My name is DEBBIE ALTER VASQUEZ
I was 14 Years old when this began. (1973) I was 15 Years old when this so called “Man of God” raped me. The abuse began at a Baptist church in Lewisville, Texas. This went on for many years. I became pregnant with his child (which I can prove). When it was found out that he was the father of my child, I was told to go before the church and confess that I was a pregnant – unwed – teenage girl and to ask their forgiveness. However, I was told NOT to tell who the father was as that would “HURT THE CHURCH”. I did as I was told. He just went to Arizona and became the pastor of a church there. Then he came back to Texas and became the pastor of another Baptist church in Denton County. He is still at that church as the pastor, even though I have told and there is a lawsuit in place.
Before doing a lawsuit, I had tried to get the Baptist General Convention of Texas to do something – THEY DID NOT.
When I found out about another child possibly being abused by him – I contacted both the police and the child protective services – But was told they could do nothing, unless I was able to get the name of that child from him. I tried, but could not get her name.
The people who represent his church had decided that the church body does not need to know this and have chosen to keep him in the pulpit and to put others at risk.
Changes need to take place. The Baptist General Convention of Texas and other Baptist leaders need to change the way they do things and start protecting children that are at risk instead of the abuser. I want others to know that they need to speak up. Even to this day – the victims are blamed and made to feel ashamed.
This must change.
by Debbie Vasquez, 2006