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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

April 18, 2007

Six pedophile preachers still listed on national Southern Baptist website

Convicted clergy were publicly exposed last week by ABC 20/20 program

Yet they remain on Southern Baptist Convention's list of 'serving' ministers

'Take them off & start separate list of credibly accused molesters,' victims urge

Predatory ministers are mostly from the South: AL, TN, TX, FL, MD, & VA

A support group for clergy molestation victims is urging officials of the nation's largest Protestant denomination to remove convicted child molesters from its registry of ministers.

Last Friday, ABC’s 20/20 program spotlighted "preacher predators" and pointed out that the Southern Baptist Convention has at least six convicted child molesters on its website's list of ministers.

"This is a frightening example of institutional denial," said David Clohessy of St. Louis , national director for the Chicago-based support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and other Clergy (SNAPnetwork.org). "Rather than getting those names off the ministerial registry and their website, Southern Baptist officials are blaming the messenger and ignoring the risk and the callous signal their inaction sends."

"Most ordinary, decent people would expect that religious figures would immediately take action after learning that their ministerial registry includes convicted child molesters," said SNAP-Baptist coordinator, Christa Brown of Austin, Texas , who heads a website called StopBaptistPredators.org. "Decent people might also expect that religious officials would care enough to make a public apology to the families who long endured the salt in the wound of seeing men who molested their kids continue to be publicly held forth as Southern Baptist ministers. But contrary to the reasonable expectations of decent people, Southern Baptist officials apparently don’t see the need."

For over eight months, SNAP leaders have been urging Southern Baptist officials to implement specific child safety strategies, but without success.

"Not only should convicted child molesters be taken off the registry of ministers," said Clohessy, "but Southern Baptist officials need to start listing all convicted, confessed and credibly accused ministers so that people in the pews can be informed about the ministers with whom they trust their kids. There’s no good reason why the largest Protestant denomination in the country can’t implement simple, proven effective measures to make kids in Baptist churches safer."

On Monday, the Convention's lawyer, D. August Boto, told the Baptist Press that their registry is not a list of "available ministers" but instead a list of "serving ministers."

The six convicted sex offenders on the SBC's ministerial registry are:
1) Garett Dykes, from Wetumpka, AL;
2) Greg Dempsey, from Chattanooga, TN;
3) John O. McKay, from Hondo, TX;
4) Doug Myers, from Eustis, FL who also worked at churches n AL and MD;
5) Larry Nuell Neathery from Fort Worth, TX;
6) Kenneth Payne, from Lynchburg, VA.

For more information:
David Clohessy, SNAP national director, 314-566-9790, snapclohessy@aol.com
Christa Brown, SNAP-Baptist coordinator, 512-217-1730, christa@stopbaptistpredators.org

Baptist Press statement:
http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=25398


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