An incendiary and newly-released investigative report from Guidepost Solutions and previously reported by Christianity Today has revealed that the Southern Baptist Church (SBC) and the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee (SBCEC) tried to ignore credible reports of sexual abuse for decades. To make matters worse, it appears that the SBCEC aggressively tried to stonewall or bully some accusers into silence.
In the nearly-300-page report, investigators exposed a long list of Southern Baptist Church Judges, Ministers, Pastors, and Reverends who had been formally accused of sexual abuse. Many of the accused are former members, and some reports detail incidents that occurred decades ago by now-deceased staff members. Some of the accused staff members were allowed to remain active within the Church without any sort of warning or notification given to churchgoers who interacted with them.
The SBCEC has been accused of failing to take any meaningful action to investigate accusations or even offer support for the staff sex abuse survivors. Instead, the Church took active steps to prevent a public database of abusers from being created, used its internal news media outlet to disparage accusers, and even claimed that the accusations were lies made by the Devil.
A former Southern Baptist Church member who left the Church amid growing concerns of unaddressed incidents of sexual abuse was quoted in the report as saying: “[…] the investigation uncovers a reality far more evil and systemic than I imagined it could be.” Indeed, many of the accusers are adults now but had been sexually abused when they were children and teenagers.
Southern Baptist Church Says It Can’t Help
Shockingly, the Southern Baptist Church and its Executive Committee still seem to be staunchly against accepting any sort of responsibility. According to the Guidepost Solutions report, the SBCEC has repeatedly argued that every religious institution within the SBC is allowed to operate autonomously and, therefore, the SBC as a whole cannot be held accountable for the misdeeds of individual churches and members. But the sexual abuse survivors are not buying the excuse.
A call-to-action against the Southern Baptist Church and the 700+ accused staff and staff members has loudly risen. Just as has happened in recent years regarding sex abuse lawsuits against Catholic dioceses, survivors are in the beginning phases of filing sex abuse lawsuits against the Southern Baptist Church. Following in the legal footsteps of many of those successful claims , the men and women who were sexually abused by Southern Baptist Church members could have a chance to seek justice themselves.
For more information about this unfolding story, please click here to view a full article from AP News or click here for an article from The New York Times.
Wahlberg, Woodruff, Nimmo & Sloane, LLP Stand Up for Sex Abuse Survivors
Our team of sex abuse lawsuit attorneys from Wahlberg, Woodruff, Nimmo & Sloane, LLP are currently investigating claims from men and women who have been sexually abused by Southern Baptist Church staff members. We are proud to amplify the voices of sexual abuse survivors and give them a chance to stand up to the people who have traumatized them. Two of our most recent landmark cases were the successful representation of more than 200 people who were sexually abused by Dr. Robert Anderson of the University of Michigan, and representation of numerous U.S. Olympic Gymnasts that included a $380 million settlement against USA Gymnastics for the sexual abuses carried out by Larry Nassar. With our track record and commitment to confidentiality and compassion, you know you can trust your SBC sex abuse case to our team.
Call (303) 647-9990 or fill out an online contact form to reach us. We can assist clients nationwide.