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Sexual Abuse

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NEWS DIGEST: S.C. pastor arrested on prostitution charges; Fourth victim of former Saddleback youth volunteer comes forward

South Carolina pastor arrested for ‘aiding or abetting prostitution’; Former Saddleback youth volunteer awaiting trial on abuse charges.

Responses continue over ARC announcement, funding and future

NASHVILLE (BP) — It was meant to be a moment of levity, one that pointed to the current financial challenges of the Southern Baptist Convention amid a desire to continue a response to sexual abuse reform that first gained a foothold in the Executive Committee five years ago.

Goal of new organization is ‘abuse-free family of churches,’ ARITF chair says at press conference

NASHVILLE (BP) – In a press conference Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 20), the SBC’s Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force chairman Josh Wester reiterated that the ARC, a new organization he announced to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee the night before, would be an independent 501(C)(3), separate from the Southern Baptist Convention.

Independent organization proposed for long-term sexual abuse response among Southern Baptists

NASHVILLE (BP) — A soon-to-be launched independent non-profit organization will be devoted to helping Southern Baptist churches and entities prevent and respond to sexual abuse.

Aaron Ivey, pastor and husband of podcaster Jamie Ivey, accused of ‘indecent’ texts with males

(RNS) — The Austin Stone Church, a multicampus evangelical church in Austin, Texas, announced on Sunday (Feb. 11) that it had dismissed its head worship pastor after discovering he had engaged in “inappropriate and explicit ongoing text messages with an adult male,” according to a statement from the church’s elders.

Florida Baptists promote sexual abuse prevention series for ministers, parents

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP) – A longstanding hallmark of protecting children from sexual abuse has been teaching them that strangers are dangerous, but 90 percent of sexually abused boys and girls know their abuser.

Arkansas church calls for third-party investigation into sexual abuse cases, response

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP) – Revelations of nondisclosure agreements for members of an investigatory committee, the retirement of its executive pastor and calls for a change in leadership have taken place over the past few months, including the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church stating that “nothing is more important than keeping our members and children safe.” 

Debate surrounds 2021 email from former SBC attorney regarding Pressler case

NASHVILLE (BP) – An email revealed on X (formerly Twitter) Jan. 19 shows an April 2021 update from a former Southern Baptist Convention attorney to his client, then-SBC EC executive vice president.

Oklahoma church issues statement of abuse allegation, Q&A document, during Sunday service

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (BP) — Members of First Baptist Church learned via a statement read aloud by Senior Pastor Matt Brooks during worship on Sunday, Jan. 14, of an allegation of sexual abuse from 2006 and subsequent steps to address it.

Addressing abuse requires churches to be informed, prepared

NASHVILLE (BP) — A church’s response to an allegation of abuse begins with a call to Child Protective Services. From there, it’s important to have an active partnership with civil authorities in addressing the case but also setting up long-term care for survivors.