MS - Statement made in a Mississippi courtroom by a victim of Rev. John Langworthy

Today has been a long time in coming – over 30 years ago.  I didn’t ever think I would see this day, and really didn’t want it to come to this in many ways, but it has.  Some would say that is simply too long ago, we must simply forgive and forget. And in some ways that is true.  We must forgive.  

And I want you to know John that I did a long time ago. Why we are here is not because of vengeance or retribution, it is not to get even or get payback. It is simply about bringing the darkness to the light. And that is not easy for victims to do. It takes a long time to process what happened to them and why and how people they trusted would betray them and harm them and then process all the mess that it makes inside a child who becomes an adult. It’s a lot to process. People who speak about the ridiculousness of it taking so long for this to happen simply weren’t victims. They can’t understand.

Let’s be honest though, that today was not of your choosing, but due to the diligence and hard work of 2 ladies in Texas and a victim from Texas to bring to light what had occurred and what we believe has still been occurring. Let it be clear that though it was said you were repentant and had confessed, you only confessed to those 2 victims, me and one other from TX, who had come forward at that time to let people know what had happened. You did not confess to the other 4 victims that came forward in Jackson until today! You confessed to sexual indiscretions with younger males in a church in MS and a church in TX, when in fact it was not sexual indiscretions, but you molested and sexually abused at least 5 children here and 3 were from another church. Even in your public confession and in private to those holding you accountable to put it in your words, you still didn’t tell the whole truth. Only to that which you got caught doing. There are many who support you who do not know the fact that you still haven’t told the truth until today. They believe that because it was a long time ago that we should forgive and forget. Forgive yes, and forget to some extent, however it never justifies what you did and that you should never be allowed to around children ever again and thankfully after today that will be very difficult for you.

There are other victims in Texas that you still have not admitted to molesting there and I believe some still here in MS, but I believe that one day it will come. I would encourage you to go ahead and come completely clean and name all your victims both here in MS and Texas and make a true confession and be truly repentant.

Let me also say that what you meant for evil to fulfill your sick, demented desires, God meant for good. The book of Genesis reminds us through the words of Joseph to his brothers after they had sold him for a slave into Egypt. I have seen God bring great good from great harm! God had done many things in my life, and has brought countless victims my way that I have been able to help, encourage, pray, and help them find their way and say those magical words, I know how you feel. I have spoken with teenagers, children, adults, mothers and fathers of children who were molested, and even visited just a few weeks ago with someone who was still struggling from abuse that happened to them 60 years earlier! You and perpetrators like you have left behind carnage on a battlefield that is indescribable.

What you did was evil, disgusting, reprehensible, degrading, manipulation at its worse and using people to get access to that which your depraved and sick mind wanted. Many of said and asked, well what about all the good? – I have spoken to many people in your past over these last 2 years – and so many are troubled by what you have done and wondering what about the good that you did? I am reminded that God uses all of us in spite of us and as the old saying goes, God can hit with a crooked stick. The only problem is that the good you did was only to hide the bad, to have access to fulfill your evil desires.
I am sorry for your family and your 2 daughters and what they have had to endure through these last 2 years. They are innocent just like I was and the rest of your victims – but God can turn it into good in their lives too. I will be praying for them as well.

I am glad that your Mother didn’t live to see this day and have to endure the pain that my mother has had to endure for these past 22 years when I was finally able to tell her what happened. You have caused more pain and agony in my family than any situation in our live outside of my Dad passing away this year. I am sad that my Dad wasn’t alive to see you brought to justice because he would have liked to have been here, to look you in the face and you know that he knew what you did. How you took advantage of my family’s care and concern for you, taking you in as another son in our home (which you did with many other families too), and you took advantage of that trust and twisted it to take advantage of helpless innocent children who loved you and trusted you.

But let me also say, I am not a victim, but I am a survivor by the grace of God! You do not and have not controlled my life or even the life of my family. I don’t hate you, I have forgiven you, in fact my heart is sad for you in many ways. That is why I am a survivor – victims are those who are still living in darkness, in shame, in fear, in hatred, in agony, but survivors are those who refuse to hate, are able to forgive, and not only their perpetrator to control them as a result. I plan to spend the rest of the days that the Lord gives me on this earth helping other victims and their families (in particular your other victims) find help, healing, and hope. That is what they need and what they deserve.

I pray that your will find healing for your soul and find a way forward from here. I have prayed for you and will continue to do so. The only way you will ever find peace and rest for your soul is when you come completely clean and confess to all of your victims so that they too can find the help, hope, and healing that they so desperately need and deserve.

Let me say in closing thanks to the Clinton Police Department and their 2 detectives, the Jackson Police Department, and most of all Jamie McBride and Shaunte’ Washington and those in the DA’s office for their pursuit in this case and helping all of us get this point. I don’t know how they do their job and deal with the people that they have to deal with on a daily basis, but I am grateful for them and their hard work to bring this case to a close. I am thankful for their compassion towards us and their determination to see this to the end.

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Our most powerful tool is the light of truth. Through our actions, we bring healing, prevention and justice.



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