Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests
Sexual Abuse Charges
Against Florida Baptist Minister Robert Gray
August 17, 2006
Our hearts go out to the courageous survivors who have come forward in
Jacksonville, Florida, with reports of having been molested as kids by
Baptist minister Robert Gray. SNAP is a support group for survivors of
clergy sex abuse, and so we know the sort of horrific harm that is caused
when a trusted religious leader abuses the young and vulnerable. SNAP
was founded by survivors of abuse committed by Catholic priests, but we
reach out to clergy abuse survivors in all faith traditions. In particular,
we have been receiving more and more reports from survivors of abuse committed
by Protestant ministers.
We know that clergy abuse and its cover-up occurs in all faith traditions.
In another Florida-related incident, a SNAP member recently settled a
lawsuit about the abuse inflicted on her by a Southern Baptist minister
who was found working in an Orlando megachurch. Court documents provided
evidence that at least one and possibly two other ministers had knowledge
of the abuse, and that the Baptist General Convention of Texas had placed
the minister's name in its secret file of "known offenders."
Yet, the man was able to continue in ministry in Florida. When the victim
reported the abuse to church and denominational leaders, no one even bothered
to help her locate the perpetrator. Ultimately, she contacted more than
a dozen Baptist leaders in four different states, including leadership
at the Florida Baptist Convention in Jacksonville. Yet, the man still
remained in ministry. Not until she filed a lawsuit and an Orlando Sentinel
reporter made news of the lawsuit public was the man finally made to resign.
To anyone else who may have been abused by minister Robert Gray, or by
any other minister, we urge you to report it to the police, no matter
how long ago it happened. Whatever shame you may feel, it doesn't belong
to you. All of the shame and guilt belongs to the abusive clergy and to
any other church and denominational leaders who turned a blind eye. You
can find a starting place for support and information at www.snapnetwork.org.
SNAP seeks to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Miguel Prats, SNAP - Texas, 713-305-0159, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christa Brown, SNAP - Baptist, 512-329-5161, email@example.com
of those Abused by Priests