From Beth Moore to J.D. Greear, Key SBC Leaders Respond to Horrifying Report That 200-Plus Pastors, Volunteers Abused More Than 700 by JESSILYN LANCASTER for Charisma Magazine
Key Southern Baptist leaders from President J.D. Greear to prolific author and speaker Beth Moore responded with overwhelming grief and repentance on behalf of the denomination after the Houston Chronicle debuted the first in a three-part series detailing abuse within the denomination.
- In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.
They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives. Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions.
- About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. Church volunteers.
- At least 35 church pastors, employees and volunteers who exhibited predatory behavior were still able to find jobs at churches during the past two decades. In some cases, church leaders apparently failed to alert law enforcement about complaints or to warn other congregations about allegations of misconduct.
- Several past presidents and prominent leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention are among those criticized by victims for concealing or mishandling abuse complaints within their own churches or seminaries.
- Some registered sex offenders returned to the pulpit. Others remain there, including a Houston preacher who sexually assaulted a teenager and now is the principal officer of a Houston nonprofit that works with student organizations, federal records show. Its name: Touching the Future Today Inc.
- Many of the victims were adolescents who were molested, sent explicit photos or texts, exposed to pornography, photographed nude or repeatedly raped by youth pastors. Some victims as young as 3 were molested or raped inside pastors’ studies and Sunday school classrooms. A few were adults—women and men who sought pastoral guidance and instead say they were seduced or sexually assaulted.
SBC President Greear released a series of tweets responding to the report.
[GNN Note – There are two different incredible tweetstorms – one from from JD Greear that is definitely worth your time.]