"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Tell the Truth and Trust the People; A Tragedy Unfolding in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

An Alabama newspaper broke the story yesterday about a massive fraud scheme perpetrated by a man named Gray Harvey. It seems that Mr. Harvey filled out fraudulent insurance documents and has swindled home and business owners along the coast out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The company that employeed Harvey, Starfish Insurance Agency, is owned and operated by Pamela Wynona Schoen. Pamela grew up a Southern Baptist, has her mom working the front desk of the office, and simply hired Gray Harvey to help her do some book keeping at the growing insurance business. The fraudulent activities of Mr. Harvey were unknown to the owner of Starfish Insurance and were only recently uncovered. When police went to question Harvey, they discovered he had fled the condominium he lived in at Orange Beach. Pamela Schoen is now having to make good on the money swindled by Harvey by repaying all her customers the money that Harvey took for himself. The loss is $400,000 in cash and growing.

What is even more bizarre is the possibility, according to Pamela's mother, that Gray Harvey may have been attempting to poison Pamela last summer by using arsenic he mixed in his boss's coffee and food. Pamela has recovered from her serious illness, and it was only after the discovery of Harvey Gray's enormous fraud that she and her mother began to put two and two together and have begun asking questions about Gray's involvement in Pamela's mysterious illness.

Gray Harvey Could Have Been Stopped

What really steams me about this sad story is that Gray Harvey could have been stopped before he hurt people on the Gulf Coast. Gray was employeed by the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1998 to 2004, and during that time he had embezzled at least $370,000, but in my opinion, closer to $500,000 dollars from the IMB. IMB leadership refused to prosecute Gray Harvey.

Gray was terminated before I became a trustee of the IMB, and I did not participate in any oath of secrecy, as did other trustees. Before I attended my first trustee meeting I had several phone calls and letters about this issue from concerned missionaries. One even drove to Enid to give me documents about the case. At my first trustee meeting I met with trustee leadership and administrative leadership and asked some very tough questions about the handling of the Gray Harvey embezzlement. My main concern was the refusal to prosecute Gray Harvey, as well as the inability of our organization to catch such a massive fraud.

It seems that Gray had used his oversea's appointment at the IMB, an accounting position, to alter and forge documents. He requested fraudulent reimbursement by either adding a zero to the end of an actual invoice or he simply created fraudulent invoices. Bob Allen reports the very strange circumstances under which Gray was caught in his fraud at the IMB; an IMB employee requested to ride in the elevator for which payment had been sent to Gray Harvey, only to discover there was never any elevated put in the building where Gray worked.

I was told there were three reasons Gray would not be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. First, it would possibly compromise our missionaries if prosecution occurred in the country where Gray lived when he took Lottie Moon and Cooperative Program monies. Second, we were about to begin the 2005 Lottie Moon emphasis, and negative publicity would hurt the offering. And, finally, an agreement had been reached that Gray Harvey would repay the IMB.

I tried to point out that trusting the word of a man who took my church widows' offerings to Lottie Moon and the Cooperative Program was not particularly smart. Further, I pointed out that if Gray Harvey were not prosecuted and jailed, he could possibly hurt others in the future. I closed my arguments for prosecuting Gray Harvey to the fullest extent of the law by reminding trustee and administrative leadership of the old SBC axiom that arose during a similar embezzlement at the Home Mission Board during the 1930's - "Tell the truth and trust the people."

Unfortunately, my counsel was not taken by trustee leadership. In fact, this was the beginning of a rocky relationship with several of my fellow trustees, including the Chairman of the Finance Committee, A.C. Halsell, who advocated we keep everything hush hush. Gray Harvey defaulted on his payments to the IMB shortly after he began them, as I knew he would, and the IMB then sought a court judgment against him in Richmond to pay what he pledged he would. The courts approved the judgment and ordered Gray Harvey to pay. Um hum. Good luck.

