DALLAS — A popular Dallas pastor is under fire — accused in a lawsuit of coercing young men into "engaging in sexual acts and relationships for his own personal sexual gratification."
Pastor Tyrone Gordon announced his resignation last month amid complaints, and we now know what one man is complaining about, after he filed a lawsuit last Friday.
Cameron Greer, 26, said he was working in the media department of St. Luke United Methodist Church when, he alleges, Gordon touched him inappropriately between Sunday services, as Greer was changing out microphones.
"As he was going to his office where he goes to change, he rubbed his private parts against my buttock," Greer said. "At first, I thought it was my fault — like I got in his way. But then he did it again and looked back at me to see my expression, and then I knew it was no accident."
Greer said the first incident occurred in December 2003. He is suing Gordon, St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, and the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.
He said he didn't go to the Dallas Police Department with his allegations eight years ago because he didn't realize it was a legal offense.
"I was of legal age, but just because you are 18 and of legal age doesn't mean you know the law or knew that this [...] was an offense," Greer said. "I thought I didn't have nothing to come forward with because it wasn't flesh-to-flesh contact."
Gordon came to Dallas from Wichita, Kansas. Gordon grew a church there from 250 members to 2,500. He gained a promotion when he arrived at St. Luke in Dallas in 2002, which has a congregation of more than 5,000 members.
Greer alleges in his lawsuit there were four incidents at the church, "the third time being in September 2009, when defendant Gordon would request that plaintiff Greer give Defendant Gordon a hug... holding plaintiff Greer tight enough to rub Greer's abdomen against Gordon's penis."
"It's killing me inside — tears come from my eyes, because this hurts," Greer said. "I didn't come forward because this was my pastor; this was someone who I looked up to. This is somebody I saw as a mentor. This is someone who I went to when my sister died. This was someone who I went to when having trouble in school. And I trusted him. I was blaming myself for years. Who wants to come forward to say this happened to them?"
Even though Pastor Gordon is resigning effective February 15, members of St. Luke United Methodist Church are reserving judgement.
"I will say he is still a man of God, [so] you can't sit here and judge him because it is an allegation," said church member Lutricia Finch. "So, I'm not going to point a finger and say its a true accusation. It's just an accusation."
Greer's attorney, Marilynn Mayse, is also a member of St. Luke United Methodist Church, and has been for 28 years. She takes the allegations personally, and accuses Pastor Gordon of abuse of power.
"Pastor Gordon was using his ministry as a way to control who came up in the ministry, who got churches, who got assignments; he used his position to control that," Mayse said.
Greer expressed interest to Gordon about becoming an ordained Methodist minister, and claims when he asked for help, that Gordon asked what was in it for him.
Greer said he's been called to preach and doesn't want to lose faith. His Cockrell Hill United Methodist Church congregation is offering support for their young leader. Greer is set to graduate from Southern Methodist University seminary school this May.
Mayse said they attempted to settle the case, but are now seeking monetary relief of $50,000 or more, excluding court costs, prejudgement interest and attorneys' fees.
"People knew, assistant pastors in the church, and they just chose not to do anything," Mayse said. "And, St. Luke United Methodist Church, they have a safe-sanctuary policy that they violated."
News 8 was unable to reach Pastor Gordon or Methodist church leaders for comment.
Greer said he will go to Dallas police this week to talk about filing criminal charges.