For decades, Southern Baptist Convention leaders have not punished sexual abusers within a church, reports state. Also, the mouth-dropping report also stated the leaders also silenced and intimidated the victims of the abuse. The news comes out after a third-party investigator completed its report.
“Our investigation revealed that, for many years, a few senior [Executive Committee] leaders, along with outside counsel, largely controlled the [Executive Committee’s] response to these reports of abuse,” the report’s summary states. “They closely guarded information about abuse allegations and lawsuits, which were not shared with EC Trustees, and were singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC to the exclusion of other considerations.”
The findings allege that for about two decades a small group of leaders has ignored appeals by the abuse survivors who have been seeking help. The small group of leaders comes from an overall 86-person Executive Committee.
The report is 400 pages which are broken down into seven parts and two appendices. The investigation included 330 interviews and reviews of internal documents from the Southern Baptist Convention dating back to Jan. 1 of 2000. One individual named in the claim is former president, Johnny Hunt. He is being accused of committing sexual abuse to members of the church – including the wife of the Southern Baptist Convention’s pastor, on July 25, 2010.
Furthermore, the report states the Executive Committee leaders have a list of abuse complaints which has 703 accused abusers — 409 are believed to be connected to SOuthern Baptist Convention at some point.
As of now, there are nine alleged abusers who are still active in the ministry or connected to the church at Southern Baptist Convention, per reports.