KY--Victims blast new Southern Baptist national president
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 15, 2016
We’re disappointed that the Southern Baptist Convention just elected Bellevue Baptist pastor Steve Gaines as president. He covered up abuse by minister Paul Williams for at least six months.
No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Baptist churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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)
Abuse Thrives in Silence
Column by Wendy C. Thomas - The Memphis Commercial Appeal, January 14, 2007
When Bellevue Baptist minister Paul Williams asked Beth to describe the sexual abuse she endured as a girl, she wondered why he needed to know.
After all, Beth (not her real name) was simply there for the one-on-one counseling that abuse survivors undergo before they can volunteer in the church's nursery.
"I've always heard that people who abuse were abused," Beth said, so she shrugged off the icky feelings, assuming the questions were part of the church's measures to protect kids from predators.
Williams wanted to know if . . .
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.