WALDRON, Ark. (ABP) – A traveling Southern Baptist evangelist and former camp pastor for LifeWay Christian Resources faces new charges of video voyeurism in a third mid-South community.
WMC-TV in Memphis, Tenn., reported Dec. 15 that an arrest warrant was issued in Waldron, Ark., charging Sam Allen “Sammy” Nuckolls with using a camera hidden in a writing pen to spy on an unsuspecting woman while they were together in a room at a church.
"He stuck it in something at her feet in an attempt to view up her skirt," Waldron Police Department detective Jeremy Hunt told the station.
The video came from a file labeled “Waldron” on a computer confiscated after a woman in Gosnell, Ark., told police that Nuckolls tried to secretly record her in a bathroom of her home where he was staying as a guest while preaching at a church revival.
Additional charges followed in Olive Branch, Miss., stemming from other clandestine videos reportedly taken inside Nuckolls’ home.
According to initial news reports, Nuckolls admitted when police in Gosnell picked him up that he secretly shot the video and had done the same thing to other women, but he pleaded not guilty in court Nov. 1 in Olive Branch.
Prior to his arrest, Nuckolls, 33, was a popular youth speaker known for his humor and use of magic tricks to gain and hold attention. A graduate of Williams Baptist College and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, he served on staff at several churches before entering full-time itinerant ministry.
LifeWay hired him as a summer staffer to serve in the role of camp pastor for FUGE camps in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2007 his role changed to a contract position, where he served several weeks during the summer preaching at general assemblies and large gatherings. He served in that capacity through the summer of 2011.
After his arrest LifeWay Christian Resources released a statement saying they would no longer use Nuckolls and that all his current speaking commitments were canceled. LifeWay said there was no evidence of any victims being filmed at FUGE-related events but provided police contact information for anyone who suspects she might be a victim.
Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.