Man arrested after repeatedly disrupting church service

A Berkeley Springs man was arrested on Sunday, September 20 by the Morgan County Sheriff after the man disrupted services at a local church, was escorted out, then returned again. A security team at the church reportedly drew their weapons at the man after he kicked open a main entry door.

Jeremiah J. Goodwin, 38, of Tri-Lake Park was arrested Sunday on charges of breaking and entering. He is being held at the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of a $20,000 cash-only bond.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Morgan County Magistrate Court, Goodwin was apprehended near Fish Hatchery Road by Sheriff K.C. Bohrer after Bohrer was contacted by members of the Union Chapel congregation about Goodwin trying to enter their church.

The complaint alleges that Goodwin had come into the church “acting strange” and saying he wanted to bring bottles of water to the church for children.

A church security team of congregation members ushered the man out of the church, police said. Goodwin then came back and tried to gain entry into the church by kicking an entrance door multiple times.

The Sheriff’s complaint said, “I was also informed the church security team had drawn their weapons to keep the subject from entering.”

Goodwin then fled the church, heading southbound in U.S. 522. Sheriff Bohrer stopped his vehicle, but Goodwin would not comply with his orders to get on the ground following the traffic stop, court records said.

Additional officers from the West Virginia State Police and Sheriff’s Department responded to the traffic stop and assisted in getting Goodwin under control and into a police cruiser, the Sheriff’s report indicated.

Other charges pending against Goodwin include reckless driving, resisting arrest and disturbing a worship service, said Bohrer.

According to the Sheriff, a criminal history for Goodwin turned up prior violent crime charges in Virginia.