SBTC will hire sexual abuse and survivor care consultant

GRAPEVINE—As part of an increasing effort to address sexual abuse concerns and allegations in Southern Baptists of Texas Convention churches, the SBTC has announced it will hire a consultant for sexual abuse and survivor care.

The consultant will advise SBTC staff in matters pertaining to sexual abuse, assist in the development of abuse prevention and survivor care resources and action plans, and speak directly with inquiring church leaders to give counsel when sexual abuse is reported in their congregations. Additionally, the SBTC Credentials Committee will have the liberty to seek the advisement of the consultant when questions of a church’s affiliation status relate to claims of sexual abuse.

“We are still in the process of refining the role and seeking the right person,” SBTC Associate Executive Director Tony Wolfe said. “This is a position of great importance, and it deserves our diligence.”

Wolfe added that the SBTC is hoping to use a trained and licensed professional in the area of counseling and trauma care to assist in listening well and speaking sensitively with survivors of abuse when opportunities arise.

On Tuesday, in a special-called meeting conducted via Zoom, the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and Interim CEO Willie McLaurin issued “a formal apology to abuse survivors on behalf of the entire EC,” Baptist Press reported. The apology came after the EC on Sunday released the findings of an independent report conducted by Guidepost Solutions into its alleged mishandlings of sexual abuse claims over a span of decades. The report was overwhelmingly requested by Southern Baptists at last year’s annual meeting in Nashville.

During the Zoom meeting, the EC said it planned to release a previously unpublished list of 585 alleged and convicted abusers collected by Augie Boto, who is a former EC vice president for convention policy and general counsel.

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, SBTC Executive Director Nathan Lorick said, “Sexual abuse is an egregious form of sexual immorality that is clearly ungodly, morally corrupt, and a sin against God. Upon release of the list, the SBTC will thoroughly review the names, evaluating any level of association that currently exists or has existed between these names and affiliated SBTC churches. We will report to law enforcement where appropriate, and each instance will be carefully considered by our SBTC Credentials Committee.”

 

Most Read

Jesus film entirely in sign language is historic first for Deaf community

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (BP)—When Joseph Josselyn of “Jesus: A Deaf Missions Film” lost his hearing as a toddler, life became “a little painful at times” as he grew, accepted Jesus and worshipped God in the hearing …

Stay informed on the news that matters most.

Stay connected to quality news affecting the lives of southern baptists in Texas and worldwide. Get Texan news delivered straight to your home and digital device.