“We want our churches to be as safe as possible as soon as possible.” This is the goal of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), according to its president, J. D. Greear.
Ahead of the SBC’s annual meeting that begins tomorrow in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Greear and other Southern Baptist leaders are responding to an unprecedented sexual abuse crisis facing their denomination. They are seeking ways to hold churches more accountable for allowing such abuse and to keep people in their churches safe.
After reviewing thousands of pages of legal documents over six months, the Houston Chronicle found that 380 Southern Baptist pastors and church officials were accused of a myriad of sexual assault charges including everything from groping to rape.
This story in yesterday’s Houston Chronicle pains me deeply: “20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms.” Reporters at the Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News began an investigation last year “to compile an archive of allegations of sexual abuse, sexual assault and other serious misconduct involving Southern Baptist pastors and other church officials.”
Answering criticism about his attendance at the White House evangelical dinner, Southern Baptist Convention president J.D. Greear says he attended“ in order to listen and meet other leaders and offer perspective where asked."