Third report from the Houston Chronicle reveals troubling reports against youth ministers
The third installment of San Antonio Express News and Houston Chronicle's reports on the sex abuse crisis rampaging in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) makes a traumatic read. The subject covered in this part is youth ministers and youth pastors. Investigators have found over 100 of SBC youth ministers are registered sex offenders, have been charged with sex crimes or are in prison. Worryingly, in several cases, it was seen that predatory church personnel could exit one church and then get employed at another as the SBC does not maintain a former employee database, particularly for those accused of sexual abuse.
There is a large number of wayward SBC pastors spread across the United States. Many of these youth pastors get appointed to their positions with little formal training or oversight. They then use their positions to groom minors and sexually abuse them. These pastors mostly targeted teenage boys and girls and even molested younger children. These criminal activities took place in Sunday school rooms and in pastors' studies. One pastor asked 12-year-old girls for lurid details about their “temptations.” He masturbated online and shared sexual fantasies in front of a digital audience. He even urged the like-minded to send explicit images and visit his suburban home.
For victims, life has become a living hell. One said she is traumatized and she barely scrapes by on her days. Her pastor took away her innocence. He snatched her relationship with God which she cherished and was something special to her. The outcome? She does not trust any church person anymore. The pastor concerned had sent her sexually explicit photographs and texts when she was only 12 years of age.
It's crazy that there's no mention of revisiting the SBC's teachings on sex and gender. Are any of the SBC's (all male) leaders considering how conservative theology *might* have a role to play in abuse? https://t.co/lfHOgM0PiJ
— Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons (@GuthrieGF) February 14, 2019
The #SBC has known about sex abuse cases for decades from victim advocates and bloggers. They have chosen to do nothing until it became public with the Houston Chronicle articles. These are all male leaders who have turned blind eyes. Women leaders would have dealt with it! 👊
— Julie Anne (@DefendTheSheep) February 14, 2019
If there is a common element binding these criminal pastors, many did not attend seminary or college.