Baptist Youth Pastor among 18 Men Arrested in Human Trafficking Operation

  Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Tuesday, July 13, 2021
A person in handcuffs, Christian imprisoned and tortured in Pakistan

A Baptist youth pastor in Tennessee was among 18 men arrested in a human trafficking operation recently.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Matthew William Brewer, 47, was arrested and charged with solicitation of a minor. Fairfield Baptist Church in Centerville, Tennessee, had Brewer listed on its website as the church's youth pastor.

His photo has since been removed from the church's website, independent journalist Julie Roys of the Roys Report found.

"Our Fairfield Baptist Church family was shocked and saddened with the situation this past weekend involving our youth minister," the church said in a statement. "We are prepared to work with law enforcement if asked and, like many others, are hoping to receive information from law enforcement that will help us better understand all the details.

"The content of what was shared with us is not aligned with our Biblical values. We met with our church family Sunday to share what little we knew, and our youth minister has been suspended indefinitely from his duties and the church campus pending court proceedings.

"We ask that people would pray for the Brewer family and the church family and anyone else involved as we work through what's happened."

Brewer also served as a chaplain and major in the Tennessee National Guard, according to a news station in Nashville.

"The Tennessee Military Department is aware of the recent arrest of a Tennessee National Guardsman and are fully supporting and assisting civil law enforcement as they conduct their investigation. The charges made in this incident do not reflect or meet the standards of the Tennessee National Guard or the Army Values."

The 18 men were arrested as part of a two-day undercover operation where police reportedly placed several fake sex advertisements on targeted websites.

End Slavery Tennessee also assisted in the operation. The group works to help survivors of human trafficking.

The men are accused of soliciting minors.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Stevanovicigor

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.