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SAN ANTONIO — Hundreds of Southern Baptist church leaders and workers have been accused of sexual misconduct over the past 20 years, including dozens who returned to church duties, according to a joint investigation by two newspapers.

The San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle reported Sunday that their six-month investigation found about 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and workers who were accused of sexual misconduct since 1998, leaving more than 700 victims. Some were as young as 3 years old while others were adults when they were abused, the newspapers reported.

About 220 offenders — among them pastors, ministers, Sunday school teachers, deacons and church volunteers — have been convicted or have taken plea deals, with dozens of cases still pending. Nearly 100 are still in prison, according to state and federal records. Dozens of others made plea deals and served no time. More than 100 are registered sex offenders, and some have returned to the pulpit. At least 35 church pastors, employees and volunteers who exhibited predatory behavior were still able to find jobs at churches.

Several past presidents and prominent Southern Baptist Convention leaders have been accused of concealing or mishandling abuse complaints within their churches or seminaries, the newspapers reported.

In 2008, a victim implored Southern Baptist Convention leaders to track sexual predators, act against congregations that harbored or concealed abusers and establish sexual abuse prevention policies such as those adopted by other faiths, including the Roman Catholic Church. But the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee rejected the proposals.

The committee’s interim president, August Boto, who drafted that rejection document, expressed “sorrow” on Sunday about the newspapers’ findings.

A Section on 02/11/2019

Print Headline: Southern Baptist abuse claims put at 380


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Archived Comments

  • limb
    February 11, 2019 at 7:47 a.m.

    Hutchinson and Scott can look past this denomination’s refusal to confront sexual abuse.

  • RBear
    February 11, 2019 at 8:05 a.m.

    Great story in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News. One of my good friends, John Tedesco, was one of the reporters who broke the story. Disgusting how leaders in this denomination hid the sexual abuse by ministers, some who continued as ministers in the church while still being listed as sexual offenders. It is sad that it took something like this to wake up the church's leaders. However, most of their statements seem very shallow.

  • mrcharles
    February 11, 2019 at 8:09 a.m.

    Yeah but, the pointed fingers by the Baptist against the papist seems a little hypocritical.
    Perhaps this abuse by talking primates can be traced back to even the times we were covered with hair, had bad teeth and generally unattractive but still some members desired to get to know other members of our species..or could it be being created in the image of a deity it is our design not us that is the fault.
    And to think rev. Floyd, yells about damage by satan's gay agenda..big glass house he lives in to carelessly throw rocks around.

  • BoudinMan
    February 11, 2019 at 8:24 a.m.

    Well, they do support the creep-in-chief. You know, he of the sneak entrance into the dressing room of teenage girls. He who said to Howard Stern that his daughter was so hot, if she weren't his daughter he would probably want to date her. Yeah, he's creepy enough. But, all you high minded moralists, go ahead and continue to support him.

  • PopMom
    February 11, 2019 at 10:07 a.m.

    Maybe they should think about letting people drink and smoke.

  • Illinoisroy
    February 11, 2019 at 10:22 a.m.

    Isn't this the same cult that said women should be subservient to their husbands?

  • Waitjustaminute
    February 11, 2019 at 10:26 a.m.

    I know good pastors, but I have had experience with some who suffer from an acute case of pastoral arrogance. Unfortunately, this article doesn't shock me.
    As for the Trump support, I read an article a couple of weeks ago that covered the polling numbers showing there was actually a difference in support between people who identify as fundamentalist Christians and attend services regularly versus those who identify that way but who don't attend services regularly (the 'marrying and burying Christians' who only come for weddings, funerals, and maybe Easter). It was no surprise to discover that the Trump support was much higher among the second group than among the first.

  • Seitan
    February 11, 2019 at 11:10 a.m.

    And this is yet another reason I want religionists to stay out of my life and politics.