By Bob Allen
A well-known Texas Baptist pastor was charged with misdemeanor assault after police responded to a domestic disturbance call at his home Tuesday morning.
Andy Pittman, 43, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lufkin, Texas, was taken to jail at about 7:30 a.m. on May 6 after allegedly pushing his wife into a door during a verbal argument.
According to the Lufkin Daily News, the woman did not want Pittman to go to jail but under Texas law police have no other choice when calls involve family violence. Police say she did not have visible injuries but complained of pain in her arm. She went to a local emergency room to have her arm checked out and was released around 10:30 a.m.
Pittman, pastor at the church affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship since 2006, posted a $1,500 bond and was released from the Angelina County Jail early Tuesday afternoon.
Pittman was a member of the first graduating class at George W. Truett Theological Seminary in 1997. In 2008 he co-chaired a Baptist General Convention of Texas Future Focus Committee which recommended rebranding the 123-year-old organization as Texas Baptists.
A Lufkin News columnist recently mentioned Pittman among local clergy “who want to make this a better place for all of us.”
Church leaders declined to comment to local media prior to learning all the facts.
“We’re all caught off guard right now,” Education Pastor Aubrey Knox told ABC affiliate KTRE television in Pollock, Texas. “Our biggest concern is to pray for them. Hopefully there can be restoration in this. At this point we don’t know what to do.”
KTRE said a second family member who was home at the time made the 911 call.