Former Arnold Pastor Pleads Guilty to Burglary of Parishioners, and Related Events

8 Aug

A former pastor of a church formerly located in Arnold plead guilty in February and was sentenced to probation in April for breaking into the home of a church member to steal prescription opiods, according to court documents. On top of that, this story takes a number of twists and turns that I will lay out in this post.

skiles

Mug shot from JeffCo Sheriff, via Mobile Patrol app.

The pastor’s name is Tom Skiles, and the church was SOS Church, which was located on JeffCo Boulevard but has since moved out of Arnold. Skiles led the church for 10 years (he got some attention in 2009 for a series of MMA-themed sermons). The relocation of the church in April 2014 to Rockwood Summit High School (RSHS) was prompted by a court judgment against the church after it fell behind by over $23,000 in rent to its landlord, according to court documents. Casenet indicates that this judgment has yet to be paid by Skiles and/or the church.

Several former members of the church are convinced that the reason SOS could not pay its rent is because Skiles stole money from the church for personal use, based on extravagant spending they witnessed. However, these allegations do not appear to have been brought to police.

However, Skiles has violated his probation with separate arrests for DWI and drug possession. The process of revoking his probation is underway in county court.

Timeline of Events

  • March 2014 – Skiles breaks into home of parishioners; relocation of church announced*
  • late March 2014 – SOS Church announces that Skiles is “taking a little break which is well deserved”*
  • April 2014 – Church relocates to RSHS*
  • May 2014 – Burglary harges filed against Skiles in Jefferson County court
  • June 2014 – Lawsuit filed against church for unpaid rent
  • July 2014 – Skiles arrested
  • April 2015 – Judge rules for landlord in lawsuit, orders payment of $24,943
  • October 2015 – New lead pastors announced at SOS – Skiles’ brother and his wife*
  • December 2015 – New name announced for SOS Church – Endurance Church
  • February 2016 – Skiles pleads guilty to break in
  • April 2016 – Skiles sentenced to five years probation
  • July 2016 – Skiles arrested for DWI and marijuana possession in separate events, motion to revoke probation filed

* These events are portrayed on social media as positive happenings; it seems that the true reasoning behind the events was concealed from or downplayed to church members.

Unreported

Now, one would expect “pastor steals from his flock” to be journalistic red meat, sure to merit mention in the papers, but to my knowledge the Leader has not reported on these events, despite being tipped off by former SOS members. This is especially strange given the sometimes mundane crimes the Leader does report on.

It was also stated by the county prosecutor in Skiles’ criminal case that he was picked up by the Festus PD in early 2016 for DWI but was allowed to go home uncharged. Recall that the Festus PD also let the city judge get away with a potential DWI in 2004, as I wrote about here. How common is this in Festus?

Might these examples of special treatment have something to do with the fact that Skiles’ aunt is the wife of JeffCo sheriff Glenn Boyer?

There is a feeling among the former SOS members I talked to that Skiles has gotten away with a lot. We will have to watch his probation revocation proceedings to see if this continues. In addition, the mug shot above was taken after the marijuana arrest on July 1 – no charges have been filed for this incident as of yet.

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16 Responses to “Former Arnold Pastor Pleads Guilty to Burglary of Parishioners, and Related Events”

  1. wrongonred August 8, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    That former Festus Judge is now representing him in both his criminal and civil cases I believe (and is also representing Jamie Critchlow as well.)

    Like

  2. thetruthshallsetyoufree August 8, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    When I posted on social media two years back that our family would no longer be attending this church and that if churches had a “Yelp” I would definitely NOT recommend going to this one any longer, my life was threatened along with a few other former members. This was a serious threat that we felt we could not bring to the police or the sheriffs department because of reasons listed in this article. They wouldn’t have taken us seriously. We had to get cameras and a security systems installed in our home.

    Like

    • DAWN August 16, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

      I will pray for you and your family’s safety.

      Like

  3. Anonymous August 8, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

    Disappointed….

    Like

  4. TWinkler August 8, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

    I was clueless as to the goings on “behind the scenes”, but this church with the help of this pastor, brought me back to God in a big way. I do not condone any illegal activity, but I will continue to pray for that family & any who were wronged. I will always be grateful to SOS, for helping me get my Faith back. 🙏

    Like

  5. taylorremade9 August 9, 2016 at 12:02 am #

    Deeply saddened.

    Like

  6. Anonymous August 9, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    wow

    Like

  7. Sarah Wood August 11, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

    This whole article sounds extremely slanderous and one sided. It also seems really politically driven. He made a mistake. He will pay the consequences. No need to run his name and face through the dirt.

    Like

    • JC Penknife August 11, 2016 at 11:24 pm #

      No slander at all. And there’s no guarantee he will face consequences. We are where we are because people swept his actions under the rug for years. Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

      Like

      • taylorremade9 August 12, 2016 at 6:01 am #

        Agree. No slander. Factual. If you are arrested (several times it seems) it is public record. It wasn’t ONE mistake, eithee. It was a very long series of “mistakes” that were then attempted to be hidden.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous August 12, 2016 at 7:11 am #

        Not slanderous? You just accused the man of stealing as well. Your story comes from ex church members and that is obvious.

        Like

  8. Anonymous August 25, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    I love how Christians condemn instead of forgive. Sound like he got hocked on drugs and made some bad choices. But like Jesus said “Burn this Mother Fucker for making mistakes.” I do believe he also said “I live in a brick house so I am going to stone a MotherFuck every chance I get.” You all crack me up!!1

    Like

    • JC Penknife August 26, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

      Before forgiveness, the sin must stop and there must be repentance. Have either of those occurred?

      Like

      • taylorremade9 August 27, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

        You must first admit the sin, ask forgiveness, be transparent in the future and hold oneself accountable. None of these things took place. Only more secrecy and illegal activity. Yes, he is OBVIOUSLY an addict and is behaving in accordance to. If those around him continue to enable him it will never stop.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Anonymous September 4, 2016 at 11:18 am #

      Better to have people think u are stupid then to open your mouth and prove them right.oh wait no name on this.never mind…lol thanks fir the laugh…

      Like

  9. Anonymous October 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    This whole situation is a mess. You have a pastor who has done so many illegal and shady things it is unbelievable. You have his staff members and family that enable and cover up. You have hundreds of “followers” hurts, confused and scattered….You see that is what happens when “The Shepard” leads his sheep astray. Then you have crimes committed, dui’s covered up by law enforcment, failed drug tests, and this is just the crimes that anyone can pull up. It is sad that his family has had to go through all of this, he has children and a wife. His wife seems to think nothing matters except Gods grace, and love. Well this seems to be the whole church outlook, cover it up…lie about it….say its covered by grace and anyone who speaks out or comes against you is condemning you? With that outlook no one should be held accountable, right? We are all gods children, and his grace covers so…child molester-you go free grace has you, murderer-you go free, rapist, I think you get the point. There are laws for a reason. Anywho, there were so many scandles in that church that were covered up people would be blown away to hear them all. And what about the lady above whos life was threatened? come on guys this is like out of a tv series..

    Like

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