Last week, the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual conference in Anaheim, Calif. This year’s event, attended by thousands of delegates, known within the SBC as Messengers, was held under the shadow of a 288-page report released in May detailing the church’s handling of sexual abuse.
The report described how top leadership within the organization not only ignored, but also at times treated with disdain, the individuals who approached them to report instances of child molestation and other forms of sexual abuse at the hands of pastors and church staff.
During the 2022 convention, delegates passed measures to combat sexual abuse, including the creation of a database of those involved as well as a resolution encouraging lawmakers to make it a crime for pastors to sexually abuse parishioners. There was also an apology to victims.
New SBC leadership was also announced, including the election of Arkansas native Bart Barber as president of the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.
Democrat-Gazette religion editor Frank Lockwood, who attended the Southern Baptist Convention, joins Capitol & Scott host Lara Farrar to share insights into this year’s annual meeting as the leadership continues to grapple with nearly two decades of reports of sexual abuse that were buried to protect those at the top.
Email Frank Lockwood: firstname.lastname@example.org
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