Fort Worth

Oil executive accused of sexually abusing child removed from church ministry last month

A Fort Worth oil executive was removed from his volunteer ministry role at Christ Chapel Bible Church last month after allegations arose that he had sexually abused a girl, an official with the church said Friday.

Charles “Chuck” W. Seely Jr., vice president of the Seely Oil Company, surrendered Wednesday on warrants accusing him of sexually assaulting a teen over several years, beginning when she was 15. Seely, 49, is free on bond.

According to arrest warrants affidavits, Seely admitted to relatives and to employees of his father’s oil company that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with the victim, who is now an adult.

At least one of the sexual encounters occurred at a Christian camp, according to the affidavits.

Bill Egner, executive pastor of Christ Chapel Bible Church, said Friday in an email to the Star-Telegram that the church became aware of the allegations against Seely in November after the “abuse survivor” made an outcry about the sexual abuse to an adult.

“This information was communicated to a Christ Chapel staff member at that time,” Egner wrote.

Egner wrote “while we are shocked and grieved by this circumstance, WE BELIEVE HER, and commend her for courageously coming forward with this information.”

He stated Seely was immediately removed from all volunteer ministry roles the same day that the allegations came to light.

“The allegations related to one child, and the inappropriate behavior alleged by the victim and confessed by the perpetrator occurred outside the walls of our church,” Egner wrote. “Given these allegations, and in accord with our child protection policies, the perpetrator will NEVER be allowed to serve in any Christ Chapel child-serving ministry in the future.”

Egner said Seely volunteered in various capacities over his 17 years with the church, including roles serving children and students. But Egner said every interaction with any child or student had been supervised by a least one other trained and screened adult and ministry employees.

Egner said the church has fully cooperated with the police investigation and communicated with those who served alongside with Seely in working with youth. He said the church has “encountered no other reports or suspicions of inappropriate behaviors or boundary violations.”

“ We have received no other allegations from any other child or student within Mr. Seely’s volunteer tenure. And while we would never ASSUME that an offender would not adversely impact another child, in this circumstance, the inappropriate sexual behavior appears to be limited to this one child,” Egner wrote in a follow-up email sent to the Star-Telegram Saturday morning.

Egner said the church requires state-approved Sexual Abuse Awareness Training before any employee or volunteers may interact with minors.

Founded in 1980, Christ Chapel is a non-denominational elder-led Bible church in Fort Worth and Willow Park, according to the church’s website.

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For 23 years, Deanna Boyd has covered crime for the Star-Telegram. She digs deep into the stories behind the tragedies and hosts Out of the Cold, a podcast about unsolved murders in North Texas. She is a University of Texas at Austin graduate and has won several journalism awards through the years.