The Awakening Church

A former pastor at the now-defunct The Awakening Church has been convicted of sexual abuse.

Ex-Pastor at The Awakening Church Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse

A former pastor at the now permanently closed The Awakening Church in Atoka faces 38 years in prison after being found guilty on 24 child sex abuse charges. 41-year-old Ronnie Gorton was sentenced in December 2019 after being found guilty in August on several charges, including sexual battery and statutory rape.

An 18-year-old victim told the court that Gorton started abusing him the day he moved in with Gorton and his wife in 2017. He accused Gorton of citing a Bible verse that mentioned “holding each other is just a way to show love” in order to justify the abuse.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Joe Walker said that Gorton exploited his position of authority and “groomed minors for his sexual perversion.”

Two other teenagers have accused Gorton of rape and he still faces trials for those allegations. One of these two victims was 12 years old at the time of the alleged rape.

Brian Kent - Attorney

Hi, I’m attorney Brian Kent.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options.

Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.


VIDEO: Abuse Guardian on Sex Abuse Case Against Ronnie Gorton

Justice For Victims of Sexual Abuse by Pastors and Other Religious Clergy Members

Former sex crimes prosecutor Brian Kent is a founding partner of AbuseGuardian.com – a nationwide network of sex abuse victims lawyers. Brian has offered to weigh in with some of his thoughts on the legal options available to survivors of sexual abuse by pastors and other religious clergy members:

Sexual abuse in religious organizations is a widespread issue, affecting virtually all religions and many different denominations. Sadly, the perpetrators of abuse within these organizations are often pastors and other trusted clergy members. Church leaders must be aware of the threat that sexual predators pose to their congregations and must do everything they can to protect their followers from these predators.

Some cases of church sex abuse happen because of negligence by the church, such as failing to investigate or report allegations of inappropriate behavior or sexual misconduct by a clergy member. When negligence is involved, the victims and their families could have a case for a lawsuit against the church.

If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual abuse by a pastor or another religious leader, you can learn more about your legal options in a free consultation with one of our veteran sex abuse victims lawyers.

Former Location of The Awakening Church in Atoka, TN



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About Joe LaFrance


Joe is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. He covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald.

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