Shining light on Baptist clergy sex abuse  
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Blind Baptist Leaders

How can parents believe their kids are safe when over 18 Southern Baptist leaders can know about a substantiated report involving a minister’s sexual abuse of a kid ... and the man is still able to remain in ministry?**

"The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing."

- Edmund Burke

In every church where Tommy Gilmore worked, people in the pews should have been informed. Perhaps many of these leaders could explain their inaction by saying, “It wasn’t my responsibility.” But that’s the problem. Southern Baptists lack procedures for accountability. And whether or not these men had a legal responsibility, didn’t they have a moral obligation?

Mr. Bobby Welch
President
Southern Baptist Convention

Mr. Charles Wade
Executive Director,
Baptist General Convention of Texas

Mr. Wm. Jan Daehnert
Director, Minister/Church Relations
Baptist General Convention of Texas

Mr. Sonny Spurger
Ass’t Director, Minister/Church Relations
Baptist General Convention of Texas

Mr. David Nabors
Chief Financial Officer
Baptist General Convention of Texas

Mr. Ken Hall
President
Baptist General Convention of Texas

Mr. Garry L. Hearon
Director, Dallas Association
Baptist General Convention of Texas

Office of Convention Relations
Southern Baptist Convention
Nashville, TN

Executive Director
Greater Orlando Baptist Association

Chairman, Board of Deacons
First Baptist Church of Tyler, Texas

Mr. James A. Moore
Music Minister
First Baptist Church of Farmers Branch, Texas

Rev. Sam Underwood
Pastor,
First Baptist Church of Farmers Branch, Texas

Chairman, Board of Deacons
First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia

Mr. Robert L. Mounts
Director, Pastor/Church Relations
Florida Baptist Convention

Chairman, Board of Deacons
First Baptist Church of Oviedo, Florida

Mr. J. Robert White
Executive Director
Georgia Baptist Convention

Mr. Kenneth Keene
Office of Church-Minister Relations
Georgia Baptist Convention

Mr. Jim Richards
Executive Director
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention

Mr. Mike Floyd
Chairman, Board of Deacons
First Baptist Church of Farmers Branch, Texas

**Some of these Baptist leaders received the full report, which showed another minister’s substantiation. Others received letters telling them about the substantiated report and about the decision of the Baptist General Convention of Texas to place Gilmore’s name in its file of clergy abusers. Some received both. These notifications were by certified mail with signed return receipts - and more. Correspondence, sworn affidavits, and documents provide other proof of knowledge as to some. Six of these men even met with me in person. Yet, Gilmore remained in ministry for over 15 months after my easily substantiated report and for a year after the BGCT’s decision to place his name in its file of “known offenders.” Not until I filed a lawsuit, and got news coverage of the lawsuit, was Gilmore finally asked to resign.

There were probably other Baptist leaders who also knew. Southern Baptist minister Glenn Hayden had some knowledge about it, but he is now deceased. And, for each church where notification was received by a Chairman of the Deacons, it’s likely other deacons were also told. So many leaders could have chosen to take action, and yet so many turned a blind eye instead.

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