Shield Ministries’ transitional house center of concern


On Wednesday, Dec. 28 a community meeting was held that centered around the

concerns and questions that local citizens have about a men’s transitional house

proposed to open in March of 2023 to potentially house between 50- 100 offenders.

Those in attendance were Mayor Bill Young, Sheriff Guerry ‘Buddy’ Hill, several local

media outlets, and approximately 75 concerned citizens of Walterboro.

Shield Ministries has purchased the property located at 1705 Barracada Rd, formally

known as Living Word Church, and have already made improvements to it. This location

would place the men’s house amid a residential area where families, churches, and

schools are.

Shield Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Reverend David

Truluck and his wife Melodie Truluck. Shield Ministries’ home office is in Charleston and

their program is described as a means to help men that have been in prison to make to

transition back into civilian life. The transitional house would host first-time and non-

violent offenders of a variety of charges, including but not limited to sex offenses.

According to the 2021 annual report provided by Shield Ministries, 70 percent of the

participants in the Charleston locations are registered sex offenders. Visit

for more information.

Attendees discussed how the founder; David Truluck is also a registered sex offender

who is said to be reformed. Additional information can be found at

Those presenting at the meeting provided some statistical data and information about

the organization and its two founders. Based on the information discussed, there was a

consensus that rehabilitation and housing programs are positive initiatives. There was

also a consensus that it should not be in a residential area near potential victims if the

men with sexual charges were to re-offend while housed within the community.

According to state law, anyone that is registered cannot reside within 1,000 feet of any

school, childcare center, church, and park. When converted, 1,000 feet is about .19

miles. There is a church, Kingdom Hall, that is .20 miles away from the proposed house.

For more information visit



Some of the concerns voiced by community members included how the founder,

Truluck was not forthcoming with all the plans, processes, and intent of the transitional

home with the community. Another concern is potentially accepting and bringing in more

convicted pedophiles into the community with no real evidence to ensure the safety of vulnerable residents within the community such as women, children, and those of

differing abilities.

An additional concern raised was how a small rural community such as Walterboro

would be able to support and sustain a facility with possible 50-100 men. Each male

that would reside within the transitional house would be required to obtain a job within

the community in order to pay for his stay at the facility. As of Aug. 2022, Walterboro

has an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent compared to Charleston’s unemployment rate

of 2.6 percent visit

County/Walterboro. With a small job market currently available, it could be difficult to

sustain employment opportunities for every citizen of the working age. The extra influx

of residents would also become taxing on other infrastructures such as medical care,

hospitalization, and law enforcement as well.

Meagan Bishop made the first post made on several local Facebook pages and Lisa

Langdale was also present for the meeting. Bishop is the daughter of Melodie Truluck.

She also stated that David Truluck was her abuser. She shared her story with those in

attendance. Langdale is a concerned member of the community along with several

citizens that have created an informational Facebook group page to spread awareness.

This page is called STOP Pedifiles Housing on Barracada Road. (*Note: Misspelling of

pedophiles is intentional, so Facebook algorithms do not block the page.)

Bishop explained that she was 12 years old at the time of the charges against Truluck

and his indictment. She stated that her mother gave up custody of all three of her

children in order to stay with David, her stepfather. She said, “I’m speaking from

experience that if Melody didn’t care about protecting her own children, that she

definitely doesn’t care about protecting your children or any other children that this may

ultimately harm.” Bishop also stated, “I just felt I needed to raise awareness to this

community about it. If I can just prevent one child from harm, I have to at least try to

stop this.”

Mayor Young assured the citizens that no city funding was provided for this transitional

house. He also indicated that the property is in the county outside of city limits, therefore

the city would not have or receive any permit requests. Those would have to go through

the county. Additionally, he said that he personally could not support this in Walterboro

and Colleton County.

Sheriff Hill stated that for a variety of reasons rehabilitation is paramount and that there

is a place for everything, but this location is not the place. He suggested that a location

that is not populated with residents would be more suitable.

*Update: As of Saturday, Dec. 31 the Shield Ministries has changed its webpage by

removing the image of the Barracada Road location along with its announcement of the

projected new location. At the time of publication of the article, the Press & Standard had reached out for a

statement from David Truluck. He responded via email “At this time we would like to say

we are considering multiple possibilities with the property in Colleton County.”

The Shield Ministries webpage includes a statement, “The mission of Shield Ministries

is to teach men how to think, choose, and build correctly which promotes healing; to

teach life skills to help men overcome obstacles by using Christian biblical based

principals and mentorship to promote accountability and responsibility; and to provide

residential stability; of which all reduces recidivism.”

There is also a petition in circulation within the community to stop the transitional house

from opening. Citizens attended the Walterboro City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan.

3 to voice their concerns. They also plan on attending the Colleton County Council

meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 6 p.m.

For more information about Shield Ministries visit, email

[email protected], or call 843-209-7941.

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