For the past seven years Jacksonville Pastor Darrell Gilyard has been silent about his conviction as a sex offender. In a phone conversation, Gilyard broke his silence to talk about social media, his current life and more. Ken Amaro, First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For the past seven years Jacksonville Pastor Darrell Gilyard has been silent about his conviction as a sex offender. In a phone conversation, Gilyard broke his silence to talk about social media, his current life and about how he was treated in Dr. Jerry Vines autobiography.
"It has been tough when people expect you to run and hide," said Gilyard," but I've decided that they weren't going to push me into the shadows; I live in a glass house."
For 14 years Darrell Gilyard was the pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, it was here he fell from grace.
In 2007 he was arrested on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct. In 2009 he plead guilty to two counts; he was sentenced and the state designated him a sex offender.
"While in Wakulla Correctional I tried to bloom where I was planted," he said, "I help changed the GED program."
After his release from prison he was called to be Pastor of Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist church and was met by an ugly community protest in the streets.
It has been nearly seven years and social media has not forgotten; from the well-respected Guardian newspaper to Facebook the results are plenty when you search for Darrell Gilyard.
It is not just social media, former Jacksonville pastor Jerry Vines recently published his autobiography and it includes a few pages about Gilyard, Many consider Vines one of his mentors in his early pastoral career.
On the Vines Autobiography:
"I was negative he could have left it out, it is his autobiography not mine," said Gilyard.
On Social media:
"It is outdated and some of the information is untrue," he said, "I've paid my debt to society all I can do is move forward."
On his personal life:
"Right now I'm doing well," said Gilyard, "I have this label as a leper of society, but that label is not in me."
Gilyard is still on probation and feels that he is in the right ministry for the first time, but has he changed?
"Of course I believe I have changed, he said, "but time will tell everyone if I have change."
Seven months ago his probation was modified to allow children to be in the sanctuary when he ministers, as long as they're supervised by an adult other than him.
Gilyard said he's looking forward to what's ahead in his ministry and his personal life.
"I'm a believer in when you do something wrong you pay the price, but do you pay the price forever?", he asked.