KATU TV, Oregon/March 1, 2007, by Anita Kissee
Albany, Oregon — The arrest of an Albany pastor on assault charges stemming from the spanking of his son with a paddle has raised the issue of corporal discipline and child abuse.
Pastor David Lee Fink of the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship in Albany was charged with assault after police say his 17-year-old son called authorities to report an incident involving his younger brother and his father.
Police say they found “extreme” red marks, welts and bruising on the buttocks, thighs and arm of Fink’s 13-year-old son on Monday.
Police took a 16-inch wooden paddle into evidence. The cracked paddle is time-worn and wrapped in duct tape in two places. “Board of correction” is written on the paddle in ballpoint pen.
Fink reportedly struck his son 10 times with the paddle.
Police say the spanking crossed the line into assault. One woman disagreed and said the police have gone too far and that the pastor had done nothing wrong.
Christina Niskanen said “I believe in the Bible and what does the Bible say about spanking? That’s how we raised our children. I’m sorry, my children lived through it. I’m sure everybody else’s will.”
Another woman who did not give her name disagreed with Niskanen, saying, “I’d rather raise my voice than raise my hand. And even though in the Bible it says ‘spare the rod, spoil the child,’ I still feel spanking your children is not an appropriate measure, there’s other means you can take.”
The investigation is continuing in Albany.