SNAP
Press
Release



BACK TO:


Roster of Press Releases



 

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Group blasts church over accused child molester

Minister is charged with sexually abusing a teenager

Still, he remains in his post at Church of God in Christ

SNAP to church officials: "Why take risks with children's safety?"

"It's good to forgive," group says, "but it's wrong to be reckless with kids"

Self help organization urges church members to fight pastor’s “dangerous decision”

Denominational staff should hold open public meeting with Q & A session over "irresponsible move"

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims will hold a sidewalk news conference outside a church that is generating controversy by keeping a recently arrested music minister in his post. They will also
-urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered the man's crimes to come forward, get help & call police,
-offer to speak to the congregation about how to respond appropriately when child sex charges emerge, and
-prod denominational officials to hold an open public meeting at the church to address the controversy

WHEN
Tuesday, Dec. 1, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the COGIC headquarters, 930 Mason Street in Memphis

WHO
Two sex abuse victims who are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Memphis man who is the organization’s local director

WHY
On Nov. 17, Dwayne "DJ" Wilson, 25, was arrested Nov. 17. He’s charged with statutory rape involving a teenaged church member.

Despite this, church staffers, including Pastor Ronald Rolfe (785 0756, ronrol@aol.com), have kept Wilson in his post as music minister at Greater St. Mark’s COGIC Church (3570 Weaver Road in Memphis, 789 0744). His wife Paula is at QueenRolfe@aol.com

SNAP believes this is a reckless move that will only put kids in harm's way. Forgiving someone is a private and often healing act. But giving a known child predator an exalted title and role and access to kids is a public and always risky act, the organization says.

SNAP also wants the denominational leaders to give church members, some of whom are apparently threatening to quit over the controversy, a chance to ask questions about the move.

The pastor claims that forgiveness is required. That, SNAP says, is “misguided at best, and dangerous at worst.” The group feels that our first duty – moral and civic – is to help keep youngsters and adults, by sharing what we know about possible crimes with law enforcement. Once sex offenders are convicted and jailed, SNAP thinks, then they can be forgiven (but never again given positions of power in congregations).

SNAP is convinced that a truly remorseful or 'reformed' sex offender would not even seek a position at a church, just as a truly repentant and sober alcoholic wouldn't seek a job in a tavern.

According to the Commercial Appeal, Wilson is out on bond and is scheduled to appear in court December 9.

http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.sp?S=11587808
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/nov/29/music-minister-charged-with-rape-of-girl-16

CONTACT
David Brown 901 569 4500, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell


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