“Him disgrace Maidstone,” one young woman told Loop News, as she and a group of people discussed the scandal in the town square, just a stone’s throw away from the Nazareth Moravian Church where Clarke pastored.
Clarke has been suspended from pastoral duties since being arrested and charged in December 2016 after he was caught in his car in St Elizabeth allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl. He had been a pastor at the church in this deep rural community for just over two years.
News has surfaced this week that an older sister of the minor was impregnated by the pastor. Her son with the pastor is said to be about 4 years old.
Other young women have come out with allegations of sexual relations with the pastor whose marriage to his wife, a principal of a college in Manchester, has seen more years than they have.
Police have opened an investigation into sexual crimes against the pastor outside of the incident with the 15-year-old.
Clarke may have known the girl and her family during his time pastoring at the Carisbrook Moravian Church, Holy Cross Moravian Church and the Bethlehem Moravian Church, all in St Elizabeth.
Charges are reportedly pending against the mother of the minor, who has since been taken into state care. A 13-year-old sister of the 15-year-old has also reportedly been taken into state care.
A visit on Tuesday to the dilapidated house in Austin, St Elizabeth where the family lived bore no fruit as the premises was empty.
Members of the church have been shaken by the scandal but some feel that God allowed him to be exposed because the time had come for the hypocrisy to stop. Church members have wept openly at Clarke’s arrest with some expressing shock.
“It’s not the first time I’m hearing what I heard. It’s not the first,” an elderly woman who is a part of the flock at Clarke’s church told Loop News.
“He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said the woman who asked not to be named. “When we are looked upon as leaders, people are expecting us to act a certain way.”
“We should be a moral guide for our children and when the people who are to do that are targeting them, that is not good,” said one female congregant.
Meanwhile, some in the Maidstone community are said to be surprised by Clarke’s arrest.
“It is shocking for the secular community,” a man who gave his name as Mr Boswell said. “The few encounters we had with him outside the church, he was a jolly fellow.”
Clarke has been offered $800,000 bail in the St Elizabeth Parish Court.
His case is expected to be transferred to the Home Circuit Court for trial when the St Elizabeth Circuit reopens on March 6.