SEXUAL ABUSE STATEMENT
On May 22 at 4:00pm ET, Guidepost Solutions, the independent investigation firm commissioned to investigate the allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up attempts inside the Executive Committee (EC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), found credible evidence of these allegations. The investigation was almost 300 pages long and interviewed 330 people. The full report can be read at www.sbc.net/satf/.
The primary points from this report deal with intentional efforts to cover up sexual abuse allegations from top EC personnel to protect the integrity and work of the SBC. The allegations repeatedly accuse the EC of prioritizing the SBC over individuals who were bringing the allegations. The report also details how several convicted or accused pastors and ministry leaders were able to obtain other ministerial positions in different states because of a lack of coordinated reporting and tracking efforts within the SBC.
In light of the Guidepost Solutions Report, the Sexual Abuse Task Force will be making recommendations that the SBC will consider as it meets this month in Anaheim, California, for the 2022 Annual Convention. Upon approval of those recommendations at the SBC annual meeting, we as Sarepta Leadership Team, will determine the next steps of response for Sarepta.
Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director W. Thomas Hammond Jr said:
We are all grieved by the findings of the Guidepost Solutions investigation. The report submitted through the SBC’s Sexual Abuse Task Force revealed disturbing and egregious acts committed on some of our most vulnerable.
We recognize the courage of survivors who continued to share their stories and bravely pursue action from their leaders. We must pray for God to provide strength and healing for all survivors as well as wisdom for everyone dealing with abusive situations.
Let us commit ourselves to doing all we can so every place of worship is a safe place for everyone. The Special Committee on Sexual Abuse appointed by GBC President Kevin Williams will bring recommendations at our state convention in November to assist Georgia Baptists with safety policies, guidelines and procedures.
As we walk through this difficult time together as Southern Baptists, may we completely depend upon the Lord for wisdom and courage while carefully weighing the recommendations and considering our next steps. We appreciate the hard work invested by the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force. May the report submitted provide the clarity and instruction needed to move forward.
As the leadership team of Sarepta Baptist Missions Network (SBMN), we agree with our state director. We need to pray. Also, we want to communicate the plan for our network of 75 churches and how we will respond to any allegations that come from one of our churches. Today, there are two options to report an instance of abuse, by phone 202-864-5578, SBChotline@guidepostsulutions.com or call 911.
In the days and months ahead, we will have a more accurate picture of how we can help those who have suffered from this awful abuse and a comprehensive plan to address any accusations that come to SBMN. Please join us in prayer for the Victims of sexual abuse, the SBC and their annual meeting, the GBMB annual meeting and our meetings, and our testimony here in our community. May we walk worthy of the name in which we are called.
In Our LORD’s Service
Sarepta Leadership Team