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North TX church staffer charged with child sexual assault when he was Lubbock youth pastor

A former youth pastor for a Lubbock church who later worked at churches in North Texas has been charged with sexually assaulting at least one child.

Luke Cunningham, 41, was arrested on Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals Service in Shallowater and booked into the Lubbock County Jail, according to jail records.

Cunningham, who most recently was a staff member of Lakeside Baptist Church in Granbury for more than two years, faces three counts of sexual assault. After learning of the accusations against Cunningham, Lakeside Baptist notified law enforcement agencies in Lubbock and Granbury, church officials said.

In light of Cunningham’s arrest, the Granbury church sent an email to its congregation, stating that its personnel committee had terminated his employment. The church also said, “Lakeside Baptist Church stands firmly against clerical sexual abuse.”

Lakeside Baptist Church officials said they have spoken with other church leaders and instructed all staff to come forward and cooperate fully with police.

According to Star-Telegram media partner WFAA-TV, Turning Point Community Church in Lubbock said it was contacted on June 3 by Lakeside Baptist about the allegations against Cunningham. Lakeside officials told Turning Point that the allegations included potential victims between 2016 to 2020, which is when Cunningham served as student pastor at the Lubbock church.

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Cunningham also has worked in Fort Worth at North Fort Worth Baptist Church and the former Agape Baptist Church, Baptist News Global reported.

Officials at the Lubbock church told WFAA that they had never received any complaints or allegations during the time Cunningham worked there.

“We are devastated by these allegations and feel enormous grief for anyone who is a potential victim,” Turning Point said in its statement.

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