A pastor who brandished a gun during a sermon was arrested by authorities during church services Sunday because they had discovered he was a convicted felon. Jerry Wayne "Dusty" Whitaker of Victory Baptist Church was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, but he was released Monday after posting a $20,000 bond.
Whitaker, 58, had been convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm during drug trafficking in 1990. Members of the church said he had not told them about his criminal past.
According to AP, Garry Scearce, Victory Baptist's trustee chairman, said Whitaker had told the congregation he was a retired Virginia state police officer and a retired U.S. marshal who was injured in the line of duty.
Whitaker said he really had been a police officer for eight years. He denied ever telling anyone he used to be a marshal.
He reportedly brought the handgun and a shoulder holster to a service in September, but he says he was only using the gun as a prop to illustrate his sermon.
"I use parables," Whitaker said. "Once I pretended to be a blind man with a cane, glasses and can with coins. Why didn't they arrest me for impersonating a blind man?"