A Staunton church leader is accused of sexually abusing a young girl in his congregation. Now, he faces a pair of felony charges and, police say more charges may be on the way.

Steven Joplin, the education director at Christ United Methodist Church, faces two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Staunton police arrested the 59-year-old on Friday. The pastor of the church says it's like "living a bad dream."

"The Steve I knew was a person that was very caring," said Pastor Bob Edwards.

But the same Steven Bruce Joplin is accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl from his congregation. Pastor Bob Edwards had to break the news to Christ United Methodist during Sunday worship.

"We'll be having counselors come and talk to the kids, and all of us will be going through a grieving process," said Edwards.

Joplin had worked at Christ Methodist for two years, and is accused of abuse on two occasions since late July. Staunton police say other charges are expected.

Officer Lisa Klein with the Staunton Police said, "He obviously as director of education was acting as supervisory relationship with children at the church. Every investigation that we do into this kind of offense, we check to see if there are any other victims."

The church has Joplin's office sealed off, and waits to help counsel the alleged victim until after investigators finish their work.

"They have been wonderfully cooperative. They've really been trying to look after their young people and really trying to reach out to their church community," stated Klein.

The pastor says after the initial shock of the news, the congregation began praying for church unity, for the young girl, and for Joplin.

Edwards said, "He got people involved that were not involved before. Actually the church was more active than it had ever been before. So, it's like we'll be taking a step back now."

Edwards says Joplin passed a background check with flying colors and in his words, no one saw this coming.

Joplin had a brief court appearance Monday afternoon. He's being held on a $30,000 bond at the Middle River Regional Jail.

Reported by Ken Slack
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A Staunton church leader is accused of sexually abusing a young girl in his congregation. Now, he faces a pair of felony charges and, police say more charges may be on the way.