The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding 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. See

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 SNAP seeks to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.

David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314-566-9790,
Miguel Prats, SNAP - Texas, 713-305-0159,
Christa Brown, SNAP - Baptist, 512-329-5161,




Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests