Two sex offenders spoke at Illinois church

Aug. 21, 2007 at 11:22 AM
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ROMEOVILLE, Ill., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A Chicago-area sex offender who had been preaching at a Southern Baptist church invited a fellow convicted child molester to lead the congregation.

Jeff Hannah, a multiple sex offender who had been preaching at First Baptist Church in Romeoville , Ill.,since he was paroled in 2001, asked convicted molester Bryan Buckley to lead the church in special music at a Sept. 9 celebration service, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

Buckley, who was imprisoned in 1997 on four counts of criminally assaulting a 14-year-old girl over the course of several months, apparently became acquainted with Hannah, who was convicted in 1996 of having sexual relations with four teens while serving as a youth minister, while they were both in prison.

Hannah, along with the church's Rev. Charles Hamby, resigned last week from the congregation amid the Sun-Times' investigation.

However, Hamby said he doesn't see anything morally wrong with allowing the two men to lead the congregation.

"We're a church that believes in grace and redemption," he told the Sun-Times.

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