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SHALLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — Almost every day, our Kevin Wuzzardo RANTs about hot topics in the the area, and we always invite you to send in your own RANTs. Well, one concerned RANTer was worried about a sex offender living in a Brunswick County church.

No one wants to hear that a sex offender lives next door, but what about above the sanctuary at your church? A concerned citizen in Brunswick County contacted WWAY about registered sex offender Michael Butler staying on the second floor of a church in Shallotte.

Indeed, a Department of Justice website listed Butler’s address as 791 Bricklanding Road. That’s the same address as Open Door Baptist Ministries Church.

Pastor Larry Shreve said Butler did stay at the church, but he was always monitored.

“Any time that there were children in the church, we knew where he was,” Shreve said. “He was not allowed to be upstairs at any time during church services, and we closely supervised him.”

Shreve says after finding out what Butler’s offense was, he felt it was not an issue for Butler to stay at the church.

“Before he moved in here, we made sure that he never had any contact with children,” Shreve said. “His offense was a computer offense.”

In 2009 Butler was convicted of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor. State law says that means he had child pornography.

Shreve said Butler stayed at the church for three months and was closely monitored by his probation officer.

Erica Smith handles sex offenders for the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. She said it’s not uncommon for sex offenders to stay at churches if they are otherwise homeless.

“We do have several sex offenders, and they’re required to give us the general area that they are sleeping,” Smith said. “If they are sleeping under a bridge, they are to tell us they are sleeping under Isabella Holmes Bridge or whatever.”

So, what should you know about sex offenders in your area? First of all you can log on to http://sexoffender.ncdoj.gov, search an address and the sex offenders in your area will come up on a map. Smith said she updates the website as soon as she gets new information on offenders.

This afternoon the Department of Justice website updated with a new address for Butler: the Brunswick County Jail. The sheriff’s office says Butler’s been in since yesterday on two probation violations, but it could say what those violations were.

Comment on this Story

  • Christie Smith

    I want to fill in the blanks of what WWAY left out. I am a proud member of Open Door Baptist Ministries and would like to explain a few things. We did have a registered sex offender in our church. This was not a fact that was hidden or even trying to be hidden. However, WWAY did not tell you that Michael Butler was asked to leave our church over 2 weeks ago because he was not following the rules of the church. We do not take lightly to the accusations that we had a registered sex offender left unsupervised around our children, because this is untrue. Michael Butler was not left unsupervised with children. As a matter of fact, he was constantly monitored at all times while there were children in the church. It was also decided collectively as a church to not have any more individuals staying in the church so that we could have more youth services in the church. What WWAY did not tell you is when they took the camera crews upstairs, all the beds have been taken down and removed from the church over two weeks ago. After starting new children’s programs at our church we needed the extra space and decided to not have any more individuals regardless of their background staying in the church. I am the mother of a young child and would NEVER allow my child to be placed into harm’s way. Our Bible says “do unto the least of these as you would do unto me.” We are a church that reaches out to helpless and hopeless people. Larry Shreve our pastor has a heart of Gold, and goes above and beyond to try to help hurting people. He is a strong man of God and I am proud of him and our ministries. I pray for those who are trying to come against what God is putting in place. Also, I would like to say, to my knowledge Michael Butler did not go back to jail on a sex related offense, it was because of his poor choices, and his inability to check in with his probation officer because he was out on the street after not following the rules laid out by the church. If there were no supervision in place, then why was it that two weeks ago, when it was snowing and ice on the ground, that Michael Butler and was placed out on the street. This was because he was breaking the rules set forth at the church. We have strict rules in place for those who were staying at the church, and if they broke those rules then we felt as a church out of respect for our members that we must take immediate action. Also, I feel like whoever made these accusations should come forward and present themselves. From what I have been told, the phone number that you left with the news crew and the email you left with the news crew were not valid phone numbers and your email address was not a valid email address. So, if you truly have these concerns then why not present yourself and address the church with your concerns. I would invite anyone who has any concerns to come visit our church just one time and you will see that God is doing awesome and mighty things!

  • Guest098

    Would God have put this man out on the street?

  • old ex wway fan

    I have had past dealings with these WWAY media people and well to say the least, I will never ever trust anything they put on the air!!!! They would love to smear someones name than to help a poor soul out….. All I can say is “they are DOGS” don’t need to, or don’t want to explain anymore. They have in the past and will continue to smear news to make an individual or place look bad, just to hopefully give them (wway) attention. Well all I can say is “Bless their little (& I do mean little) hearts!!!!

  • anne

    Thank you for setting things straight. I live in the area though I do not go to your church. I don’t have a problem with area news reporting, but I do have a problem with them not fulling reporting things. As a Christian, I am glad that you are serving the community and that you are trying to help those that need it most, but as a Christian I know we have responsibilities to do that which is right while obeying the laws. It is a balancing act of which we fully need to seek God’s answer. God bless all of you and I hope for his sake, that the young man gets help. He is a walking time bomb and unless he accepts the salvation of the Lord, and gets his life on the right path, he will hurt someone else. Only the salvation of Jesus Christ can help these type of predators – counseling and psychiatric treatment has shown itself to be of no help for these type of predators. Continue your work in the Lord – He will take care of the rest.

  • Guest1903

    and church is a good place to have that second chance .

    but speaking of criminals or ex convicts i don’t think people know it ,but ladies that are getting out of prison work at local business in Wilmington.

    i will not name the business’s they work at but they are all up and down market street the convectional facility is located on darlington ave in wilmington.

