Randy Homer Robertson, 48, agreed to a plea deal that includes a 19-23 month suspended sentence, 15 weekends in jail, and he must register as a sex offender.
Police arrested Robertson in June after they say he grabbed the teen's genital area while they were together in a playground area at Garner United Methodist Church.
The incident was captured on a church security camera, but Robertson's lawyer questioned prosecutor's summary of what happened.
"They showed some contact between the two of them. But whether they were wrestling around or playing, or whatever, there was nothing that was explicitly sexual about what happened," said Karl Knudsen.
Knudsen said Robertson had his reasons for accepting the plea deal.
"He very much did not want to have any additional trauma placed upon this child. He wanted to give the child and the family closure," he said.
Robertson and the boy were visiting the Garner church from Saint Andrews United Methodist Church to collaborate on a help the homeless project at the time of the incident.
A search of North Carolina Department of Correction records shows Robertson pleaded guilty to similar charges in 1980.
The victim's mother said Monday that other possible victims should come forward.
"If there's anybody out there that can come forward with new information, I beg you to do that. There certainly are other people, in our congregation, as well as in the community," said the woman.
ABC11 has a policy not to identify the victims of sexual assault in most cases.