A retired pastor associated with the Christian Reformed Church has been arrested after he confessed to murdering an 8-yr-historic lady in 1975.
On Monday, police arrested the Rev. David Zandstra, who previously served as the pastor at Trinity Chapel CRC in Broomall, Pa., in 1975, the identical yr he kidnapped 8-yr-historic Gretchen Harrington on her methodology to Lumber Bible College and within the slay murdered her.
Essentially basically based on a spokesperson for the CRC, Zandrsta had admitted to killing Harrington, no topic denying it all the plot in which thru the preliminary investigation.
“In the wake of this surprising news, the Christian Reformed Church in North The usa would prefer to lengthen condolences to the Harrington family. We enjoy been heartbroken to listen to about Gretchen’s kidnapping and death wait on in 1975. We’re additionally grieved now to listen to that a CRC pastor was as soon as accountable for her assassinate,” the spokesperson mentioned.
As reported by CBS Details, Zandrsta lured Harrington into his automobile, where he attempted to molest her after which beat her to death. Two months later, her physique was as soon as existing in a discipline.
One yr later, Zandstra moved from Philadelphia to Dallas, where he founded the Bethel Christian Reformed Church, which shut its doorways in 1995. His successor, Pastor Dave Slings, expressed his shock on the news, noting that Zandstra was as soon as properly-beloved by the church community.
“We take part prayer for the Harrington family and the Broomall, Pa., community. We’re grateful that local laws enforcement did no longer give up in their pursuit of answers, and we pray that the truth for Gretchen and another survivors of abuse or violence will continue to contrivance wait on to gentle,” the spokesperson mentioned. “We also commit to continue striving for our congregations to be locations of peace, welcome, hospitality, and safety for all who support and consult with.”
“As a denomination, we work laborious to wait on our congregations be stable locations that actively give up abuse in all its kinds. We support all congregations to enjoy stable church policies and procedures in set up to wait on give up abuse.”
The spokesperson shared that the CRC has a code of conduct for all ministry leaders within the denomination and that all congregations are encouraged “to undergo training within the most life like likely solution to acknowledge to stories of abuse.”
“Despite these systems, we know – and revel in seen in Gretchen Harrington’s case – that generally our simplest efforts fail. For this, we lament, and we commit to continuing working for a church culture by which abuse in all its kinds is now no longer going to be tolerated.”
Photograph courtesy: Emiliano Bar/Unsplash
Michael Foust has lined the intersection of faith and news for twenty years. His experiences enjoy appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity On the present time, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Account, the Toronto Superstar and the Knoxville Details-Sentinel.