TEXAS CITY — A domestic dispute led to the arrest of a church’s founding pastor on charges of felony drug possession and misdemeanor family violence assault, authorities said Wednesday.
Robert Kenneth “Bobby” Gass, 60, of Tikie Island, a senior pastor and founder of Baypoint Community Church, was charged with cocaine possession and assault causing bodily injury-family violence, Texas City police Capt. Brian Goetschius said.
Gass founded the church at 2801 Palmer Highway, according to the church’s website. Gass’ booking sheet listed the words “Baypoint” and “pastor” as a business address. He remained jailed Wednesday afternoon on $4,000 bond, Goetschius said.
The arrest stemmed from an argument that ended Wednesday morning with Gass accused of pushing his girlfriend, 36, from his stopped sport utility vehicle, Goetschius said.
“She stated she was afraid of him when they stopped at a red light,” Goetschius said. “She tried to open the door to get out.”
Police accused Gass of pulling the woman by the hair back into the SUV. The SUV then stopped a short distance away in the 1300 block of Texas Avenue at 7:26 a.m., and police accused Gass of pushing her into the street.
“At least one witness heard yelling and screaming and heard her pleas for help,” Goetschius said.
The woman complained of pain but didn’t require medical attention, Goetschius said.
Police found Gass and the SUV at the church, where he was arrested on the misdemeanor assault charge, Goetschius said.
“Once at the jail, at the inventory of his wallet, a small amount of cocaine was recovered from a dollar bill, which had been folded up,” Goetschius said. “It had the powder inside.”
The powder tested positive for cocaine, and police also recovered a pill, which led to a misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous drug, Goetschius said.
A letter on the church’s website, which is attributed to Gass, states he founded the church from his living room on Easter Sunday in 2001.
“Through the years, we have made many mistakes,” the letter states. “However, with each mistake we have learned, and by the grace of God, that small group of committed men and women in our living room has multiplied to over 1,000 in weekly attendance.”
A telephone message left with the church Wednesday afternoon seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.