Church pastor arrested on charges of sexual assault of a child

MAGNOLIA, TX (KTRK) -- A pastor of a Magnolia congregation has been arrested on charges of sexual assault of a child.

Eyewitness News has learned Ronald Wayne Mitchell, 56, is accused of sexually assaulting an underage female church member. Investigators fear there could be more victims who have not come forward. Apostle Mitchell, as he is known to church members, led the church from various locations including Tomball, South Houston and Montgomery County.

Montgomery County detectives and SWAT team carried out the search warrant at The Body of Christ Ministry, located at a sprawling home on Garwood Court in Magnolia. Evidence related to the case was collected, investigators said, along with a "large cache of weapons and ammunition."
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Pastor charged with sexual assault

"It was very frightening waking up to guns drawn like that in your home," said Angela Edwards, an 18-year church member who lives at the home. She is shocked by the allegation.

"It's something I find very hard to believe. Nothing in his history would ever say he would do anything like that. He's always told me and the congregation never put yourself in a situation with the opposite sex. Never be alone with the opposite sex," explained Edwards.

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Church member defends pastor

Edwards estimated the membership to be about 20. She says everyone, including the children, live at the home with Mitchell and his wife. Services have been held there ever since they lost their building near Tomball about a year ago due to financial reasons.

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On social media, one review called the ministry "a cult."

"I don't really think that merits me responding. I know that it's not true. We believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. We strive to be like Jesus," said Edwards.

Mitchell remained in jail Wednesday night. His bond is $250,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office at (936) 760-5876 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 392-STOP.
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