Southern Baptist Convention presidential candidate Mike Stone says “one of the first things” he would do if elected SBC president is appoint a new sex abuse task force.
According to ChurchLeader.com, Stone said the new task force would be “more biblical” than the current Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force.
The new task force, he added, would “signal to the churches of our convention that we are moving on a different trajectory,” even as its strategy will be “resourcing, equipping, training our churches to deal more lovingly, more compassionately, more biblically with abuse when it occurs.”
Stone is the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Georgia, and he is also on the steering council for the Conservative Baptist Network.
In April, he accepted a nomination to be SBC president. Local church representatives will vote on a new president at the SBC annual meeting in June in New Orleans.
Also in contention for the SBC presidential role is current SBC president Bart Barber.
Stone was previously considered for the role, but in 2021, he lost to Ed Litton.
In recent talks about his SBC presidential nomination, Stone also referred to his plans, saying he would “not allow an advisor to serve the task force who, it is known on SBC Twitter, is advising people on how to sue the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Stone was referring to Rachael Denhollander, an attorney and abuse survivor and advocate who has been advising the ARITF. Criticism has recently surfaced that Denhollander may be advising SBC abuse survivors on their “legal options,” including suing the SBC.
He also said that he would not push for a database that included the names of people accused of a crime but who have not been convicted or have not confessed.
In the 2022 report from Guidepost Solution, Stone was named in the report for allegedly covering up the sexual misconduct of another pastor and intimidating witnesses. Stone has denied those allegations.
Photo courtesy: ©SBC/Public Domain
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.