IL--Ex-Springfield minister faces child sex charges
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 22, 2016
A hearing is set for next month for a former Springfield minister who faces child sex charges in Chicago but was also investigated for similar crimes in 1990. We urge Baptist officials in Springfield and Chicago to
Rev. George W. Waddles Sr. worked in the 1980s at Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Springfield (601 E, Laurel St, 217-528-6113), which is apparently the city’s first African American congregation. We fear he may have sexually assaulted girls there too.
Rev. Waddles was also president of the Springfield-based Baptist General State Convention of Illinois and the education arm of the Nashville-based National Baptist Convention (615-228-6292) and is the co-founder of the WHW Ministries (888-949-2378). Officials at those organizations have a moral and civic duty to try to find others with information or suspicions about Rev. Waddles and beg them to call police.
Last year, Rev. Waddles was charged with repeatedly molesting a 15 year old Chicago girl. “Two other church members said that Waddles attacked them, prosecutors said, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
In an act of stunning recklessness, Rev. Waddles' congregation is letting him stay on the job, despite these serious and credible charges. And his Baptist colleagues are keeping silent. Shame on all of them.
For the safety of kids, we believe he should resign, at least temporarily, until this case is resolved. Or his flock should force him to resign.
Rev. Waddles allegedly tried to hug and kiss a then-13 year old girl several times during counseling sessions and meetings at his church. The pastor has worked at the church for two decades.
Rev. Samuel W. Hale took over the Springfield church after Waddles left. We urge him to do what Jesus told us to do in the parable of the good shepherd – to leave the 99, go out into the dark, the cold, and the rain to find and help that one lost sheep – the one current or former church member who was hurt by Rev. Waddles in Springfield.
We urge other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward, call police, expose wrongdoing and protect kids.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Family recounts interactions with South Side pastor charged with assault
Matt McCall - Chicago Tribune
For more than a decade the modest Gresham neighborhood church was the center of the family's life.
The mother was a church council member, praise leader and Sunday school teacher. Her daughter was in the youth ministry.
They said they felt the Rev. George Waddles Sr., the charismatic pastor and leader of Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, was . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.