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Tennessee pastor accused of raping teens arrested in Holland

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Posted at 1:36 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 14:07:06-05

HOLLAND, Mich. — A Tennessee pastor, accused of sexually assaulting minors, was arrested in Holland back on December 22 by members of a fugitive task force with the Michigan State Police.

43-year-old Larry J. Rayford was wanted out of Tennessee on four counts of felony rape, and another four counts of aggravated statutory rape.

He was indicted on the charges by a Tennessee grand jury back on August 3, 2021.

Montgomery County court records obtained by FOX 17 allege that Rayford raped two unnamed minors (both referred to as A.A. in court filings) at some point between August 1 and August 31 of 2020.

The first victim was 15 years old at the time of their alleged assault.

Rayford is facing additional counts for another alleged sexual assault that is said to have happened between August 17 and October 31, 2020.

The second victim was 13 years old at the time they were allegedly assaulted.

State police say the investigation into his whereabouts and subsequent arrest was a collaborative effort with law enforcement from Tennessee.

According to online records, Rayford previously lived at houses in Benton Harbor, South Haven, and Kalamazoo.

State police would not say why he was in West Michigan at the time of his arrest.

Online court records show Rayford has an extensive arrest record, including an arrest for aggravated child abuse in 2015.

Rayford is currently incarcerated at the Montgomery County Jail in Clarksville, Tennessee.

FOX 17 reached out to The Ship Ministries in Clarksville on Wednesday for comment on Rayford’s arrest and the allegations against him. We had not heard back as of when this article was published.

Rayford is still listed on the group’s website as their senior pastor.

He is set to be formally arraigned in this case on February 10.