A former longtime metro Atlanta pastor posted bond Thursday afternoon on three child molestation charges, jail records show.
Benjamin “Gus” Harter, 80, had been in the Forsyth County jail since his Aug. 30 arrest. Harter was arrested at his Cumming-area home on one charge of child molestation, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office previously said. No further details about the allegations, which were made Aug. 25, were available, according to police.
While he was jailed, two additional child molestation charges have been added, jail records show. Harter’s bond was set at $27,500 per charge, for a total of $82,500. Conditions of his bond prohibit Harter from any contact with children, he must surrender his passport, and he must wear an ankle monitor, the sheriff’s office said Thursday.
On Tuesday, Harter waived a preliminary hearing. It was not yet known when his next court appearance would be.
Harter had served as pastor of Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church in Sandy Springs since 2014. Following his arrest, an associate pastor said Harter was no longer affiliated with the church.
Harter previously served as pastor of Bethany Primitive Baptist Church, now located in Suwanee, for nearly three decades beginning in November 1971. In the mid-1990s, Harter and his wife began traveling to the Philippines regularly to work with churches there.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.