Longtime Youth Minister under cloud of suspicion for alleged sexual misconduct

by Steve Wiggins
1 comment

First United Methodist Church Sheffield

SHEFFIELD – (Update) Oliver Brazelle, Music Minister of The First United Methodist Church, was fired last Friday afternoon, amid allegations of at least 2 decades of sexual misconduct with boys. According to the Chairman of Staff, Pastor / Parish Relations Committee, Billy Don Anderson, Brazelle was summarily dismissed from his post of over 50 years.

According to another source, unnamed, word of Brazelle’s dismissal has been spreading through the tight-knit congregation since early this (Monday) morning. Yet another source tells The Quad-Cities Daily that as many as three of his alleged victims are prepared to make public their accounts, and to testify in court as to how they say they were abused.




Oliver Brazelle

The Congregation, one of the oldest in Sheffield, will be receiving a letter from the Church Pastor, Zeke Haselden, and appointed spokesman Anderson, which will explain in general terms the nature of the alleged offenses and their reasons for taking such swift action against Brazelle. “We knew that the best way to deal with these allegations was to deal swiftly and honestly with our Congregation,” Anderson told The Quad-Cities Daily. He continued, “I was contacted Thursday about this thing. I met with Zeke that day.”

Pastor Zeke Haselden, in a telephone call, told The Quad-Cities Daily,  “Thursday, I received the information and it was disturbing. I contacted Billy Don Anderson immediately. We met for 2 hours, and then investigated the issue more that afternoon. Friday afternoon we met with Oliver and dismissed him.” Haselton emphasized, “We are acting appropriately and responsibly in this matter.”





Brazelle rehearses for Christmas concert in 2005.

On Saturday, Anderson and several people, along with Haselden were surprised by the hand-delivery to each of them a packet. It contained a report from a previously unknown-to-them group of six people, who took this matter upon themselves, with no knowledge of church officials. The report was the result of a secret investigation by them into rumors that had been circulating for years in Sheffield, alleging that Brazelle was a pedophile who had preyed on at least 3 boys numerous times. The report said the alleged incidents took place at music camp, in the church basement, and even on the church bus.

The information has been turned over to Sheffield Police. Chief Greg Ray has declined to comment.


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1 comment

idrissa35653 July 31, 2012 - 11:31 am

The Sheffield police are so busy profiling and harassing every black male in sight that they no time left to investigate the real criminals!


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