SNAP says ‘thank you’ to Journalist Bob Allen
With 14 years of courageous reporting on Baptist clergy sex abuse and church cover-ups, journalist Bob Allen made a difference in the lives of countless survivors and helped to make church kids throughout the country safer. In response to the announcement of his retirement on March 31, SNAP can only say “thank you.”
Bob Allen was there on the scene in 2006 at the very first SNAP media event outside “the Baptist Vatican” – i.e., the Southern Baptist Convention headquarters in Nashville. From that point forward, day in and day out, his news articles continued to document the Baptist clergy sex abuse scandal and the early activist efforts in the movement for child safety and clergy accountability among Baptists.
He methodically reported the stories of numerous Baptist clergy abuse survivors long before the momentum of the #ChurchToo movement, and at a time when many still mistakenly viewed clergy sex abuse as being limited to a Catholic problem.
In 2007 alone, Bob Allen wrote 53 articles on Baptist clergy sex abuse, church cover-ups, and activist efforts, and he continued until the present day, writing hundreds such articles, often in the face of online criticism of his extensive coverage of the problem.
There were times when Bob Allen was the only one doing the initial reporting on some of the early Baptist stories and SNAP press releases. But his prescient headlines helped to garner the attention of more mainstream media and served as a foreshadowing of future exposés on abuse among Baptists.
Bob Allen didn’t shrink from the truth about Baptist clergy sex abuse and church cover-ups, and because of that, he has played an important role for which we are grateful. Without his body of work, much of the history of activist efforts in the Baptist arena would simply be lost. Thank you, Bob Allen.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)