Update: Former Ballinger youth pastor arrested

Celinda Hawkins Managing Editor Runnels County Register
Clinton Brackett

A former Ballinger resident was arrested Thursday, Oct. 19 on a warrant issued from Runnels County, according to the Runnels County Sheriff’s Office.

Clint Brackett, 32, director of student ministries at First United Methodist Church in Lindale was arrested for sexual assault of a child, on a warrant issued in Runnels County by the Texas Rangers.

The charges stem from multiple incidents of alleged sexual assault that reportedly occurred while Brackett was a youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Ballinger, according to an affidavit obtained by the Runnels County Register through a public information request.

Brackett was arrested Thursday on a warrant out of Runnels County and taken to the Smith County Jail.

The arrest was the result of information obtained from a Texas Highway Patrol trooper’s traffic stop on Sept. 30 in Runnels County, according to the affidavit, that says the female victim asked the trooper to meet with her and her parents. The incidents she reported allegedly occurred between 2015 and 2016, according to the affidavit.

The trooper requested assistance from the Texas Rangers who investigated the incident and obtained the warrant.

The victim was interviewed on Oct. 5. In that interview, according to the affidavit, she told the interviewer that she babysat Brackett’s child from time to time and said the two were together “all the time because he was her youth minister.”

The victim reportedly shared the story with at least one adult and one friend over the summer, the affidavit states.

The investigation is ongoing and the case will be turned over to the Runnels County District Attorney, according to DPS.

According to Pastor Rick Ivey of Lindale FUMC, Brackett's employment with the church has been terminated. Ivey told other news outlets the incident did not happen at FUMC or in Lindale.

Brackett posted a 100,000 bond on Thursday, according to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. If convicted, Brackett could face from two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.