SBC releases secret list of ministers accused of abuse
The document published online late Thursday by the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention reads “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL” at the top. It contains a 205-page index of SBC ministers accused of sexual abuse. The Executive Committee earlier this week published the report of an outside investigator on denominational leaders’ mishandling of allegations of abuse over the past two decades. The committee submitted the list to the firm Guidepost Solutions as part of the investigation and released the list Thursday in its original but redacted form. “Each entry in this list reminds us of the devastation and destruction brought about by sexual abuse,” the committee said in a statement.
Where did the list come from? The staff of the Executive Committee began compiling it in 2007 as a denominational committee called the Bylaws Workgroup began researching the scope of the sexual abuse problem in the SBC. At that time, survivors and advocates unsuccessfully lobbied for a public database of ministers credibly accused of sexual abuse to ensure they could not move between churches unnoticed. Most of the information on the list comes from local news reports. The Executive Committee said it redacted the names of abuse survivors and of alleged perpetrators who were accused but not convicted or didn’t admit guilt. The committee said it was still researching the outcomes of many cases on the list, and it could release some of the redacted information in the future.
Dig deeper: View the list on the SBC website (warning: it contains descriptions of sexual abuse) and listen to my interviews with SBC pastors about the report on The World and Everything in It podcast.
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