Former Pastor Terry Hornbuckle Serving 15 Years For Raping Church Members
Former pastor Terry Hornbuckle, has fallen from being minister of Agape Christian Fellowship church in Arlington, Texas to a dingy prison cell in Powledge Unit in Palestine, Texas. He's serving 15 years for raping three women, two of them members of his meg-church, according to the Dallas Morning News newspaper.
Even when he finishes his sentence, he will face a civil commitment hearing soon.
Judge Bob Brotherton Sets Trial For April 13
Judge Bob Brotherton, recently retired from 30th District Court in Wichita Falls, Texas, has been assigned the commitment trial. Brotherton has set the trial for April 13 in Tarrant County, Texas. A veteran of high profile cases during his distinguished career, he said this will be his third time to attempt picking a jury on this case.
Church Run By Renee Hornbuckle
Despite the scandal, the church is still in existence and run by his wife Renee Hornbuckle. She said that she is sorry to the women her ex- husband hurt and also not to give up on God, according to Black Christian News on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.
Together Terry and Renee Hornbuckle built a successful mega church in Arlington with more than 2,000 members. They owned a beautiful home and drove luxury cars. It was in January 2005 that it all began to fall apart.
Renee Hornbuckle Recounts Her Shock
Pastor Renee Hornbuckle said, "When something like this hits you, you're like there's now way possible. There's no way this is happening." That was her response to her husband's disclosure to her.
The bishop explained to his wife he was in trouble.
She remembers, "It was there in t hat hotel room that everything was exposed, but he was still in denial. He accepted no responsibility."
Renee Hornbuckle Says She Didn't Know
Hornbuckle insists she didn't know about her husband's actions because she was isolated. Renee further said, "It was just devasating to know that someone has been violated in that way. It's just horrrible.."
Bob Brotherton Heard Faryion Wardrip Murder Case
Judge Brotherton has a history of presiding over numerous high profile cases. As the judge of the 30th District Court in Wichita Falls, Texas, he presided over the Faryion Wardrip capital murder case which resulted in a conviction and death sentence. He says the Wardrip case is the one he thinks about the most. That case is still winding it's way through the federal appeals court system. Public Defender John Curry represented Wardrip during the trial.
Wardrip confessed to killing several girls in the Wichita Falls area as well as one in Fort Worth, Texas. That case was tried in 1999.
Brotherton Record Remarkable
Judge Brotherton served 30 years on the bench in Wichita Falls before retiring recently. He now serves as a visiting judge. In that capacity he recently presided over a hearing involving the high profile Amber Guyger case. Guyger was a Dallas police officeer convicted in the murder of a neighbor.
Her defense was she thought the man she shot was an intruder in her apartment. She misakenly enterred the wrong apartment.
Amber Guyger Case Ruling
Judge Brotherton ruled in the Amber Guyger case that the judge who held the Dallas DA in contempt during the murder trial could not hear the contempt trial. He ordered her recused. The Dallas DA allegedlly made comments about the trial on a Dallas television station which led to the judge holding the DA in contmept. The Dallas jury convicted Guyger and sentenced her to 10 years in prison.
Brotherton Ruled New Judge Must Hear Contempt In Guyger
Brotherton ruled a judge from one of the counties surrounding Dallas must hear the conteempt proceedding. He took about thirty minutes to make his ruling after hearing evidence for about thirty minutes.
Brotherton Determined To Select Jury In Hornbuckle
Brotherton said he had to bust two previous jury panels on the Hornbuckle commitment trial. He is determined to select a jury when April 13 rolls around. He anticipates the commitment hearing could last six days in Tarrant County.
Terry Hornbuckle started the church with 15 members on 1986. It moved into a former Dairy Queen buildding in 1987. The church grew and moved into an 8,000 foot strip mall storefront in Arlington, Texas in 1995. Later it moved into a 30,000 square foot, $3 million building in Arlington in 1999.
The church lost 90 per cent of its membership following the scandal.
Hornbuckle Nearing Parole
If Hornbuckle isn't granted parole in future attempts, he would be released by August 2020. The commitment hearing presided over by Judge Brotherton could complicate things for the former pastor if he is committed.