Small-Town Illinois Pastor Facing Sexual Abuse Charges

Gary Arivett had been the pastor at the same Illinois church for nearly 30 years. (WCIA)

A former Illinois pastor is facing charges after being accused of sexually abusing multiple females when they were children.

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Gary Arivett, who was the pastor at Shiloh Apostolic Church in Henning for nearly 30 years, is facing three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a family member under the age of 18.

One accuser said she and her sister were sexually abused by Avirett for years. Both were members of the church at the time.

The Shiloh Apostolic Church in Henning. (WCIA)

“I would like him to not have access to children anymore in any capacity,” she said, via WCIA.

Avirett began abusing her when she was age 11, she said, and her sister was 6.

“There’s no telling how many are out there, and there is no telling how many little children in the church right now that don’t know what he is doing is wrong,” she said.

“The fact that he is a pastor in a leadership position with access to as many young children with very trusting parents who aren’t aware of the monster they are allowing near there children, it needed to be public, it needs to get out there, they need to know.”

Avirett was arrested but is now free after posting a $100,000 bail. He denied the accusations and said he left the church on his own.

“First of all, the charges are unfounded,” he told WCIA. “I was not forced out of the pastors position, I left on my own.”

Henning is located in the central part of the state and has a miniscule population of just more than 200.

The Village of Henning had a population of 241 in 2000 and may be smaller than that now. (WCIA)

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