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Cases reveal the Southern Baptist Church’s (SBC) attempts to cover up sexual abuse–victims can finally get justice and compensation!

Cases reveal the Southern Baptist Church’s (SBC) attempts to cover up sexual abuse–victims can finally get justice and compensation!

Report details include:

  • Top SBC leaders ignored or belittled survivors of clergy sex abuse over two decades
  • Executive Committee leaders were singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC
  • An Executive Committee staffer maintained a list of Baptist ministers accused of abuse
  • A 2019 landmark report documented hundreds of cases in the SBC, including several in which alleged perpetrators remained in ministry.

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Case specifics of the Southern Baptist Church (SBC) sex assault and abuse cover-up

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A thorough 288-page investigative report conducted by Guidepost Solutions revealed that the Southern Baptist Convention leadership snubbed or attacked clergy sex abuse survivors over 20 years while working behind the scenes to protect their own reputations.

The seven-month investigation outlined how survivors, as well as other concerned Southern Baptists, repeatedly shared allegations with the SBC's Executive Committee (EC), only to be met, over and over again, with “resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility” from some within the EC (Executive Committee).

The report explains that “our investigation revealed that, for many years, a few senior EC leaders, along with outside counsel, largely controlled the EC's response to these reports of abuse ... and were singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC."

The report explained that "In service of this goal, survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action due to its polity regarding church autonomy – even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation."

The Southern Baptist church sex abuse scandal was made known to the public in 2019 by research and reporting from the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News as they documented hundreds of cases in Southern Baptist churches–as well as the fact that many of the alleged perpetrators who were able to stay in the ministry.

Specific instances of abuse included in the Southern Baptist Church (SBC) sex assault cover-up

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Russell Moore–who left his position as head of the SBC's public policy wing after witnessing top Executive Committee members cover up the details of the sex abuse crisis–called the scandal “an apocalypse," and that the investigation “uncovers a reality far more evil and systemic than I imagined it could be."

Some of the more worrisome details of the report on the cover-up include:

  • Christa Brown–a teen who was sexually assaulted and abused by her SBC youth and education minister–but, when she described the situation to the music minister after months of abuse, she was told not to say anything about it to anyone.
  • Dave Pittman, who from 2006 to 2011 made phone calls and sent letters and emails to the SBC and Georgia Baptist Convention Board reporting that he had been abused by Frankie Wiley, a youth pastor at Rehoboth Baptist Church when he was 12 to 15 years old.

The brave survivors of the Southern Baptist church sexual abuse scandal "spoke of trauma from the initial abuse, but also told us of the debilitating effects that come from the response of the churches and institutions like the SBC that did not believe them, ignored them, mistreated them, and failed to help them."

We believe that victims of abuse in the Southern Baptist Church should face their abusers and receive justice and compensation–starting with a free, private case evaluation.

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