© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Online Petition Calls For Rockford Church To Recall Missionary

Outside of North Love Baptist Church
Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco
Outside of North Love Baptist Church

The petitionto recall North Love Baptist Church missionary Richard DeVall has gathered more than 500 signatures. He is currently serving in Bolivia. Mandalay Parkman is a former member of North Love Baptist Church who signed the petition.

"The goal is for the pastor of North Love, Paul Kingsbury, to recall Richard DeVall, from his mission deals in Bolivia, so that he can face the consequences for his admitted actions in the court of law."

In a statement to WNIJ, Pastor Paul Kingsbury says he and the congregation continue to support DeVall.

“Richard volunteered to go to a foreign country and serve in near poverty conditions, helping people with their education, and seeking their prosperity from poor conditions through personal sacrifice and out of compassion for the many who are caught up in various addictions to sins including rampant cocaine and alcohol addiction,” Kingsbury said in a written statement to WNIJ.

Kinsbury says when DeVall asked to be sent from North Love Baptist Church, spiritual leaders acted in "due diligence." Kinsbury said in a written statement to WNIJ, “Richard was held accountable for his sins that are being brought up and a confession and seeking of forgiveness was accomplished and punishment was meted out to the satisfaction of those in the spiritual leadership realm as well as the God-ordained authorities in the state in which the sins occurred. The issue was legally adjudicated, and I am not aware of [any] pending legal issues.”

North Love Faces Separate Abuse Accusation

Meanwhile, there is currently a lawsuit filed in Winnebago County accusing a former North Love member in Rockford of sex assault to a minor.

The Rockford Register-Star reported this month that the seven-count suit filed in May alleges that from 2004 to 2006, a then minor living in the Rockford area, was sexually assaulted by a deacon and youth pastor at the church.

The newspaper reports that in March 2018 another employee, Charles Tucker of Machesney Park, was found guilty of four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under 13 years of age and nine counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Juanpablo covers environmental, substandard housing and police-community relations. He’s been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois. He is a graduate of Knox College.