Local News

Pastor charged with indecent liberties with 12-year-old

Posted February 24, 2014

— The charges just don't sound right to musician Bruce James.

For more than three years, James has played music at Steve Conerly's Raleigh home-based home church.

Over the weekend, Conerly, 62, was arrested for two counts of indecent liberties with a 12-year old girl.

Investigators say the accused and the victim knew each other.

Conerly remained at the Wake County jail under a $50,000 bond.

"It is definitely not in the realm of belief,” James said. "They were good people."

Conerly is listed as the pastor of New Beginnings Fellowship on the church's website, which also said he previously led churches in Mississippi and Virginia.

Conerly is also listed as a practicing counselor on a professional website. The post says he holds a doctorate in spiritual counseling.

Both websites refer to Conerly's home address.

For James, the charges seem like a huge mistake. The man he knows is not capable of the alleged crimes.

"He is the same type of person he is away from the pulpit as he is behind the pulpit," he said. "I think we have all had that happen to us at some point or another in their life. Someone tries to make us look like something we are not."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • btneast Feb 26, 2014

    Who goes to or trusts someone who runs a church out of his home?

    Many churches start initially out of someone's home. As they grow, they move up to a school gym, auditorium or rent a movie theater on Sunday mornings. Once they get their membership large enough, they raise funds to build their own building. you don't build a huge brick and mortar church and hope people come....you get the people first, then build the building. It's pretty much the accepted model used by all denominations today.

  • mafiamic Feb 25, 2014

    Another priest and person of god ha ha ha going against the church and religious ways,and y'all believe and trust these people?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 25, 2014

    It's entertaining to see the rightwingers attack the messenger when the accused is someone they agree with.

    Instead, why not stick to the facts? ...that (yet another) religious leader is accused of having sex with a young child.

    If that doesn't do it for you, think about how you'd lose your mind if an Atheist did this.

  • rashawnphil1972 Feb 25, 2014

    shaking my head steve you know that is wrong you have embarrassed us all.

  • eyeoneastsky Feb 25, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Amen to that!

  • dwr1964 Feb 25, 2014

    So lets get to the point... why was he formerly from two other states? What happened in Mississippi and Virginia we don't know about?....BleedGreen

    It is quite common for preachers, priests, bishops or any other "professional" religious figures, to move several times, some of those times moving to a different state and sometimes to a different country. His moving from 2 other states is not important, in any way, unless this behavior in NC had precedence. Of course that is all based on whether or not "this" even happened. According to a lot of your posts, this guy has already been tried, convicted and sentenced. For all of you people who fit this description, I hope no person ever accuses you of anything, especially if you didn't do it.

  • Common_Sensey Feb 25, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Exactly! Even a Doctorate in Divinity isn't anything that takes any special skills. Anyone can claim and act "religious" for nefarious purposes, and often get away with it because pastors are usually automatically trusted. Just sad...

  • Common_Sensey Feb 25, 2014

    There are SO many things wrong here. Who goes to or trusts someone who runs a church out of his home? Anyone with a Bible in his hand can claim he's a pastor, and people actually trust that? And what's up with his bad hair dye job? Just looking at Mr. Conerly, you know something isn't right.

  • rmsmith Feb 25, 2014

    Steve Conerly is a graduate of Campbell University with a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Southeastern Theological Seminary, a Master of Education in Counseling from East Carolina University, and received his Doctorate of Ministry from Drew University .

    He pastored churches in Mississippi , Virginia , and North Carolina.

  • KnowsItAll Feb 25, 2014

    View quoted thread

    "all of a sudden his world is ruined just because his face is on the screen."

    the guy has bigger problems than this. do-it-yourself hair coloring comes to mind.

    really, these things should be left to professionals.

    that color would look good on my shoes though.