    “i will not give the exact addressee”

    but theses ladies are one step too get out of prison, they have to sign out and are under 24hour watch and locked down they “only” go to work and back to the facility.

    but difference here is your probably interacting with said ladies everyday and didn’t know it ,yeah they are human too.

  • Substitute bank robber, carjacker, or murderer for sex offender, and see how up in arms the community would be.

    In fact, over 90% (either 94.7% or 96.5%, depending on the DOJ interpretation) of sex offenders are one-time offenders (sex offenses only). Only murder has less recidivism rate; however, consider that the mean sentence for a first or second degree murder is 12 years. Other serious or violent crimes involve a recidivism rate of over 40%. In addition, over 5 times as many children are hurt in non-sexual violent crimes than are victimized by sex offenders, first time or not.

    But these are all rational responses. By any standards of metrics involved actual credence to recidivism rates, sex offenders are the most likely group of offenders to assimilate back into society.

    Now, OBVIOUSLY I am not referring to offenders who commit actual violent rape (as opposed to consensual, but illegal, statutory rape). Those violent offenders should be behind bars for a long, long time, and all murderers should never get out of jail. But this is precisely my point; they don’t NEED to be on a registry because they are incarcerated. Indeed, the big sex offender laws: Megan’s Law, Jessica’s Law, Chelsea’s Law, are based upon crimes that have very little to do with the average sex offense against a child from a perspective of violence.

    However, when it comes to adults, children, and sex, our society has an absolute revulsion to even rationalizing the reasons it happens. Note above how the offender never committed a crime against an actual child. Now, one can argue how he re-victimized the subjects of the photographs, but there is a different paradigm of victimizing.

    The bottom line: only when society can get past the revulsion factor when trying to identify the root cause of such crimes as child sex can we actually create both prevention from the FIRST offense, as well as the pragmatic societal reintegration of sex offenders once they have served their punishment rendered through the courts.

  • Guest

    What more likely place to take in an unwanted and ostracized member of society. I would say that the church did exactly as should be expected in a society that espouses Christian values.

    Are we to the point that we should take these people out and stone them?

    We are all sinners. let us give the man (and the gracious members of Open Door Baptist Ministries Church) a break.

  • Guest

    the bible says when you have fed the least of them you have fed me. One day this young man will wake up and see the world as it really is and the there is a God Fearing people who take care of the less fortunate…God bless the church…This may change this young man’s life

  • Guest

    Have you ever heard of a thing called Hell?

  • Guest

    Think long and hard about your question, digg in your Bible, and I believe you will find your answer.
    The term “put out on the street” was used figuratively.
    He wasnt left “out in the cold”. He didnt have to walk on the street to get somewhere warm. He was dropped off at a safe place, with a cell phone in hand, until he could attempt to contact someone. His violation of our trust on multiple occasions, in my opinion, warranted the actions.
    As far as I am aware, he never spent one night without somewhere to sleep, and if he did, that would have been his own fault. If he had contacted his probation officer, and notified him that as of that night he had no permanent address, he would have been picked up that night.
    The circumstances of him leaving the church is another topic, but the bottom line was that he broke the rules and was given multiple second chances. After MUCH prayer and deliberation, the leadership of the church gave him one last chance, and he again violated our trust. My wife and I were heartbroken the night we he was asked to leave, we had become very attached to Mike, however we fully supported the decision of the church given the circumstances, and knew that his refusal to follow the rules could no longer be ignored.

  • Das Weibstück

    Arson, Larceny, Felony Breaking & Entering are 3 more things you can add to his rap sheet.

    This guy totally USED all you bleeding hearts for a place to live. Child Pornography? Really??? and you let him within MILE OF YOUR CHILDREN? YOUR GOD WILL NOT PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN FROM A PREDATOR.

    Your belief makes you blind to reality.

  • GREG55

    You have your beliefs they have theirs….you seem to forget you are not GOD and no right to judge others….if they choose to forgive this man like there faith says then I give then credit….if you are a man of faith i would like to know what faith? Because almost all religions state he same forgiveness policy……or is it you just want to go with the flow of things with the sex offender issues…..because the doj even shows sex offenders are the least to re offender except for murders

  • Joe

    Where else should a sinner go? I wish I had a church willing to give me a chance. Ya see, I’m a registered offender too. I’m living in New Hanover county. I have a place to stay, for maybe 6 more weeks. Then I’m out on the streets. I’m out because of economics not neighbors or the media, I have no more money left to pay rent with. I have been looking for work, have had several positive interviews. When we get to the background issues, I am very honest and tell of my convictions. I do not try to hide a thing. I have changed. Still, the doors remain shut.
    What is an ex-con supposed to do? I don’t go around begging for assistance, I was taught that a man had to work if he wanted anything. What happens when nobody is willing to let him work?
    Some of us aren’t the evil our conviction(s) make us out to be. Some of us have accepted we were wrong and changed. Some of us have accepted LORD and GOD.
    I fully agree that society should keep a closer watch over me. I do everything my P.O. asks and more, to keep “sober” and victim free.
    Nonetheless, what’s a person to do? There is no organization in this county willing to assist a registered offender. At least, none that I’ve found in over a year of asking.
    I applaud the church for trying to help. this is what churches are called to do, but how many actually do?


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