A very dark story that details why sexual abuse is a problem inside the Southern Baptist Convention emerges outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A Baptist Church in Camp Hill employs a convicted molester and the church keeps the information from the congregation. This is a hard read but a necessary one.
“The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity.”
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,[f] to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be[g] in you.
John 14: 15-17 ESV
Little Round Top at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
This evening I was eating at Chipotle enjoying dinner and working through social media when I saw something that was dark. It took my breath away when I read it. It concerned a Southern Baptist Church outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania who employed a pastor with a history of molestation. The pastor who couldn’t drive a school bus in Pennsylvania could pastor a Southern Baptist Church and have access to children. The story detailed how one married couple struggled to go forward to the congregation of 100 and break the news about their pastor.
The Difficulty of Being a Whistle Blower When Children are Threatened
The article hit a nerve in me and flooded me with memories. Why? A married couple discussed learning the information about their pastor and the difficulty in going forward. It hit home because in 2014 I stood in similar shoes in a mega church in the Washington, D.C. area. Rod Stafford’s Fairfax Community Church employed a violent sex offender and then concealed it from the congregation. This story triggered anger in me and reminded me of what I once dealt with in my life. You can read about that in, “The Stress of Being a Whistle Blower in a Washington, D.C. Mega Church. Plus How Did Fairfax Community Church Bully a TV Station Not to Report a Scandal? Was Loretta Rogers Cooper Responsible for that Action?” I would encourage people to read this USA Today article. I am hoping that the EFCA Eastern District will read this as Camp Hill is the Eastern District Headquarters for the EFCA. The article is called, “‘The tongue is a fire’: Southern Baptist church fractures over secrets and spiritual abuse.”