UPDATE: Traveling Evangelist Based in Murfreesboro Remains Behind Bars After Wife Filed for Divorce

Jun 05, 2024 at 06:36 pm by WGNS News

Benjamin Garlick (left) and Shaantal Garlick (right)

MURFREESBORO, TN – UPDATE - While the last plea hearing for a traveling evangelist facing 7 counts of aggravated rape of a child was continued, the new date for a plea hearing is scheduled to move forward at this point.


The investigation has been spearheaded by Murfreesboro Police and reports indicate Benjamin Garlick is also facing 6 counts of aggravated sexual battery, 2 counts continuous sexual abuse of a child and one count of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor under the age of 13. Court documents show that all of the charges are tied to alleged actions of the suspect that possibly occurred in February of 2021.

Initially, charges against Garlick were filed with the courts on September 5th of last year, but as the investigation progressed, so did the charges. Earlier this year in March (2024), additional charges were added. This past April, MPD Public Information Officer Larry Flowers told WGNS when the added charges were handed down by the courts. In an email, Flowers confirmed, “He was served with the indictment in jail.” To date, the 32-year-old remains behind bars at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.

Prior to being housed in county lockup, he lived in the Blackman area.

In August of 2023, Garlick was named on an eviction notice "...for non-compliance." In addition to Garlick being named in the notice, so was LaEspada, a Spanish speaking ministry that was based in Murfreesboro. The notice was posted on the door of a rental unit within the Sword of the Lord building at 214 Bridge Avenue in Murfreesboro. There, the organization had been paying $1-thousand per month since January of 2017. By the middle of 2023, Garlick was deemed to be delinquent.

The suspect reportedly spoke fluent Spanish and frequented Spanish speaking congregations, events and organizations. Prior to Garlick’s arrest, the culprit led church services as a guest pastor in Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Alabama and Arkansas, just to name a few.

Over the past few years, Garlick amassed thousands of views on YouTube and Facebook as a pastor, which is heavily documented in videos that can easily be found online. He apparently preached at a variety of churches both large and small throughout the country.

Shaantal Garlick, who was married to Benjamin at the time of his arrest, was charged with 2 counts of aggravated child abuse/neglect/endangerment for a child that is age 8 or younger and 2 counts of facilitation of a felony. Mrs. Garlick filed for an Order of Protection against Benjamin Garlick on August 14, 2023 and later filed for divorce on March 19, 2024. In the criminal case, the 30-year-old woman is scheduled to appear in court on July 18th of this year.

DISCLAIMER: All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The arrest records or information about an arrest that are published or reported on NewsRadio WGNS and www.WGNSradio.com are not an indication of guilt or evidence that an actual crime has been committed.



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