Ex-Ohio children’s minister, 66, is arrested on 215 counts of child porn following police tip off

Ex-Ohio children’s minister, 66, is arrested on more than 200 counts of child porn following police tip off: Minister moved to five states in as many years

  • Steve Robert Wukmer, 66, was arrested at his job in Fort Payne, Alabama near the Alabama-Georgia border on Monday 
  • The Rainsville Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division started an investigation after receiving a tip 
  • Authorities executed a search at his Alabama home and seized items that revealed over 215 instances of child pornography
  • Wukmer worked as a children’s minister in Ohio before moving to Alabama   
  • The Rainsville Police Department says that it is unaware of any similar misconduct while he was in the state of Ohio
  • He is currently at DeKalb County Detention Center in Alabama, awaiting bond

A former children’s minister was arrested in Alabama on 215 counts of possession of child-pornography after police were given a tip. 

Steve Robert Wukmer, 66, was taken into custody on Monday at his job in Fort Payne, Alabama near the Alabama-Georgia border.

Before moving to Alabama, Wukmer lived in Ohio and worked as a children’s minister. According to his Facebook, he is originally from Dayton, Ohio and moved to Rainsville, Alabama, a city in DeKalb County, in May 2022. 

The Anderson Theological Seminary, where Wukmer obtained his master’s degree in Pastoral counseling in 2003, told The Daily Mail that he moved to five different states over a period of five years.

The Rainsville Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division opened an investigation into the ex-minister/pedophile in early November.

A search warrant was executed by the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office at his Alabama home and authorities seized items that revealed 215 instances of child pornography.

According to a bio on his blog, Wukmer has been in the ministry for more than twenty-three years, and has served as Pastor, Youth Pastor, Deacon, Christian School Teacher, and in Boy’s Homes as director, assistant director, and teacher. 

Steve Robert Wukmer, 66, was taken into custody on Monday at his job in Fort Payne, Alabama near the Alabama-Georgia border. A picture of Steve Wukmer posted to his Facebook and personal blog, The Christian Homeschooler

Steve Robert Wukmer, 66, was taken into custody on Monday at his job in Fort Payne, Alabama near the Alabama-Georgia border. A picture of Steve Wukmer posted to his Facebook and personal blog, The Christian Homeschooler

Steve Robert Wukmer, 66, was arrested at his job in Fort Payne, Alabama near the Alabama-Georgia border on Monday. He was charged with 215 counts of child pornography

Before moving to Alabama, Wukmer lived in Ohio and worked as a children's minister. According to his Facebook, he is from Dayton, Ohio and moved to Rainsville, Alabama, a city in DeKalb County in May 2022

Steve Robert Wukmer, 66, was arrested at his job in Fort Payne, Alabama near the Alabama-Georgia border on Monday. He was charged with 215 counts of child pornography

 Wukmer authored a blog called the Christian Home Schooler that he described as a resource ‘dedicated to helping Christian Parents home school their children.’ He last posted on the site in 2013.

In one of his last entries, titled, ‘The Way To Heaven – Are You Going?’ he provides guidance on how to spend eternity in with God. 

Some of the advice he offers includes: ‘acknowledge that you are a sinner;’ and ‘realize the judgement for your sin is death, eternal separation from God.

James Hayes, VP of Academic Affairs at the Theological Seminary, said he never met Wukmer, but confirmed that he was a student at the seminary from January 1998 until Spring of 2003. He took all of his classes online.

According to Hayes, Wukmer had been in ministry for thirteen and a half years before he joined their program. He was not aware of what churches the disgraced minister was affiliated with before the program.

The director, however, called Wukmer’s many addresses over the years ‘unusual’, and unsettling given his recent charges.

Hayes said he was in Pontiac, Michigan, the location of Midwestern Baptist College, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree, then Wyoming, South Carolina, Missouri and Florida.

‘I anticipate he was working in a church and Christian schools at all these different states,’ Hayes said. ‘He had so many moves. It is hard to see when and where he was. It is unusual to have five addresses in five years.’

‘Something like this just doesn’t pop up. It happens over time,’ Hayes said of Wukmer. 

Hayes said he was shocked when he heard the news about his former student. 

‘We were not aware of this. The school condemns all forms of pornography, but child pornography is reprehensible, according to the bible it’s a sin,’ Hayes said.

‘Most of our students are preachers and pastors. They are hardworking men and women who train in ministry. Child pornography is disturbing in any situation but working as a pastor and with children and doing it as a Christian is despicable.’ 

‘We have had 15,000 students graduate in over 41 years and this is the first child pornography case I have heard at the seminary,’ he said.

‘If he is found guilty, not only will he need to go to prison here but will have to stand before the god almighty at the judgement seat,’ Hayes said.

‘We condemn this and will make sure we do our part to stand against this.’

Some of the blog entries of The Christian Homeschooler. Wukmer wrote about atoning for your sins, and last posted on the site in 2013

Some of the blog entries of The Christian Homeschooler. Wukmer wrote about atoning for your sins, and last posted on the site in 2013

Rainsville Police Chief Michael Edmondson said he was ‘disgusted that someone could be doing this sort of thing here in Rainsville.’ He added, ‘but unfortunately, I’m also not surprised.’

‘We in law enforcement are seeing more and more of this terrible act, even locally,’ Edmondson said. ‘I am so proud of our police department for jumping on this investigation and getting it done quickly to protect the kids in our community.’

The Rainsville Police Department says that it is unaware of any similar misconduct while Wukmer was in Ohio.

He is currently being held at the DeKalb County Detention Center in Alabama and is awaiting bond. 

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