TX--Victims want church's help
Victims want church’s help
Two accused predators worked there
One’s in prison; the other’s at a different church
Self help group says “If you were hurt, come forward”
It also urges Houston congregation to “do outreach to others”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
--release a police report about an alleged predatory minister at a huge Houston church,
--urge victims of his – or of another predatory minister at the same church - to step forward, and
--beg anyone who many have seen or suspected crimes – by either man - to call police.
They will also prod current and former church officials to use pulpit announcements and website pleas to encourage anyone with knowledge of or suspicions about either minister to speak up.
Thursday, Jan. 9 at 12:30 p.m.
Outside a mega-church, Second Baptist, 6400 Woodway (corner of Voss) in Houston
Three members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a Missouri woman who is the organization’s assistant Midwest director
SNAP is worried about more possible victims two former Second Baptist ministers, both accused of crimes.
The first is Chad Foster, a young minister who was sentenced in April to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to raping a 16-year-old girl in 2011 and soliciting another teen online.
The second is Eddie Struble, a music minister who faces no civil or criminal charges but is the subject of a Spring Valley police report accusing him of stalking a boy in 2009.
SNAP says that Struble abused a boy (roughly from ages 14-17) who Struble met at the church.
Struble now helps lead worship at Birchman Baptist church in Fort Worth, TX. He has also taught private voice lessons and worked as a vocal coach at Hits Theatre in Houston http://www.hitstheatre.org/
After leaving Second Baptist Church, Struble worked at Humble Area First Baptist Church http://www.hafbc.com/ where he was reportedly asked to leave because of “suspicious behavior.”
(Source: phone call from Pastor Barry Jeffries to Amy Smith of SNAP, see Amy’s blog: http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2011/10/whats-at-stake-protecting-and.html)
Struble plays an active role in Southern Baptist Convention events. He was the worship leader for the NACBA (National Association of Church Business Administration) National Conference Planning Team in Houston in 2012. http://www.nacba.net/documents/annual%20report.pdf page 10
Last July, he led a session on “saving ministry dollars” at NACBA conference in Charlotte. http://www.nacba.net/Documents/2013_Conf_Brochure.pdf
Struble likely works for his father’s company: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/edward-struble/15/960/393
SNAP believes that church officials have a moral and civic duty, when confronted with proof or credible allegations of wrongdoing, to aggressively seek out victims, witnesses and whistleblowers and beg them to call police and prosecuted so that those who commit or conceal crimes – especially against children – will be charged, convicted and jailed which prevents future crimes and cover ups.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.