More Charges for Former Pastor

Walter Carrington Ballenger III,

Walter Carrington Ballenger III,

FLORENCE – A former pastor of Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church in Winnsboro, who was charged last month in Columbia with sexually abusing children, was hit with another charge last week in the City of Florence.

The Florence Police Department said Walter Carrington Ballenger III, 59, of Haven Ridge Court in Columbia, was arrested Aug. 13 after investigators received allegations that Ballenger, while visiting Florence in July, had sexually assaulted an 11-year-old child. Ballenger was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second degree. He was released from the Florence County Detention Center on Aug. 14 on a $40,000 surety bond.

Ballenger was arrested on July 13 in Columbia on one charge of third degree criminal sexual conduct, alleged to have occurred on June 27. Shortly after Ballenger’s arrest, the Columbia Police Department said their investigation led to additional charges of two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct in which Ballenger is accused of touching two children in a sexual manner.

Ballenger was released from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia just days after his July 13 arrest on a pair of $100,000 surety bonds.

At the time of his arrest last month, Ballenger was the pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, at 410 Harbison Boulevard, Columbia. Until approximately one year ago, Ballenger was pastor of Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church at 502 Fifth St. in Winnsboro, where he had served for approximately seven years.

The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office said no allegations related to Ballenger’s time in Winnsboro had yet surfaced.


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