I am positive that Pamela Schoen, the employees of the Starfish Insurance Agency she operates, and the homeowners along along the Gulf who have been swindled out of their money wish the IMB had prosecuted Gray. He would not have been free to perpetrate his massive fraud. We at the Southern Baptist Convention better learn a hard lesson from this; it is never good to do any business of the SBC behind closed doors - period.

If there is any good news, it might be that Gray Harvey was baptized in a Baptist church and never prayed in a private prayer language. (The preceding sentence will only be understood by some Southern Baptists and all IMB trustees).

Shame on us that he's not in jail.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

130 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that he wasn't assigned to a tenured teaching position somewhere. Wade, you were right then and now.

with that I am sweet tea with a splash of lemon

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Don't know this guy, but I have commented before in our Elders' meetings that if anyone steals from the church or hurts any member of the church, we will be at the DA's office, or US Attorney (if it is Federal crime) as soon as I can get in the car.

Based on what you have presented, I, too, would have recommended prosecution.

Still, these things can be tricky. There are issues of venue (where was the crime committed, where can it be prosecuted). I had a client once that had a manager who stole over $300,000. Problem was that all of the offenses were committed with credit cards all over the country, and that the prosecutions would have to occur where the fraudulent purchases occurred. That's what the court ruled. So, we could not bundle them all into one offense in our county. It was $50 here, $150 there, and on and on. The only thing that happened in our county was about $500 worth of unlawful use. We prosecuted him for that and that was it.

We filed a claim on our fidelity bond with the insurer, got paid, and then the insurer went after him to get the money back under the insurer's subrogation rights.

So, I am reserving judgment on the overall decision of the trustees, and I certainly would like to have seen their legal counsel's opinion on this one.

I do agree with you, however, that negative publicity is NEVER a reason a Christian organization should not prosecute someone. In fact, the publicity over such a prosecution is usually a positive thing. It would be better to take a hit over lax oversight, but doing the right thing on the moral end than trying to hide the occurrence.

I am not in a position at all to judge the missionary safety issue.

Frankly, and I am not faulting you, but if I had been in your position, I would have been blogging about this guy long before blogging about prayer language and baptism issues. But the fact that you did not is probably a further testimony as to how thorny and multi-faceted this issue was.

At any rate, a civil judgment would have been sufficient. Any employer who is going to let someone handle the types of responsibilities this guy had should have done a background check, and that would have revealed a pending lawsuit or civil judgment. And if the IMB had made a claim on the fidelity bond, the insurer could have pursued subrogation in its own name, and not the IMB's.

Louis

Wade Burleson said...

Louis,

It seems you might have missed a few facts of my service as a trustee.

(1). I never blogged about confidential matters while serving as a trustee - period. The Gray Harvey matter was confidential and I would never have violated confidentiality rules when serving as a trustee.

(2). The tongues and baptism policies were openly discussed and voted on in plenary (public sessions). My blogging about those matters was entirely appropriate.

(3). I am no longer a trustee, and I never participated in the oath of confidentiality regarding Gray Harvey. All my information about the embezzlement comes from missionaries, IMB employees and others who have sent me the documents and information.

(4). When I see people hurt by the actions of one of our agencies I will never hesitate to speak out. Despite my instincts, I was hopeful there would be no repurcussions for not prosecuting Mr. Harvey. Now that things are becoming public, it is entirely appropriate for me to post information about the case.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt McGee said...

I generally agree with Louis' comments and offer these further observations:

The employer in Mobile should have done a background check on Harvey. A background check would have revealed the outstanding judgment against him.

In general, if people agree to do something that it is unethical and/or unbiblical to do (such as conceal information that ought to be publicly revealed), then I don't think there's anything morally wrong or sinful about subsequently breaking that agreement. Basically, Wade, I don't understand your position that it would have been wrong for you to disclose this information while still on the board. If you're saying you didn't disclose for strategic reasons (i.e. you didn't want to get kicked off the board) or because you didn't want to subject yourself to possibly being sued by the IMB (though I don't think that would have happened), then I understand where you're coming from. But I don't think you ever had any moral or biblical obligation to keep this information quiet, even while you were on the board.

