By Bob Allen
MARSHALL, Texas -- A pastor active in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has resigned from his church amid allegations that he sent inappropriate e-mails to a woman who once attended the congregation.
The Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office in Shreveport, La., issued a press release Aug. 11 reporting that Matthew Darren Wood, 38, of Marshall, Texas, turned himself in after being issued a misdemeanor summons for cyber-stalking. He is accused of sending several anonymous e-mails of a sexual nature to a 21-year-old Shreveport woman one day this past March.
On Aug. 5 Wood resigned as pastor of Central Baptist Church in Marshall, according to church administrator David Simpson. Simpson referred other questions to law enforcement officials.
Wood, pastor at the church since 2004, said because it is a pending legal matter, he has been advised not to discuss the charge until it is disposed.
Wood is a graduate of Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary and earned a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Foundation at Notre Dame University.
He is active in Current, a young leaders' network that supports the CBF and seeks to connect younger Baptists to its work.
He also has been part of a pastor-peer group in the CBF Initiative for Excellence in Ministry, a six-year-old program funded by the Lilly Endowment.
Before coming to Marshall, Wood was pastoral resident at First Baptist Church in Athens, Texas (1997-1998); pastor of First Baptist Church in Mertens, Texas (1997-1998); and pastor of Central Baptist Church in Mineral Springs, Ark. (2000-2004).
Louisiana's cyberstalking law makes it a crime to e-mail or electronically communicate words or language that threaten, harass or make false statements about another person. If convicted, a first offense is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to a year in jail.
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