A staffer at CentriKid Camp was charged with multiple counts of child molestation this week in Overgaard, Ariz., according to a statement by Brad Waggoner, acting CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Noah Paradis, 19, worked at the camp, a LifeWay ministry, the week of June 10-14. LifeWay immediately terminated his employment and alerted the six churches that attended the camp at Bison Ranch Retreat Center.
Camp leaders immediately notified state and county authorities and the victims’ parents when they learned of the incident that involved two minors.
“We are heartbroken for the victims and the victims’ families,” Waggoner said. “I commend the victims for their bravery in disclosing the abuse. Our primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of all our camp participants. We are grieved that someone representing LifeWay would behave in this manner and abuse their position of authority with a child. LifeWay is working with local law enforcement as the investigation is ongoing and will continue to follow their lead in the case.”
The alleged abuse occurred the week Southern Baptists met for their annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., where messengers voted to strengthen and affirm their stance against sexual abuse. During the June 11-12 meeting, J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, gave an update on the Sexual Abuse Advisory Study he initiated with the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). Messengers also received a multimedia resource, “Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused,” which LifeWay developed with the ERLC and the advisory group.
“We are grieved our safeguards did not prevent this from happening,” Waggoner said. “We are committed to continually evaluating and updating our policies and procedures to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent this type of event in the future. LifeWay will continue to be vigilant about the security and safety of the children and teens who attend LifeWay camps and events.”