Pervy reverend who masturbated in front of colleague fundraising to stay in UK

A perverted church leader who was sacked after having an affair with a married woman and masturbating in front of a colleague is fundraising to stay in the UK.

The Church of Scotland set up a commission to review Reverend Dr Elijah Wade Smith's behaviour following allegations of misconduct against "several women" and 11 charges between 2015 and 2018

He came from California 11 years ago to join the church and was ordained as a minister of Queen's Park Govanhill Parish Church in Glasgow in January 2015, the Daily Record reports.

Dr Smith "fondled himself" while playing guitar to a woman and concerns were raised that "lewd behaviour" continued even after a disciplinary process began, according to a Presbyterial Commission report.

He was sacked by the Kirk in 2019, aged 32, after his shocking behaviour was described as "contrary to the Word of God" by church officials who also said he "abused your duty of trust," and "failed to maintain a proper line between your pastoral duties and your friendship."

Now Dr Smith is fundraising £3,000 after Home Office fees drained his savings – offering to tutor donors in knitting, playing the banjo or guitar, or lessons in Adobe Creative Suite.

He also offered to write a song for people who help his cause.

The exchange for an hour of tutoring was for a £30 donation. So far £680 has been raised.

He wrote: "I feel I owe a great debt to you all for your continued care, support and loyalty during what has been a very dark period of my life. Xx."

Just a month into his post Dr Smith began a ten-day affair with a parishioner who was in the process of divorcing her husband – but who was technically still married and "seeking healing."

He had sex with a 19-year-old despite being in a committed relationship and also cheated on his girlfriend with one of her pals.

Dr Smith allowed women to stay over at the manse, despite the risk of the congregation finding out.

During the investigation into the allegations, Dr Smith, who has a Doctorate from St Andrew's University, entered a special plea of being diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

After his suspension in 2018, a church colleague came to the manse to meet with him and see if he could have "time away from the parish," not knowing the nature of the allegations.

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The commission report said Dr Smith's behaviour showed a "concerning pattern" and even after being suspended he continued to behave in a "lewd manner."

A Church of Scotland spokesman said: "A Presbyterial Commission was convened to consider complaints against Dr Elijah Smith who was then minister at Queens Park Church, Govanhill.

"The complaints were upheld and a sentencing hearing was held on Wednesday, May 15.

"The decision of the Church court was to remove Dr Smith's status as a minister."

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