Texas

The Southern Baptist Convention neglected the victims

DALLAS – A seven-month investigation into sexual abuse cases was published at the Southern Baptist Convention, which revealed what the report says were victims who faced “restraint”, “resistance” and “hostility”.


What You Need to Know

  • A seven-month investigation into sexual abuse cases at the Southern Baptist Convention shows that countless victims went to the SBC executive committee and left without help.
  • The report highlights a particular case that occurred at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano in 1989.
  • Investigators say a pastor has silently fired a church music director accused of abusing a child. In that case, the church did not report the case to local authorities
  • A statement from Prestonwood Executive Pastor Mike Buster said: “Prestonwood categorically denies how the report characterized the incident 33 years ago”

Dr. Robert Jeffress, a senior pastor at First Baptist Dallas, says his church is part of that denomination. He had the opportunity to read most of the 288-page report.

“I think the report is horrible, it’s heartbreaking,” Jeffress said.

A third-party company, known as Guidepost Solutions, has unveiled its findings, showing cases in which countless victims have gone to the SBC executive committee and left without help.

“People are falling victim to the church and I think the church should be the safest place in the world,” Jeffress said.

The report even highlights a particular case that occurred at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano in 1989. On pages 7, 70 and 178 of the full report, investigators say Pastor Jack Graham silently fired a church music director accused of abusing of a young man. boy. In that case, the church did not report the case to local authorities. Former music director John Langworthy later confessed to a Mississippi church congregation and was charged and arrested.

Spectrum News 1 contacted Prestonwood Baptist Church about the report. We received an email with a statement from Executive Pastor Mike Buster, saying: “Prestonwood categorically denies how the report characterized the incident 33 years ago. Prestonwood has never protected or supported abusers, neither in 1989 nor since.”

Jeffress says his church has long-standing policies and a thorough background check to prevent things like this from happening. He also assures that the congregation will not leave any children alone with one person.

“Unfortunately, the Southern Baptist has no mechanism to do that. There is no denominational authority that can remove an abusive pastor or staff member. The local church has to make that decision,” Jeffress said.

That’s why Jeffress says his church also has a zero-tolerance policy, saying he wants to make sure his congregation feels safe.

With this scathing report, Jeffress says it’s time for every Southern Baptist church to reevaluate the way they approach leadership and make sure it truly protects their congregation.

“There’s no excuse for this, and it’s often been swept under the rug,” Jeffress said.

The Southern Baptist Convention neglected the victims

Source link The Southern Baptist Convention neglected the victims

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