Tablet Local

Cowboy Way Church pastor accused of molesting boy in 2000

The pastor of the Cowboy Way Church in Alvarado was charged Tuesday with indecency with a child on accusations that he molested a teen boy several years ago while he was pastor at another church.

Dan Haby Jr., 51, was arrested at his Alvarado home by Fort Worth fugitive officers Friday afternoon on two arrest warrants accusing him of indecency with a child by sexual contact. He was later released from jail after posting $30,000 bail.

Leigh Williams, children’s pastor at Cowboy Way Church, said Tuesday afternoon that Haby would love to comment but was advised to let his attorney, Daniel Hernandez, handle questions about the case. She said she also could not comment on Haby’s current status with the church in light of his arrest.

“At the advice of the attorney, I can’t comment, unfortunately,” Wiilliams said. “There’s lots that I would like to say, but I’m going under what the attorney has advised us to do.”

Hernandez has not returned a phone message left at his office.

Fort Worth police began investigating the pastor last month after the alleged victim, now an adult, reported that he had been sexually assaulted by the pastor in 2000 and 2001, beginning at age 15, according to Sgt. Raymond Bush, a police spokesman.

Haby previously pastored the Stockyards Community Church, a now-defunct church that he began in 2000.

He has been lead elder and lead pastor of the Cowboy Way Church since its inception in 2005, according to the church’s website.

He is a former professional rodeo cowboy who has a master of divinity degree and a master of arts in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been involved in various ministries since 1985, according to the church website.

His wife of eight years, Melanie Haby, is co-pastor and worship elder for the church.

He was reportedly absent from church Sunday but is continuing to post messages on the church’s Facebook page.

“Nowadays, don't waste your time with people who are there just to tear you down. It's time to start surrounding yourself with people who will build you up and be glad that you are doing good. So start building an uplifting team around you today! Live, Love and Serve God! Blessings, Pastor Dan,” he wrote Monday.

A comment by a parishioner tells the pastor “I hope you feel better,” indicating the pastor has been recently sick.

“I was able to get him to eat a little bit of soup last night, so hopefully he's on the upswing,” his wife, the page’s administrator, commented Monday on the page.