The man behind the largest and longest-running Christian music festival in America has been “indefinitely suspended” as disturbing reports have come to light.
Harry L. Thomas, known as the “grandfather of Christian music festivals” and the founder of Creation Festival, has been accused of sexually assaulting four minors over a lengthy period of time. He’s been charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, three counts of sexual assault in the second degree, and four counts of endangering the welfare of children, also in the second degree.
The incidents allegedly occurred over a 16 year span, between 1999 and 2015, according to police. Information about the victims is being withheld in an attempt to protect their identities, per a statement from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey — where the church is located and Thomas resides.
The Come Alive New Testament Church released a statement following the charges:
It is with deep regret and saddened hearts that the Elders and Trustees of Come Alive New Testament Church have indefinitely suspended Pastor Harry Thomas from all leadership positions with the church and all associated ministries. While the allegations are unrelated to his roles in these ministries, leadership is actively cooperating with the authorities and has determined this to be the proper course of action at this time until there can be a full investigation. It is requested that all pray for the parties involved.
Creationfest.com has a similar statement on its landing page.
Thomas and his church put on Creation Festival, multi-day Christian-based events that draw up to 100,000 attendees a year in Pennsylvania and Washington state. The music festivals have seen acts including Newsboys, TobyMac, Skillet, Switchfoot, Casting Crowns, Propaganda, Reliant K and more.
Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Statement
Medford Township Man Charged with Sexually Assaulting MinorsBurlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Medford…
Source: Christianity Today