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Stories tagged with: sexual abuse

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  • Greear: Catholic abuse report requires 'bold steps'

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, August 15, 2018 (3 days ago)

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (BP) -- A Pennsylvania grand jury's report alleging unprecedented levels of sexual abuse and cover-up by Roman Catholic clergy has drawn reaction from Southern Baptists.

    Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear said Southern Baptists should respond to the report by taking all steps necessary to eradicate sexual abuse "from within our community." Commentators from two SBC seminaries noted both the unique ways Roman Catholic doctrine may have contributed to the alleged offenses and the ways evangelical Protestants likewise have shamed themselves through sexual misconduct. Read More

  • Greear announces sexual abuse study group

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, July 26, 2018 (23 days ago)

    DURHAM, N.C. (BP) -- Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear has announced he will form a Sexual Abuse Presidential Study Group in partnership with the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

    A release from Greear's office stated, "This presidential study group will consist of outside experts and Southern Baptist leaders who will advise Greear on issues related to sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence and related subjects."

    Greear's office told Baptist Press the study group's members will be announced at a later date. It will be a "working study group" with "fluid" membership, including outside experts, denominational leaders and local church pastors, Greear's office stated. Read More

  • IMB's Platt initiates sexual abuse investigations

    by Art Toalston, posted Wednesday, July 25, 2018 (23 days ago)

    RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Two "thorough, outside, independent" investigations have been initiated by International Mission Board President David Platt into the IMB's handling of any past sexual abuse allegations and into its policies of zero tolerance for such abuse.

    Platt also stated a public apology to Anne Marie Miller, who has alleged sexual abuse by an individual who subsequently became an IMB missionary yet was not reported to authorities following a 2007 IMB inquiry into the matter.

    Platt's actions and apology were relayed to Baptist Press in a statement today (July 25), which is posted at the IMB's website. Read More

  • #MeToo confronts small churches, bivocational pastors

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, July 25, 2018 (24 days ago)

    Photo by Matt Miller
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Amid the #MeToo movement, conferences and seminaries have heightened their focus on training pastors to prevent and report sexual abuse.

    But associational leader Sean McMahon worries those training efforts are leaving out a sizable group of pastors: small church and bivocational "heroes" who "work 55-60 hours a week in their normal job," serve 20 hours with the church and "never take a Sunday off."

    "Most bivocational pastors don't get to go to conferences," said McMahon, executive director of the Florida Baptist Association in Tallahassee. "Most bivocational pastors never set foot on a seminary campus.... To be able to get some real training in their hands" on abuse prevention and reporting "is huge." Read More

  • SBC seminaries: #MeToo is 'wakeup call for the church'

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, July 18, 2018 (one month ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Southern Baptist Convention seminaries long have sought to train ministers in personal integrity, but amid the #MeToo movement, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Daniel Akin said, they have "heightened the alert."

    From Southeastern in North Carolina to Gateway Seminary in Southern California, SBC seminaries are training students and faculty to recognize and deal with abuse, reemphasizing personal sexual morality and offering resources to those struggling with sexual sin.

    Southeastern has "raised the flag and heightened the alert," Akin told Baptist Press, "given the cultural trends that we're now encountering, given the technological world in which we live" where moral failings often are widely publicized. Read More

  • IMB, ex-missionary's accuser differ over abuse response

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, July 18, 2018 (one month ago)

    FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- The International Mission Board and an alleged sexual assault victim of a former missionary have presented differing accounts of how the board handled an investigation of the alleged misconduct.

    After Baptist Press published a July 16 update on the case of former IMB missionary Mark Aderholt -- who has been charged in Fort Worth, Texas, with sexual assault of a child under 17 -- his alleged victim, Anne Marie Miller, sent an email to BP disputing the IMB's representation of its 2007 investigation into the alleged misconduct. Miller was 16 and Aderholt 25 when the assault allegedly occurred in 1996-1997. Read More

  • Abuse in the church: Its trauma aired by panel at SBC

    by Karen L. Willoughby, posted Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Photo by Kathleen Murray
    DALLAS (BP) -- The pastor of an Austin, Texas, Southern Baptist church "finds I'm spending more time in preparation than ever before" for his Sunday morning sermons.

    Matt Carter, pastor of preaching and vision at Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, said in a CP Stage panel discussion prior to the SBC annual meeting in Dallas that he weighs his words to make sure they do not send the wrong message to the potential 25 percent of the women in the church who have suffered abuse in their lifetime. Read More

  • SBC added as defendant in Pressler lawsuit

    by David Roach, posted Monday, January 22, 2018 (7 months ago)

    BP file photo.
    HOUSTON (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention has been added as a co-defendant in a lawsuit accusing retired Texas state judge Paul Pressler of sexual abuse.

    A Jan. 12 amendment to a suit originally filed last October claims the SBC, among other defendants, had a "duty to exercise reasonable care so as to control" Pressler, who helped engineer a strategy to turn the Southern Baptist Convention back to its theologically conservative roots in the late 20th century. See related report. Read More

  • Paul Pressler targeted in Texas lawsuit

    by David Roach, posted Tuesday, December 12, 2017 (8 months ago)

    BP file photo
    HOUSTON (BP) -- A lawsuit alleging decades of sexual abuse by retired Texas state judge Paul Pressler has named a Southern Baptist Convention entity among its co-defendants.

    Following multiple media reports on the Oct. 18 suit, Pressler's legal team released a statement today (Dec. 12) to Baptist Press, in which attorney Ted Tredennick called the allegations "frivolous."

    Pressler -- who helped engineer a strategy to turn the Southern Baptist Convention back to its theologically conservative roots in the late 20th century -- denies the allegations by Plaintiff Gareld Duane Rollins, who claimed Pressler sexually abused him repeatedly between the late 1970s, when Rollins was 14, and 2014. Rollins' petition, filed in Texas state district court, alleges he was enrolled in a young adult Bible study which Pressler led at Houston's First Baptist Church, and later served as Pressler's office assistant. Read More

  • Sex abuse prevention resources available at

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, November 13, 2017 (9 months ago)

    Screen capture from
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- While a growing international storm of sexual abuse allegations and revelations has swirled for more than a month, the Southern Baptist Convention has long encouraged churches to be proactive in preventing abuse, SBC resources show.

    Spiritual leaders, churches and seminaries should model, exhort and teach the highest standards of moral and ministerial integrity, and churches should use legal resources and avenues to exclude sexual predators from leadership and influential positions including pastors and counselors, the SBC said as early as 2002. Read More