Ministers warn of stranger trying to pick up children

HARRODSBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - It was Wednesday afternoon just after school in rural Mercer County.

A teenager had just arrived home when she noticed a stranger in her driveway.

“She asked him 'what are you doing here?' And he said I’m here to pick up the children for church,” said Rev. James Harley of the Mercer Baptist Association.

Yet their services at Immanuel Baptist didn’t start until 6 p.m. and it was only 3:30 p.m. She argued with him, yet the stranger persisted.

“She said, ‘no, you’re not here to pick up the children!’, he said, ‘yes I am!’” said Rev. Harley.

Police were called and now all churches in the Mercer Baptist Association are being warned about the incident.

Harley says since the Wednesday scare, he’s learned of a similar incident in Harrodsburg.

“It just sent cold chills over me to think that someone is perpetuating to be a Christian or a servant of the church,” Rev. Harley said.

The Baptist Association director says anytime one of their churches sends out someone to pick up kids they are likely going to be in van with clear lettering on the sides.

In one case, the report was a man in a car.

In the other, it was someone in a red Chevrolet truck.

"I’ve been in the ministry since 1975 and I’ve never heard of anything like this before,” said Harley.

The Mercer County sheriff’s office is aware of the complaints and a deputy has been assigned to investigate.

Meanwhile, ministers are making sure their members are aware of the stranger danger as well.

“That they said they were representing the church when they were not ...they're not up to any good,” Harley said.

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