Knox County youth pastor arrested for sexual battery

Trent Ivey is accused of inappropriate contact with a 16 and 18-year-old while a youth pastor at Vestal Baptist Church.
Trent Ivey is accused of inappropriate contact with a 16 and 18 year old while a youth pastor at Vestal Baptist Church.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 11:33 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - At Vestal Baptist church in South Knox, it’s a small congregation of about 50 people. Over a year ago, there were more than 100 people there before many left after an incident that Pastor Arnold Greene wished he could forget.

Youth Pastor Trent Ivey was arrested back in August of 2021 and charged with sexual battery by an authority figure, and also faced accusations of distributing inappropriate material to minors at his time at Vestal Baptist, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

“He was inappropriate with two young females from what I understand,” said Greene who claimed it was a 16 and 18-year-old in his congregation.

According to the Knox County Sheriffs Office, Ivey made bail at $40,000 the same day he was arrested and will have a court date in 2024.

The youth pastor of two years was listed in the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry.

According to Greene, he was “shocked” to learn of the allegations against Ivey, and said he had no knowledge of it. In fact, six months prior, Greene fired Ivey claiming it was due to “insubordination” and had nothing to do with the accusations of misconduct since the pastor didn’t know about it at that point.

Greene said he learned of the misconduct months later when one of the victims told somebody who then told him. A pastor of nine years who couldn’t help but feel a little guilt after serious accusations were being brought forth on one of his former employees.

“In some ways I do but you trust people until you can’t,” said Greene.

Greene said Ivey grew up in the church alongside multiple generations of his family, so he had no reason not to trust him. After his exit and subsequent arrest, Greene felt betrayed and hasn’t hired a new youth pastor more than a year later.

“It’s hard to move on it’s hard to get someone you trust,” said Greene.

Youth pastor duties have been handled by the pastor’s wife, and a few other women in the church, according to Greene.

WVLT News reached out to Ivey and the Southern Baptist Convention for comment but haven’t heard back.

The records of what exactly happened involving the charges are sealed because they involve minors, and therefore have not been made available, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.