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Ed Litton, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, stated that the questioning report about sexual abuse claims are overdue. Also, he said that such rumors have always been out in the world that say that sexual abuse was happening. He explained that there were many attempted to bring the situation up during meetings. However, it was always disregarded.
The report that was done by Guidepost Solutions discovered that the top leader of the denomination has disregarded the claims of sexual abuse and belittled victims for over 20 years. The Guidepost Solution is an independent company that has a contract with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Committee of executives.
In a report consisting of 288 pages, it was discovered that victims and Southern Baptists that were concerned discussed the claims with the committee. However, the claims only resulted in hostile behavior from the committee numerous times.
Reports Made About Southern Baptist
This situation was made public in 2019 by San Antonio Express News as well as the Huston Chronicle. The two news crews reported hundreds of cases. Many accused abusers stayed in the ministry.
After the report, thousands of people voted to make a task force that is in charge of managing the third-party review.
Pastor Litton with Redemption Church located in Saraland, Alabama, chose the panel.
He explained that they had to go through a vigorous process that consisted of removing legal road blocks. This process helps create a complete and thorough investigation. Also, he said that he believes they have a rare disclosure from Southern Baptist to know what is truly going on.
The investigation discovered that leaders of Southern Baptist Convention had concerns about liability in the church and the reputation, so the concerns were ignored. He said that they were ignored even if that means molesters that were convicted remained in the ministry without warning or notice to the current church.
Now, leaders of the church need to determine how to put recommendations in place from Guidepost.
Southern Baptist Changes
Litton said church leaders plan to step in during the annual meeting in June located in Anaheim. They plan to present possible solutions to the people to vote on and discuss how to make needed systematic changes.
It was recommended by investigators that they create and maintain an information system on offenders that alerts the community to offenders known. Also, it was recommended that they provide a resource kit that include education, protocols, information, and training.
It was also recommended that they restrict agreements of nondisclosure and settlements of civil matters. These documents bind victims to confidentiality.
Litton questions how they will take to the reality as well as how will they change the culture of Southern Baptist.
He explained that members of the church are hurt, shocked, and angry.
Pastor Litton said that the bible is very clear on the matter. “Jesus said that what’s whispered in the backroom will be shouted from the rooftop. What sits in darkness will be revealed in the light. And so this is where we’re at, at this moment.”
Written by Marrissa Kay
The Washington Post: How two Texas newspapers broke open the Southern Baptist sex scandal; by Elahe Izadi
ABC News: Southern Baptist president says sexual abuse rumors were ‘always out there’; by Kiara Alfonseca
News 4 Jax: Southern Baptist Convention sex abuse report: 44 women made allegations against Jacksonville pastor; by Brie Isom and Deepa Bharath