Pastor's arrest jeopardizes hundreds of kids' Christmas

By Jena Johnson - bio | email | Twitter

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) – Christmas presents for hundreds of East Texas children may go undelivered this weekend due to a bizarre string of events that unfolded in front of our cameras Wednesday afternoon.

Pastor Earl Post Jr., Director of the Road to Hope Ministry, was arrested on Wednesday on a felony charge of stalking a 17-year-old girl.

KLTV's Jena Johnson was at Road to Hope headquarters discussing allegations from volunteers and donors that Post had allowed at least one registered sex offender to volunteer in the collection and distribution of toys.

"He was coming up here with a friend of his, so, I did not know that," Post says.

At that moment during the interview, Pastor Post was arrested by Canton Police.

Members of the community alerted us of their suspicions.

Volunteer and donor, James Derr, says Post duped donors and that Post hasn't given children the toys bought personally for them.

Derr tells KLTV "he's personally been distributing the toys to Garland, Grand Prairie. Were they on our trees? No. These are personal people he knows and I give him effort to help the people he knows, but what about the people here in our county that are in need?"

"We may take one of two gifts from that one child and give it this other child. We don't keep anything. We try to give the presents away to the kids," Post said.

Derr says dozens of bikes are missing. For many kids, a bike was at the top of their wish list.

"He has been taking the bikes back for money for the needy children, but he is also distributed to other organizations that are not affiliated with Van Zandt County," stated Derr.

Post denies the allegations.

Post said that if the organization receives a small bike, they exchange it for a larger bike.

Derr says he trusted Post to do the right thing.

"That's very, very shocking for somebody's who's supposed to be a pastor who's supposed to believe in God's word and obviously he's not upholding to what he believes in," says Derr.

Now, the dilemma is making sure nearly 300 children wake up to gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.

"They're going to get to the door. I will make sure that personally of myself… I don't care if it takes me all day and all night I've already done this day and night.  I will continue what I'm doing and I will finish this. There will be toys under the tree for children."

Derr says a Christmas miracle will happen.

Post is jailed on a $25,000 bond.

Right now, volunteers are working to figure out how of if they're going to be able to deliver all of those presents.

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