COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A prominent Columbia area pastor who was charged with domestic violence, and also has ties to law enforcement agencies, was released from jail on Wednesday.
Authorities say Michael Henry Baker, 55, turned himself in this morning at the Alvin Glenn Detention Center. His bond was set at $5,232.50 and the judge ordered him to stay at 1,000 yards away from his wife.
The judge would not allow the use of microphones during the hearing but called the charge of third-degree domestic violence a serious one. Attorney Jim Griffin telling us the couple has been married for six years.
Baker is Senior Pastor at Greater St. Luke Baptist Church in Columbia. He serves as a chaplain to the Richland County Sheriff's Department and the Columbia Police Department.
A law enforcement source says officers were called to Baker's home twice over the last few days.
The source says in the first incident last week, Baker's wife suffered a minor injury to her hand during an argument. A sheriff's department incident report from March 16 confirms that fact and says the incident occurred following an incident involving a missing cell phone.
On the second occasion, reported on March 20, Baker apparently was attempting to block his wife from leaving the residence after she returned to pick up some of her belongings and had changed the locks on the doors, according to the report.
In a bio posted on the Richland County sheriff's website, Baker is described as a "nationally known Evangelist," author, founder of the annual Pastor's Cup Golf Tournament and a member of the National Action Network headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Baker also serves as Executive Director of the Light of the World Economic Community Development Corporation.
He has also been involved in programs including Operation Clean Slate, which encourages people facing criminal warrants to clear up their records by turning themselves in.