Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests
regarding Rev. Tommy Gilmore,
former childrens minister at First Baptist Church of Atlanta
February 4, 2007
Statement by Christa Brown, SNAP-Baptist
A long-time childrens minister at First Baptist Church
of Atlanta sexually molested a kid in Texas. That man, the Reverend Tommy
Gilmore, was also the minister in charge of child care arrangements when
the Southern Baptist Convention gathered 50,000 delegates in Atlanta for
what was billed as the largest religious meeting in U.S. history back
in 1986. He moved to a Florida church a few years ago, but many Atlanta
kids were exposed to this man during his 20 year stay here.
One year ago, a Texas church issued a stark apology for "the very
serious sexual abuse" that minister Gilmore inflicted on a church
girl there. That apology was also sent by certified mail to the chairman
of the deacons at this church. Did anyone tell the people in the pews
The Baptist General Convention of Texas put Gilmores name in its
confidential file of clergy sex abusers based on the report of a church
and based on "substantial evidence." Another Baptist minister
swore an affidavit showing that he knew long ago about Gilmores
abuse of that kid in Texas. Again, church leadership here in Atlanta was
informed. Did anyone tell the people in the pews?
How many other kids did Gilmore possibly hurt?
The First Baptist Church of Atlanta is headed by 2-term Southern Baptist
president Charles Stanley. But even very prominent churches can harbor
predators. In recent weeks, we have seen the reports of clergy abuse and
cover-ups at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis, a church that was previously
pastored by 3-term Southern Baptist president Adrian Rogers. For anyone
who thought clergy sex abuse was "just" a Catholic problem,
these two churches are a wake-up call. Baptist churches - and even very
high-profile Baptist churches - are not immune to this scourge.
SNAP urges anyone who may have known about or suspected abuse by minister
Gilmore or by any other minister to report it to law enforcement, no matter
how long ago it occurred and no matter how uncertain you may feel. To
any other victims here in Atlanta who may be suffering in silence, you
can find a starting place for support and information at www.snapwork.org.
SNAP seeks to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.
For more information:
Christa Brown, SNAP-Baptist Coordinator, 512-217-1730, [email protected]
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314-566-9790, [email protected]
Ann Brentwood, SNAP Southeastern Coordinator, 865-984-7092, [email protected]
Denise Weaver, SNAP member/advocate in Atlanta, 678-665-7631, [email protected]
Documents online at:
of those Abused by Priests