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Former Nashville pastor accused of molesting children at his church for 19 years

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Metro Nashville Police said on Friday that a former pastor from a Nashville church returned to Davidson County to face charges for molesting children.

Matthew 'Denny' Patterson, 45, is the former 20-year pastor at Nolensville Road Baptist Church. Police said he resigned on September 24, 2017 and moved to Pittsburgh shortly after.

Three days after he resigned, church members told police that children told them Patterson had them engage in strange activities at the church. Police said Patterson had some of the children sit on his face and stomach, sometimes in their underwear.

Detectives interviewed numerous church and staff members. They identified multiple victims, mostly boys, who were molested by Patterson between 1998-2017.

A grand jury indicted Patterson on charges back in February. MNPD detectives went to Pennsylvania to coordinate Patterson’s arrest with Allegheny County authorities and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. He was taken into custody without incident on March 8 but refused to be interviewed.

He returned to Nashville where he was charged with eight counts of aggravated sexual battery for the alleged molestation of children. Officers expect additional charges and victims as the investigation continues.

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Patterson was held on a $100,000 bond. Police said the leadership of Nolensville Road Baptist Church has been fully cooperative with the MNPD’s investigation.

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