Editor’s Note: In support of the sixth strategic action of Vision 2025 adopted by messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting, Baptist Press will continue to report every instance of sexual abuse related to Southern Baptist churches or leaders of which we are made aware.
CHALKVILLE, Ala. (BP) – Longtime Alabama Baptist pastor Ken Daniel was arrested Oct. 19 and charged with “facilitating solicitation of unlawful sexual conduct with a child.” He will remain in the Blount County Jail until his early November hearing date. Daniel had been the pastor of First Baptist Church of Chalkville since 2018.
According to multiple media reports, the alleged victim is 7 years old and was inappropriately touched by Daniel, 64, on several occasions since January 2020. The girl reportedly said the incidents happened on church property as well as at Daniel’s home and during a pool party.
The Alabama Baptist is attempting to obtain the official incident offense report from the Blount County Sheriff’s office to verify the specifics of the case.
Media reports indicate Daniel’s arrest came after the girl told her grandfather, who also lives in Blount County, what had been happening.
Daniel previously served as bivocational pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Clanton from 2011-2017 and Lake Highland Baptist Church in Birmingham from 2005-2011. He also has served other churches in Alabama and South Carolina.
Daniel is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He and his wife, Susan, have two children.
FBC Chalkville has an average worship attendance of fewer than 50 people and is a member of Birmingham Metro Baptist Association, where Chris Crain serves as executive director.
“In cases where there are allegations of abuse, our churches must be ready to support any alleged victim and also to report and comply with the authorities,” Crain said. “Our prayers are always with any victim and with the congregation.”
Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, echoed sentiments of concern and prayer.
“This is both a sad and terrible situation,” he said. “It saddens all of us to hear about someone who has been hurt in this way, especially a child.”
“This situation is a reminder that all churches need to be prepared as possible to protect people and prevent incidents such as this. The State Board of Missions partners with MinistrySafe to help churches with training as to how to protect people and prevent incidents of predatory activity,” Lance said, noting that the Alabama State Board of Missions has scholarships available for the first 1,000 churches to sign up for MinistrySafe training. The $200 scholarship reduces the first year’s membership fee to $50.
This article was taken from a report in The Alabama Baptist. See the full report here.
If you are/have been a victim of sexual abuse or suspect sexual abuse by a pastor, staff member or member of a Southern Baptist church or entity, please reach out for help at 202-864-5578 or [email protected]. All calls are confidential.