God calls us to go where we are needed most, where our gifts and passions are strong. It may not be where we expected or planned but God knows that we will do great work there.
During the February meeting of the Executive Board, members voted to approve the allocation of $100,000 from the J.K. Wadley Endowment Fund to continue providing to churches sexual abuse prevention training and resources through a relationship with MinistrySafe. Executive Director David Hardage addressed the recent reports on sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches.
Texas Baptists, Brazil Baptists, and local churches in South Asia are partnering together to support indigenous missionaries in South Asia.
What is it like to go to a Caribbean island, not for tourism, but for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How would you serve? What needs do they have?
A recent influx of 1,800 Central American migrants into the community of Piedras Negras, Mexico, has caused Texas Baptists River Ministry missionaries to spring into action.
Abuse is evil. The Houston Chronicle’s recent series of articles about sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention sheds some light on this pervasive problem in churches.
This is a watershed moment, and it is also an opportunity for Southern Baptists to step up and walk the narrow path of repentance and change.
I am inspired by survivors like Debbie Vasquez and David Pittman, their stories were featured in the article, who courageously share with the world about their traumatic experiences. They speak truth to prevent the same thing from happening to others.
Their stories are heart-wrenching and infuriating, and unfortunately, they are nothing new to the church. I know multiple women and men who were sexually assaulted by church leaders as children. While healing is possible, the trauma of abuse ravages people physically, mentally, and emotionally for years and decades.
This is our opportunity to listen to survivors and mourn together.
Stories like Heather Schneider’s are haunting. Churches have the opportunity to listen to her mom, Gwen Casados, about her abuse and suicide and hear from survivors in our communities. Survivors are everywhere, including our churches. In the broader U.S. culture, one in three women and one in six menhave experienced sexual abuse in their lifetime.
We can step up, listen, and learn from survivors; their voices and stories matter the most.
Sometimes it is hard to acknowledge what we know to be real. Such is the case with sexual abuse that happens in churches or by a church leader or volunteer.
It is real. It is tragic. It is devastating to lives. It is damaging to the cause of Christ.
The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News have partnered in producing a three-part series on sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches. This is not the kind of news any Southern Baptist wants to read, but it is exactly the kind that we must read.
Reporting possible crimes
Any charge of sexual misconduct should be taken seriously. If it involves possible criminal activity, law enforcement should be immediately contacted. Keeping it quiet within the church is not a option.
If we think a store has been broken into, we call the police. If we think money has been embezzled, we contact authorities. If there is any indication a sexual assault has been committed, a church needs to report it.
The wise approach to any instance of alleged sexual abuse or assault is to call the police, says Kathryn Freeman, the Christian Life Commission’s director of public policy. Reporting such crimes is also the law in Texas.
It was encouraging to know that God is there working in people’s hearts.
We are grieved by the instances of sexual abuse detailed in today’s report, and our highest priority is to provide support to victims and survivors across our Texas Baptist family.
I had the honor of doing mission work in Tacoma, WA. We were able to work with Discovery Church. It was such an amazing experience because there were many opportunities to share about Christ everywhere we went.