Jan 06, 2022

The Rev. Jody Sambrick, 61, an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference clergy member arrested for possessing child pornography in 2018, was sentenced this week to one-to-two years in prison plus eight years of probation upon his release.

Sambrick, who is on leave of absence, is a former pastor of Hopeland UMC in Clay Township. He agreed to plead guilty before sentencing, according to police in West Lampeter Township in Lancaster County, Pa.

Sambrick was charged with multiple counts of child pornography after police searched his home in 2018. He will be required to register as a sex offender for 25 years, provide a DNA sample and undergo evaluation by a Sex Offender Assessment Board, among other conditions, said a spokesperson for the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

“We grieve when any United Methodist pleads guilty to a crime, and we recognize that we are all called to repentance, forgiveness, and work toward reconciliation and healing,” said Bishop John Schol, episcopal leader of the Eastern PA and Greater New Jersey conferences.

“This is a process that does not occur in a moment, but over time. We pray for Jody Sambrick and his family and all others who were hurt. Let this be a call for all of us to continue to examine our lives and failings and commit to the hard work of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.”

See the LNP/ Lancaster Online Jan 4, 2022, article: “Former Clay Township church pastor pleads guilty to 2018 child porn charges.”