The man who was fired over the weekend from his staff position at a prominent Mandeville church has surrendered to police in Mississippi on accusations of sexually molesting an underage boy, authorities said Tuesday.
Travis Bush, 36, of Mandeville, turned himself in after investigators in Bay St. Louis obtained a warrant to arrest him.
Detective Sgt. Rachel Jewell of the Bay St. Louis Police Department said the crime that Bush is accused of committing implies that the victim was 16 or younger, but she declined to release any details.
Jail records show Bush was being held Tuesday in lieu of $100,000 bail and is due to appear in court for a hearing Nov. 16.
Bush often sang at services held by St. Timothy on the Northshore United Methodist Church and held the title of assistant director of worship arts before leaders of that congregation announced his dismissal on Sunday.
While the church said it fired Bush because he had violated its policies meant to protect children at the church from possible abuse, it gave no details on what he is alleged to have done.
The church said only that it was aware that "serious criminal allegations" had been made against him in Mississippi.
Mandeville Police Chief Gerald Sticker said Tuesday there is nothing to indicate Bush may have sexually molested anyone locally or at St. Timothy on the Northshore.
Investigators have not said how Bush may have met the boy involved in the Bay St. Louis police case.
Neither Bush nor St. Timothy on the Northshore’s lead pastor, James Mitchell, has responded to requests for comment.
Emails from the church leadership said they were “heartbroken” to learn about the allegations against Bush, who was a veteran but part-time employee when he was terminated.
A post on the Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers' page last week referred to the case against Bush but didn't identify him by name, Jewell said. That post said Bay St. Louis police suspected the teen had been provided with alcohol when he was molested.
Parents whose children participate in activities through St. Timothy on the Northshore have been invited to a meeting Wednesday night at the church.
"We will be covering the ways in which we have been and will continue to make students a priority and safeguard them while continuing in ministry," read the invitation to the meeting. "We hope and strongly encourage you to join us."
St. Timothy on the Northshore was founded in 1975, according to its website. It has nearly 4,000 members.