Garrard church members standing by pastor


LANCASTER - "Unfortunate," "a misfortune," and "surprised me" were the oft repeated reactions to news of the Rev. Everett Priddy's Tuesday arrest on a charge of indecent exposure.

By Thursday afternoon, it seemed all of Lancaster had heard of the incident. Yet, while his arrest certainly astonished the town, the community's reaction was one of support rather than condemnation.

"Brother Priddy is the shepherd of our flock, and as members of his flock we are going to stand behind him," said Janet Lane, a member of Priddy's Hyattsville Baptist Church congregation.

According to Stella Gaffney, another member, the church deacons met Wednesday night and have given Priddy some time off. "We're all absolutely dumbfounded. I felt like I'd been hit in the stomach. I just don't know what will come of it," she said of the arrest. "We're all going to pull together and pray for him."


Fellow ministers join Priddy's congregation in both shock and support. "In everything I know, he's a wonderful fellow. I'm just hoping and praying it's all a big mistake," said the Rev. Joe Hood, head of the ministerial association in Garrard County and pastor at Lancaster Christian Church. "I hope there's nothing to it."

As part of the ministerial association, the Rev. John Presko of Victory Christian Church in Lancaster also has worked with Priddy. "Everything has been above board," said Presko. "He's a quality man. He's a good leader."

Priddy has been active in the community, participating in gospel singing at the Garrard County Tobacco Festival and Garrard County Fair as well as helping organize charitable fund-raisers such as "Hoops for Hunger" through the church.

He has served as vice president of the Garrard County Drug Task Force, was the 1998 Silver Fox of the Garrard County Tobacco Festival, and received the Christian Appalachian Project's 1998 Peace Award, for work breaking down the barriers between people of different races and backgrounds. He is well known in the town and generally well liked.

Mike Oakley, another church member, said, "I think he's a wonderful, wonderful man. I think it's a bunch of baloney. It's been blown out of proportion. I think he's an innocent man, an innocent bystander caught up in a big city sting."

Priddy was arrested Tuesday in Lexington's Jacobson Park for allegedly exposing himself to an undercover officer in a restroom. He pleaded innocent to the charge.

Central Kentucky News Articles