The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement regarding Rev. Tommy Gilmore,
former children’s minister at First Baptist Church of Atlanta


February 4, 2007

Statement by Christa Brown, SNAP-Baptist Coordinator,

A long-time children’s 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 here?

The Baptist General Convention of Texas put Gilmore’s 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 Gilmore’s 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 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:





Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests