Church founder arrested on child abuse and sexual assault charges

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Lorenzo Lee Crawford, 54, was arrested this morning and charged with 11 counts of sexual assault on an adult victim in three separate cases, one count of aggravated child abuse, and one count of aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputies served a search warrant and four arrest warrants today at 7501 SW 75th Street, which is the address of the Christian Coalition Family Church; Crawford is listed in Sunbiz as the Apostle/Founder/Overseer of the church. According to Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO), SWAT Units from both ASO and Gainesville Police Department were at the scene because the warrant was considered “high-risk.” The two SWAT units covered different buildings because Crawford’s location was unknown, but he was eventually taken into custody without incident. After the arrest, detectives and forensic units searched the property, which has a number of buildings.

According to ASO, the sworn complaints were prompted by reports of sexual abuse of a child at the church; a child reportedly told another child about being sexually abused by a member of the church, then that child told a family member, and the family member told Crawford. Crawford reportedly brought one of the children to his office, scolded the child, and hit the child with a belt after pulling down their pants. The marks from the beating were reportedly still visible four months after the incident.

The first incident, which involves five counts of sexual battery on an adult with special circumstances (which could include a disabled or drugged victim), took place on October 4, 2022, and the recommended bail is $500,000.

The second incident, with one count of aggravated child abuse, took place on January 1, 2023, and the recommended bail is $100,000.

The third incident, with two counts of sexual battery on an adult with special circumstances, took place on February 1, 2023, and the recommended bail is $400,000.

The fourth incident, with three counts of sexual battery on an adult with special circumstances, one count of sexual battery with no physical force, and one count of aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability, took place on September 1, 2018, and the recommended bail is $500,000.

Crawford has five domestic battery misdemeanor convictions, one battery misdemeanor conviction, one misdemeanor conviction for violating pre-trial release conditions, one conviction for violating a domestic violence injunction, ten misdemeanor convictions for driving without a valid license, and one misdemeanor conviction for passing a worthless check.

The church’s annual report to the Department of State includes a long list of pastors, evangelists, teachers, ministers, deacons, and others.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • If he’s guilty, I hope he’s one of the first to benefit from the new death penalty eligibility.

    Matthew 7:15-16
    New American Standard Bible 1995
    “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”

  • James 3.1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

    He will be judged and his sentence will be harsh. It may begin on this Earth but it will not end here.

  • It appeared they were building what looked like a “branch davidian compound” a year or so ago when this “church” took over that large piece of property. Hopefully this won’t be the start of a Waco incident here in our sleepy little Berkeley east. As a community, we recently put to rest the horrible ‘house of prayer’ church abuse case in Micanopy with Anna Young. Now here comes another one.

  • So does the state need to ban all churches because this man was grooming and sexually abusing children?

    • No, but fed govt needs to remove tax exempt status from all churches. My guess is over half of the registered “churches” in this country are shell operations.

      • Does that include mosques, synagogues, and religious temples of any kind? Or just specifically churches?

        Feel free to state that specifically rather than just replying that’s what you meant.

    • ban them !! only weak minded imbeciles go to church … and also felons and child molesters .
      GOOGLE ” pastor ” & “children”

      • Dang! All this time I thought most of those weak minded imbeciles voted for Democrats.

  • Yet another “Christian” commiting sexual abuse. But y’all scared of drag queens.
    Got it.

  • If this is true this man should have breathed his last free breaths in regular society on the morning of May 23.

  • Dude has been a piece of shid for a long time. Only a damn fool would not have been able to see through how fake this guy was. So many ppl in churches follow behind fake pastors, deacons and apostles, it’s shameful. This has been a long time coming. I knew he was a phoney and his time was coming but didn’t know he was this funked up. Put nothing past anybody.

  • Unfortunely this not a rare occurrence when a so called man makes himself the founder and overseer of a religious organization. This occurs in the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or any faith in the world. Maybe they were forming a cult or maybe just forming a criminal organization, who knows. Hopefully the criminal process will reveal more. The man needs to stay in prison for a while.

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