “Our hearts are heavy for the victims, Jarrett’s family, and our congregation, many of whom knew and respected him for years. We are dedicated to supporting everyone affected by Jarrett’s inexcusable actions, both within our church and beyond. We ask for prayers as we navigate this devastating situation.”
No details of the allegations have been released. Sgt. John Cinelli, the public information officer for the Nashua Police Department noted the investigation remains ongoing.