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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Letters

Letter to First Baptist Church of Atlanta

 

February 6, 2007

Dr. Charles Stanley
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church of Atlanta
4400 North Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30338

Dear Dr. Stanley,

Last Sunday, SNAP members attempted to hand out a flyer to your congregants as they left the morning worship service. A copy of it is enclosed. As you can see, it would have informed them that your former children’s minister, the Rev. Tommy Gilmore, is known to have sexually abused a church girl in Texas.

Church officials directed us to leave the premises and apparently called the police. Frankly, our members were treated rudely.

Information about Gilmore was previously sent to your church back in May 2005 and again in January 2006. The information was sent by the now-grown victim and by the prior Dallas church, which made a written apology for Gilmore’s "very serious sexual abuse."

In light of those prior letters, members of your congregation should have been informed about Gilmore long ago. We have no reason, however, to believe this was ever done. Secrecy serves only the predators.

We are very concerned that Gilmore may have had other victims in Atlanta, possibly kids who grew up in your church. Rather than trying to evict those who bring this information to light, your church leaders should be reaching out with transparency, begging any other witnesses or victims to speak up and offering counseling to assist in their healing.

SNAP has many years of experience in working toward the prevention of clergy sex abuse and in helping victims heal. We ask you for the opportunity to share our pain and our wisdom about abusive clergy with your congregation. We ask that a SNAP representative be allowed to speak at a morning service soon, for the benefit of your congregation.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

David Clohessy, SNAP National Director
snapclohessy@aol.com

Christa Brown, SNAP-Baptist Coordinator
christa@stopbaptistpredators.org



Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org