This "little light" shines for the many clergy abuse victims whose voices have been silenced. Silenced by shame. Silenced by the false instruction of religious leaders. Silenced by church shunning and bullying. Silenced by church contracts for secrecy. Silenced by suicide. The mission of StopBaptistPredators.org is to break the silence of Baptist clergy sex abuse.
[This site is no longer being maintained. I hope it may continue to serve as a resource. For current news and a continuing archive of public reports about Baptist clergy sex abuse, see Mojoey's site.]
Penn State lesson for Baptists:
Outsiders needed for oversight
News analysis: Churches not typically first reporters of sexual abuse
"Southern Baptist churches are rarely the first party to report allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy to legal authorities...."
Read more >
Advocate says Baptists ill-equipped to address sexual abuse by clergy
Read more >
MS & TX: Southern Baptist music minister
is indicted on child sex crimes
Read more: Clarion Ledger & ABP
"Because of the access he had to so many children over the years, prosecutors say...other victims may still be out there." WJTV-News / video >
Read more: Clarion Ledger, WAPT-TV, WLBT-TV, FOX-40
Prestonwood, the church of former Southern Baptist president, Jack Graham, knew about allegations in 1989 . . . and let him move on.
Read "Disturbing revelations" - WFAA-TV >
"...claims that pastors at Prestonwood failed to report" - ABP >
MS: Southern Baptist church wants secrecy for communications of admitted minister-molester
... effectively failing to fully cooperate with prosecutors' investigation. The church's attorney, Philip Gunn, is also a church elder and state representative.
"Email shows Gunn's role in abuse case"
Read more & more & more & more
Prestonwood saga shows clergy abuse database
"Most major faith groups...have denominational processes for assessing reports about clergy sex abuse. The Southern Baptist Convention does not."
Read more >
"Questions of cover-up"
at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas
"There are questions about whether Prestonwood church leaders tried to keep the incident under wraps." Admitted molesting minister church-hopped to MS. Prestonwood's senior pastor, former Southern Baptist president Jack Graham, "declined comment." Read more: WFAA News >
Associated Baptist Press > & WAPT News >
MS church tries to conceal what minister said: here & here
News Archive >
To make children safer, Baptists need:
1. A safe and welcoming place to receive reports about clergy sex abuse (particularly for cases that cannot be criminally prosecuted, which is most);
2. An objective, trained panel for responsibly assessing abuse reports (look to what other major faith groups do); and
3. An efficient means of assuring that assessment information reaches people in the pews -- i.e., a database.
ABC's 20/20: Preacher Predators
"What surprised us... is how little is being done to stop it."
Part 1 > Part 2 > Part 3 >
TIME ranks Southern Baptists' rejection of sex-offender database as a top "underreported" news story of 2008
"The lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping... makes it harder... to track allegations of abuse."
TIME's top 10 story >
Associated Baptist Press >
Southern Baptists reject sex-abuse database
"Under pressure to fight child sex abuse, the SBC's executive committee said…the denomination should not create its own database to help churches identity predators or establish an office to field abuse claims.” Associated Press >
"Instead of protecting its followers from sexual predators, Nashville's Southern Baptist Convention leaves churches to fend for themselves." Nashville Scene >
"The very fact that Baptist churches are autonomous signals that they need the information that the convention could provide." Tennessean editorial >
"To argue that a list of Southern Baptist ministers who are sexual predators violates the self-government of a local church is illogical." Burleson op-ed >
"Baptists miss an opportunity." Dallas Morning News editorial >
"Holy hypocrisy!" Winson-Salem Journal editorial >
"The SBC prevaricates by saying ...
... that the creation of a Baptist database would just confuse matters." Marci Hamilton, Princeton law professor
Read more >
CALL THE SUICIDE HOT LINE.
If you are having thoughts about suicide,
Your call will be connected to a certified crisis center nearest your location.