Duane A. Yoder

Kansas, Florida, and Virginia Mennonite minister and former campus pastor disciplined, credential removed

In 2002, Duane Yoder (b. 1952), while serving as lead pastor at Bay Shore Mennonite Church in Sarasota, Florida, was found by Southeast Mennonite Conference to have “sexualized a counseling relationship” against a parishioner, whose first-person account describes patterns of clergy sexual abuse. After a disciplinary process that lasted less than a year, Yoder was restored to ministry and moved to Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he became lead pastor at Lindale Mennonite Church.

Then in 2016, while lead pastor at Lindale Mennonite, Yoder was found by an investigation commissioned by Mennonite Church USA to have “protected [an] alleged perpetrator, to the detriment of caring for the victim.” The investigation, completed by D. Stafford and Associates, stated that Yoder “did not disclose everything he knew about allegations of sexual abuse that have been deemed credible” and “on multiple occasions, the decisions, actions and inactions of Pastor Yoder resulted in protection of [former Eastern Mennonite University vice president of enrollment Luke] Hartman rather than support for [the victim].”

Additional complaints against Yoder were reportedly made to the Virginia Mennonite Conference district minister in 2016, and after initiation of an investigation by Virginia Mennonite Conference related to the D. Stafford and Associates report, the conference terminated Yoder’s ministerial credential in 2017, stating that he declined to contest the findings of the investigation.

Church-related positions

  • Campus pastor at Hesston College in Hesston, Kansas, 1983–1985, 1987–1991
  • Pastor at Hesston Inter-Mennonite Fellowship, 1991–1997
  • Senior pastor at Bay Shore Mennonite Church, Sarasota, Florida, 1997–2003
  • Lead pastor at Lindale Mennonite Church, Linville, Virginia, 2003–2017

First-person accounts

Documentation

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