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Sexual Abuse

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Urban, rural churches benefit from ‘Caring Well Challenge’

NASHVILLE (BP) – Southern Baptist churches in Los Angeles and rural Tennessee are among those that benefited from the initial year of the “Caring Well Challenge,” and more congregations have the opportunity to do so as the initiative to prevent sexual abuse and care for survivors relaunches.

Sex abuse charge dropped against former children’s minister

DALLAS (BP) – A child sex abuse charge against a former Village Church minister has been dropped because of what the district attorney's office called "a lack of probable cause."

New hiring guide to help churches prevent abuse

NASHVILLE (BP) – A manual providing guidance on hiring staff members and selecting volunteers is the latest Southern Baptist resource designed to help churches prevent sexual abuse.

‘Cares Well’ handbook now available in Spanish

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Felix Cabrera's wish for a Spanish edition of a resource for caring for the abused is now a reality among the churches he serves.

Cedarville University reinstates Thomas White; Akin, Vroegop resign from trustee board

CEDARVILLE, Ohio (BP) -- The Cedarville University Board of Trustees reinstated Thomas White as president Friday (June 26). White had been on administrative leave since May 1, following the controversial hiring and firing of a faculty member accused of sexual abuse. The reinstatement comes as the result of independent investigations into both the hiring of Anthony Moore and Moore's conduct while employed at the independent Baptist school. According to a statement by the board, Husch Blackwell LLP -- the firm tasked with the independent investigation -- "found no evidence that Moore engaged in any conduct of a sexual nature on campus or with any University student or employee elsewhere." The investigation included a "thorough review of all relevant communication" involving White and Moore, the trustees, The Village Church and employment references.

New details emerge in North Carolina pastor’s death

North Carolina pastor Jayson Rowe died by apparent suicide June 2, according to the Conway Police Department. Law enforcement officers were investigating an allegation of criminal sexual misconduct against Rowe when they received a call about his death

ERLC, Texas entities advocate for church autonomy

AUSTIN, Texas (BP) -- National and state Baptist entities have called on the Texas Supreme Court to uphold the First Amendment rights of churches to practice their faith and govern internally according to their beliefs. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) joined with a committee of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in a friend-of-the-court brief filed April 21 that asked the state's justices to reverse a lower-court opinion against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lubbock.

Cedarville places president on leave, announces investigations into hiring, conduct of former faculty member

CEDARVILLE, Ohio (BP) -- Cedarville University trustees placed school president Thomas White on administrative leave Friday (May 1) amid controversy over his hiring and firing of a faculty member accused of sexual abuse. The trustees also announced independent investigations into both the hiring of former theology professor Anthony Moore and Moore's conduct while employed at the independent Baptist school.

Arkansas Baptists seek dismissal of sexual abuse lawsuit

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (BP) -- The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC), Millcreek Baptist Church and other defendants have denied allegations and filed motions to dismiss a 2019 lawsuit accusing them of liability in alleged multiple sexual assaults of a minor. The defendants responded to a lawsuit filed in December 2019 accusing former Millcreek pastor Teddy Hill Jr. of sexually assaulting Riley Fields over a period of years. Fields, now 19, alleges the sexual assaults began in 2014 and continued after Hill was appointed as Field’s guardian in 2016, according to court documents filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Pulaski County, Ark. Fields originally identified himself as John Doe, but revealed his name in an amended complaint in January.

SBC Executive Committee votes to disfellowship Texas church

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Acting on a recommendation by the Southern Baptist Convention Credentials Committee, the SBC Executive Committee voted Tuesday (Feb. 18) to disfellowship Ranchland Heights Baptist Church of Midland, Texas, from the SBC because of its employment of a lifetime registered sex offender as pastor. The complete text of the Credentials Committee's recommendation follows this article.