TX- Victims blast Ft. Worth church in abuse case

For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 15, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])

Members of a Ft. Worth area church cheered as a minister made callous and intimidating comments in a child sex case involving a twice-accused colleague.

Shame on them.

Congregants of Cowboy Way Church cheered and applauded as visiting Pastor Randy Free told them “Our beloved pastor finds himself in the greatest spiritual battle of his life…However there is a silver lining behind this storm cloud ... That is that Dan’s God and our God has never lost a battle. And he's not about to lose this one.”

Shame on Free and everyone who clapped at these insensitive, chilling words. Such hurtful remarks make victims, witnesses and whistleblowers feel frightened and discouraged about reporting known and suspected child sex crimes.

As adults, we face a simple choice. We can make it easier or harder for crime victims to step forward, expose wrongdoers, help police, protect kids and start healing. Members and staff at Cowboy Way Church are making it harder, on teenagers and adults who have been sexually assaulted. And they're rubbing salt into the already-deep wounds of many crime victims.

It's very hard for those with information about child sex crimes to speak up. But unless they do, more child molesters hurt more kids. Those at Cowboy Way Church are ignoring this sad reality. 

Despite this irresponsible behavior, we hope every single person who saw, suspects or suffered crimes by Rev. Dan Haby Jr., finds the strength to pick up the phone, do their moral and civic duty, and call law enforcement. And in light of the depressing and intimidating actions of church members, we hope police and prosecutors will re-double their efforts to successfully prosecute Haby and anyone at Cowboy Way Church who may have ignored or concealed or enabled his crimes.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]

Showing 4 comments

  • April Adkins
  • Ashley Ingram-Hand
    commented 2014-11-10 10:25:43 -0600
    I am sickened that Haby is being treated as though he is the victim in all of this. Imagine how this makes the true victims feel. Terrible. He is not a Godly man with an affliction. He is a child molestor, a manipulative coward who abused his authority and power to take advantage of children who trusted and looked up to him. Lock him up and throw away the key.
  • K Smith
    commented 2014-10-08 15:20:19 -0500
    I CANNOT believe how these members continue to stand behind Dan Haby Jr, as they do NOT see him as the CHILD MOLESTER that HE IS!!! By their actions and applause you would think Jesus himself would have walked into the Sanctuary that Sunday morning. I would like to ask the members of the Church WHAT WHERE YOU THINKING that morning?? YOU have placed your pastor up on a pedestal, which is WRONG even in God’s eyes, he is a human just like you and me, NO BETTER!! WHAT ABOUT THE VICTIMS?? I DON’T SEE ANYONE GIVING/PROVIDING THEM ANY SUPPORT BY, BELIEVING THEM, COMFORT, COMPASION, UNDERSTANDING, LOVE, ENCOURAGEMENT. INSTEAD OF THEM RECEIVING ANY SUPPORT, THEY HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BEING PERSECUTED, ABANDONED, RIDICULED, DISRESPECTED and the list continues to grow.
    He used his pastoral authority figure to learn as much as he could about them (maybe I should say prey on them as sex offenders do to their victims), gained their trust, showered them with gifts then instead of being the Sheppard that’s meant to guide and protect his flock was really the wolf wrapped in sheep’s clothing that MOLESTED OUR CHILDREN making them feel as if they did something wrong to where they suppressed these feelings for years until NOW!! I’m thankful these victims have the strength and courage to come forward and speak out.. I know in my heart there are more VICTIMS out there and I’m praying all of you will come forward too. When my child told me, (YES, MINE WAS MOLESTED BY THE HAND OF THIS PREACHER, DAN HABY JR.) this had happened I believed them without any doubt whatsoever but I have to say I was torn in the beginning because of my relationship with the Church family, the accused family, gatherings and I knew right then our lives would never be the same ESPECIALLY FOR MY CHILD AND ALL THE OTHER VICTIMS TOO. This coming forward is just the beginning but right now we have to take life one day at a time, let’s get through this day and we will worry about tomorrow then.. I believe in God, Jesus is my Lord and Savior I’m saved by His blood and grace, so I DO believe in PRAYER and it can solve any situation.
    It’s time for Dan Haby Jr. to step down as Pastor of Cowboy Way Church ALLOWING GOD TO SAVE THE CHURCH. You DAN are NOT the CALLED pastor of Cowboy Way Church ANY LONGER. BE A MAN, DO THE RIGHT THING AND STEP DOWN.
  • Daniel Wynns
    commented 2014-09-20 07:08:03 -0500
    Thank you for bringing attention to this. My wife and I have been absolutely stunned at the repetitive behavior of bringing up his name every Sunday in thanking him for the church he built and allowing that weeks guest speaker to preach. Last Sunday the speaker said he thought Dan as being the holiest of holy when he first met. We will no longer be a part of this church as they seem to have forgotten to praise our Lord instead of blindingly praise a child molester.

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