The Southern Baptist Convention recently promised to address concerns regarding allegations of sexual abuse coming from inside the church. A detailed article on both the allegations made and the investigation underway is available here.
The church—the largest Protestant denomination in the United States—said it would address the problem at its annual gathering of thousands of pastors.
The call for an investigation follows allegations that an 11-year-old girl had been sexually abused by a minister at a church summer camp held for children. The summer camp was presented by the Village Church—an Evangelical megachurch in Hurst, Texas.
A Widespread Problem
While Evangelical churches have traditionally distanced themselves from the claims of sexual abuse that have plagued the Catholic Church, they have faced similar allegations themselves.
Previously, Southern Baptists have long dismissed cases of sexual abuse as a product of corruption. They now face their very own sexual misconduct allegations.
Since 1998, more than 400 leaders inside the Southern Baptist Church—ranging from youth pastors to top ministers—have pled guilty to charges of sexual abuse.
Sources indicate over 700 abuse victims are involved in these claims. A number of church leaders have been convicted of sex crimes and others have been forced to resign in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct.
Closure in One Case
In the Texas case, the former associate children’s minister of Village Church has been investigated by police. He has since been indicted and arrested on charges of sexually molesting the young girl.
The girl’s mother says the church’s interest in investigating allegations was overshadowed by their instinct to protect the institution. The Village Church uses a written membership agreement which prohibits members from suing the church. It instead requires mediation and binding arbitration.
We Can Help
If you or a loved one have suffered sexual abuse in an institutional setting, call the experienced North Carolina sexual abuse attorneys at Henson Fuerst today at 919-781-1107.
To make sure your voice is heard, contact the legal team at Henson Fuerst today. Call 919-781-1107 or complete a free initial consultation form. We have a long history of advocating for the rights of people suffering mistreatment—and will treat your case with respect and compassion.
When you call, you will speak with one of our experienced institutional abuse attorneys. They will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you and fight hard to protect your rights. At Henson Fuerst, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front—and you owe us nothing unless we recover for you.