Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention said Friday that several of the denomination’s major entities are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in the wake of its multiple problems related to clergy sex abuse.
In this issue of A Public Witness, we call on state attorneys general to open investigations into Southern Baptist entities and conventions. After reviewing reactions to the Guidepost report, we build our case by examining the precedent set with similar state investigations into the Catholic Church.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee has offered a public apology and a confidential monetary settlement to sexual abuse survivor Jennifer Lyell, who was mischaracterized by the denomination’s in-house news service when she decided to go public with her story in March 2019.
In recent weeks, state Baptist groups in North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, and California have set up committees or task forces to address sexual abuse. Attempts to set up similar responses failed in Mississippi and Missouri.
As a national task force investigates how the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee dealt with allegations of clergy sexual abuse, a motion coming this week at the Missouri Baptist Convention’s annual meeting will propose a similar task force for Southern Baptists in the Show-Me State.
A top committee of the Southern Baptist Convention agreed Tuesday (Oct. 5) to open up legally protected records to investigators who will look into how it handled, or mishandled, cases of sexual abuse within the nation’s largest Protestant denomination over the past two decades.
Amid debates within the Southern Baptist Convention over investigating clergy sexual abuse, a trustee of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission penned a letter attacking former ERLC President Russell Moore.
On Tuesday, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee called for a further week of deliberations with a special task force on sexual abuse after failing to agree on the ground rules for a third party review commissioned to study the denomination’s handling of abuse claims.
Members of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee remain divided on whether to waive attorney-client privilege as part of the investigation — despite the fact that SBC messengers voted for such waving of privilege.