Church acknowledges that Brazelle was removed from childrens & youth choir by Bishop in 2003

By  | August 2, 2012 | Filed under: News

Oliver Brazelle

SHEFFIELD – The spokesman for The First United Methodist Church has just released a new statement regarding the ongoing investigation in the alleged sexual misconduct of Oliver Brazelle, 78, the former Minister of Music. The incident referred to in the accompanying media release, appears to confirm some of the rumors that have been circulating in the community regarding the incidences in 2003 that surrounded Brazelle’s removal as Youth Minister at the church.

Here is the text of the media release:

 First United Methodist Church of Sheffield


Northwest District United Methodist Church

August 2, 2012

 During our follow-up to the unfortunate and tragic investigation into the allegations against Oliver Brazelle the question arose that possibly other instances of inappropriate conduct by Mr. Brazelle had been reported to church officials at an earlier date and time.

Yesterday, the Northwest District Office was contacted and the matter was immediately looked into. The district office was later contacted by the Bishop’s office to report that information was documented from 2003. Our then bishop was contacted by a counselor in the Greater Shoals, reporting that the counselor had a client claiming inappropriate sexual contact by Mr. Brazelle in the 1970’s. There were no names or specifics given in the report. The counselor had also contacted DHR and the Sheffield PD.

The then Bishop and District Superintendent met with Mr. Brazelle in the Birmingham office in 2003. Mr. Brazelle denied any knowledge of the allegations. Nevertheless, the bishop immediately removed Mr. Brazelle from choir directorship with children and youth. The bishop also contacted the counselor to confirm the actions taken. We understand that DHR and the Sheffield PD took no action against Mr. Brazelle regarding this accusation, since no victim came forward to sign a complaint. No other incidents involving Mr. Brazelle have been reported to either the Northwest District or the North Alabama Conference.

In light of the magnitude of the growing awareness of sexual abuse in our world, the North Alabama Conference has instituted “Safe Sanctuary” as our child protection policy which has been implemented in the United Methodist Church.  If more information surfaces, we will continue to be forthcoming.

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2 Responses to Church acknowledges that Brazelle was removed from childrens & youth choir by Bishop in 2003

  1. Rev. D. M. Brown August 4, 2012 at 2:57 am

    God help us all to honor and worship you as we travel on this journey. Amen

    • Sara Burns August 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      don’t forget to pray for all the victims represented in this case, and sadly, others that are about to come to light in this UMC District.

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