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MARION, IL — Church leaders have confirmed that a southern Illinois pastor has been temporarily relieved of his duties after he was arrested on a child pornography charge. 

Records shared on the Illinois court records website Judici show 45-year-old John Hackmann Jr. was charged on Thursday with two felony charges, including one count of child pornography and one count of intimidation. The records also show a preliminary hearing has been set for Nov. 19 at 1:15 p.m. 

Hackmann has been temporarily relieved of his duties as pastor at Marion First United Methodist Church, according to a statement from Illinois Area Resident Bishop Frank J. Beard that was shared Sunday to the public Facebook group of the United Methodist Church's Illinois Great Rivers Conference

Illinois UMC bishop statement

A screengrab shows the statement posted to the Illinois Great Rivers Conference -- The United Methodist Church Facebook group (click to enlarge). 

In the statement, Beard writes that Hackmann was relieved of duties after the conference leadership was notified of his arrest in Williamson County, and an interim pastor will be assigned to Marion First Methodist while an inquiry into his arrest is carried out. 

"It is our intention to cooperate with the criminal investigation as it unfolds," the statement reads in part. "The judgment of guilt or innocence regarding the criminal charges will come through that process. Our responsibility is to care for the welfare of the people involved and of the Church."

In full, the bishop's statement reads:

Conference leadership has been notified of the arrest Thursday by Williamson County authorities of the Rev. John S. Hackmann II, 45, pastor of Marion First UMC.

In the best interest of all concerned, Rev. Hackmann has been temporarily relieved of his pastoral duties while an inquiry is made into the circumstances which led to the arrest. An interim pastor will be assigned to serve Marion First during this time.

It is our intention to cooperate with the criminal investigation as it unfolds. The judgment of guilt or innocence regarding the criminal charges will come through that process. Our responsibility is to care for the welfare of the people involved and of the Church.

Please join us in prayer for Rev. Hackmann, his family, all parties involved and this congregation as we move forward guided by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Frank J. Beard
Resident Bishop
Illinois Area, The United Methodist Church