Bogus pastor, repeat sex offender arrested again for sex crimes

KINCAID – A repeat sex offender fraudulently claiming to be a pastor who operated a non-profit ministry for prison inmates which he claimed garnered 10,000 Youtube subscribers over the two years his organization was operating will be in Anderson County Court June 25th for a preliminary hearing on charges of sodomy and sexual exploitation of a child. 

Kevin James LaBelle, 49 of Kincaid, was arrested in late April and charged earlier this month with engaging in sex with a 15-year-old boy as well as photographing sex acts with the youth to possess or distribute. A review of court records show Labelle to have had a previous sentence for similar charges as an adult and a previous adjudication as a juvenile.

 Anderson County Attorney Elizabeth Oliver said additional charges of contributing to a child’s misconduct and unlawful distribution of marijuana were also filed. 

LaBelle claimed to hold a doctorate in pastoral ministry from the Christian Bible College and Seminary of Kansas City, Mo. Stephanie Harrill, school administrator for CBCS, said the school conducts a prison ministry program that allows inmates to pursue coursework to attain their degrees and then pay their associated fees and other costs after they’re released and find a job. Harrill said LaBelle finished his coursework but never notified the school when he was released from prison in 2021, and never paid the costs to finish acquisition of the degrees. 

“He can’t present himself with those conferred degrees from us until he pays those costs,” Harrill said. “He’s fradulent. We haven’t heard from him and we didn’t know he was released in 2021.” She said CBCS has successful degree candidates, both for the prison ministry program as well as laity, now serving in pastoral and other capacities all over the country. The school was founded in 1992 according to its filing documents at the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. 

LaBelle sought investors to turn this building in Kincaid into a coffee shop/fundraising stream for his ministry./FTBTTB Facebook page

“We don’t do background checks,” Harrill told the Informer. “We work with inmates in that program and some of them finish out and have turned themselves around and go on to successful ministries. Some of them just aren’t ever able to do that.”

Harrill noted LaBelle’s documents listed a “PhD” after his name.

“He didn’t get that from us,” she said, “because we don’t offer a PhD. If he got that he must have gotten it somewhere else.”

Christian Bible College and Seminary offers faculty directed independent home study programs, its official documents say. The external correspondence courses are a viable alternative for the continuing of a theological discipline and credits toward earning a degree. Tuition schedules are usually less than half compared to the traditional colleges, according to the school’s documents.
LaBelle conducted significant social media presentations on Facebook and YouTube promoting his ministry, called “From The Bars To The Bricks,” and referring to himself as “The Rev Dr. Kev,” advocating for incarcerated inmates and for inmates LaBelle claimed were falsely imprisoned. The Kansas Secretary of State’s business records show FTBTTB was formed in December 2022 but its filing was forfeited in March of this year after failing to file an annual report with the state for 2023.

He made numerous requests for donations and contributions to the ministry, but it is unknown how much money those efforts generated. 

One of many inspirational memes on the FTBTTB Facebook page.

LaBelle had a number of felonies and an extensive number of collection actions in various counties according to state court records. He was adjudicated as a juvenile in 1988 for indecent liberties with a child and had a subsequent conviction as an adult in 2017 which landed him on the Kansas sex offender registry. He won a partial appeal of his sentence in 2010 after arguing court officials included his juvenile adjudication when considering extending his sentence on the 2017 case. 

Facebook posts from June 2023 announced LaBelle planned to turn a decrepit building in Kincaid into a coffee shop to raise funds for the ministry called “Blessed Brews.” That project apparently was never undertaken. LaBelle said in a Facebook reel Bars to Bricks had attracted 10,000 subscribers to its Youtube channel. That claim couldn’t be confirmed since both the Youtube channel and a website for the ministry could not be found last week. The ministry’s Facebook page had just a few dozen followers. Labelle is presently in the Anderson County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.