I have been isolated these days and am not privy to anything going on behind the scenes, but I just saw a statement by the Executive Committee of the SBC. Evidently, this is some part of a settlement but I do not know what went on behind the scenes to make this statement happen. Here is the statement.
Here is what I know.
- Jennifer Lyell was abused in a most despicable way by a Southern Baptist leader. She did not have a “consensual affair” – she was groomed, abused, and mistreated horribly.
- Every single one of our leaders who examined the details of her abuse agreed that she had been abused. These are entity leaders and prominent pastors who agreed that she was a victim of abuse.
- Leaders at the Executive Committee (I don’t know exactly who but I have a good idea – not naming names) decided to continue the attack against her. They used Baptist Press as the organ of their attack, reporting this as if it were an affair rather than abuse.
- Jennifer has sought to have the record corrected and leaders at the Executive Committee, under the previous administration, refused. I must make it clear that as far as I am aware, Jonathan Howe wanted to set the record straight and made efforts to do so, but others refused to allow him to do the right thing.
- Jennifer left her job at LifeWay (I am unsure how voluntary her resignation was – others can clarify) largely because the new administration was affected by the false story coming out of the EC and Baptist Press.
- Jennifer appealed repeatedly to Ronnie Floyd to correct this mistaken impression and to make the truth clear. For whatever reason, Floyd refused to speak the truth about Ms. Lyell’s abuse.
- This statement is something to rejoice about, even if it is several years late. It seems to be a new day at the Executive Committee.
- Rumors and false accusations have swirled for years. A lot of Baptists have sinned against Jen Lyell by spreading gossip and making these accusations and need to repent. We need to stop blaming women for their abuse. We need to speak truth.
For the time being, I will leave comments open. Slander against Jennifer Lyell will not be tolerated. Not even a little bit. I simply will not allow it.