A youth pastor in upstate South Carolina has been charged after allegedly filming multiple women and girls as young as 14 while they showered or used the restroom, including while at church.
Daniel Kellan Mayfield, 35, who served as youth pastor at Gowensville Baptist Church in Landrum since 2016, was arrested in Boiling Springs and charged last week with five counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of voyeurism, according to local WCSC.
Deputies with the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office said Mayfield admitted to recording a woman while she showered at her mother's house on May 27, according to the outlet.
The woman and her sister reportedly found the pastor alone in the backyard after she saw a light outside the bathroom window, according to an incident report.
After looking into his phone, investigators reportedly identified at least five more victims, some of whom were allegedly filmed in the bathroom of the church, according to FOX Carolina. Mayfield is accused of setting up a camera there and filming girls as young as 14 on at least three occasions dating back as far as July 2022.
"You would never think someone you know — that's like a family, because that's what our church is, it's like a family — you would never think something so devastating would happen in that little circle of people," Isabella Godfry, a member of the church, told WYFF News 4.
"I’m concerned about my wife and my daughters being on that camera," Benjamin Green, another church member, told local WJBF.
First Baptist Gowensville confirmed to the local outlet that Mayfield was a student pastor at the church, but that he was fired upon his arrest. A magistrate denied him bond, and he is slated to appear in court again within 30 days, according to the outlet. Deputies said Mayfield likely acted alone, and that church leadership was unaware of his alleged activities.
"On May 27, 2023, First Baptist Gowensville leadership was made aware of an incident of moral misconduct perpetrated by one of our staff members," the church said in a statement.
"Proper authorities were notified immediately, and the employee was terminated from his role. Due to the nature of the investigation, FBC Gowensville refers all questions to the law enforcement authorities involved."
"We remain dedicated to providing a safe worship environment and will be ever vigilant in protecting all persons involved in any of our events," the church added.
Kent Smith, who assumed an associate pastor position at First Baptist Gowensville in June 2022, told the Christian Post that the church cut all ties with Mayfield the day they learned of the allegations and that the congregation is "shocked."
"I don’t know him as well as everyone else that has been here for years, but that’s it. [Shock]. When you know somebody for years like that, that’s the reaction people have," Smith told the outlet.