The Executive Committee meeting of last evening was remarkable and unprecedented in a number of ways. For the SBC President to call on an official SBC committee to review the standing of a list of churches for their handling of sex abuse is quite astonishing. The Biblical Recorder put it this way:
He called the bylaws workgroup of the administrative committee to do due diligence in reviewing the standing of the following churches mentioned in recent media reports on sexual abuse to determine whether they have a “faith and practice which closely identifies” with the Baptist Faith & Message:
• Arapaho Baptist Church, Garland, Texas
• Bolivar Baptist Church, Sanger, Texas
• Brentwood Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
• Cathedral of Faith, Houston, Texas
• Eastside Baptist Church, Marietta, Ga.
• First Baptist Church, Bedford, Texas
• Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
• Sovereign Grace Church, Louisville, Ky.
• Trinity Baptist Church, Ashburn, Ga.
• Turner Street Baptist Church, Springdale, Ark.
All ten of these churches were named in the Houston Chronicle story. The two most notable churches in the list are the massive Second Baptist, Houston, where former SBC President Ed Young is pastor and Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville, C. J. Mahaney, pastor.
Quite remarkable to see this done. It would be an example of leveraging autonomy.
From the Tennessean:
Greear: “I am not calling for disfellowshipping any of these churches at this point, but these churches must be called upon to give assurances to the Southern Baptist Convention that they have taken the necessary steps to correct their policies and procedures with regards to abuse and survivors,” Greear said.
The Houston Chronicle aggregates a handful of these and probably wins some journalistic award. If one is looking at cases where abuse and abusers were handled poorly, find a way to access all of Bob Allen’s hundreds of stories on individual abuse cases. Allen is a reporter for Baptist News Global, formerly Associated Baptist Press. He’s been covering these for well over a decade.