All those who were so adamantly opposed to Dr. Klouda suing SWBTS because of their interpretation of 1 Cor. 6 should be consistent and likewise condemn the IMB for seeking a civil judgment against Harvey. Something tells me I shouldn't hold my breath.

Wade Burleson said...

Matt McGee,

All trustees have a fidicuary and legal obligation to abide by confidentiality rules while serving as a trustee. I argue that there ought be NOTHING confidential in terms of Southern Baptist ministry, but I always abided by confidentiality policies, even when I did not agree with them. I could have resigned and reported what I knew about the Harvey situation, but I chose to remain as a trustee because of other issues that needed addressed.

My unwillingness to blog about the Harvey situation while serving as a trustee ought to be a clear indication that those trustees who sought to make others believe I blogged about "confidential" matters while serving as a trustee was a blatant lie, used by trustee leadership to attempt to smear my character in order to minimize my influence.

In His Grace,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

Apparently, this man Gray Harvey was much trusted by the Church. When he got into trouble, is it known if he was approached by a group of Christians and counseled in the way of Christian charity to help him confront his sin and repent?

Or was that also neglected?

Perhaps spiritual counseling would have led to his rehabilitation (returning the money) and the Lord's forgiveness.


It seems that his behavior deteriorated with the possiblity of the poisoning of his new employer.

Was it all simply about cover-up and 'protect our image'? Or was anyone concerned for this man's spiritual welfare? L's

CB Scott said...

Wade

How many of the present trustees were on the board when this came to light?

cb

Wade Burleson said...

Maybe 20 of 89 are left from 2004.

CB Scott said...

Were they encouraged by Jerry Rankin to cover this up?

cb

Wade Burleson said...

I have no idea since I was not present during the discussions. I came on only after the agreement with Gray Harvey was in place and signed.

Brent Hobbs said...

Reading this story makes me sick. He should have been in jail, not making any deal to pay back the money. This makes us look like idiots.

irreverend fox said...

MY HEAD IS SPINNING!

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Please relax. You may feel that a further explanation was necessary, but it was not for me. Please re-read my comment carefully.

My comment says that I was not faulting you and I noted that your decision not to blog about that was probably due to the many facets of this matter.

The most important facet was that it was over before you got there. No one could have taken any advice you might have had to offer because it was over. The agreement had been reached by the time you reached Richmond, according to what you wrote. So you never deliberated or voted on this matter. The horses were out of the barn. You should rest easy in any case.

I did not note in the post that the matter was 'confidential', but probably should have deduced that due to the subject matter.

My comments about what I would have done are strictly mine and are made with half the facts and 20/20 hindsight, which is usually the case with people commenting on blogs about employment related matters that they did not participate in first hand. So, my comments are worth what everyone has paid for them!

And I am not necessarily faulting the current employer, either. We don't know what was filed with the courthouse and when. She may have done a background check and nothing showed up because of the way it was filed, when it was filed etc.

Hey, here's an idea. We should have a registry in Nashville maintained by the SBC that should monitor the financial wrong doings of every SBC pastor or any employee at any agency. That way, when these guys go look for new jobs, the registry will flag them!

Or - maybe the employing agency should be more careful to either 1) prosecute, 2) if there are extenuating circumstances that make prosecution the greater evil (missionary safety) or unproductive (legal issues) at least get a civil judgment recorded that can be found by others, or 3) get permission in any separation agreement that the matter can be disclosed to people contacting the IMB when references are checked.

I cannot believe that the IMB would have signed an agreement where they said they would keep this confidential from future employers seeking employment history, but they must have. And there must have been some good legal reasons for that, though it's hard for me to see them now.

Still, I am going on record as being in favor of as much disclosure and accountability as possible. It's hard to know exactly what should have been done without all the facts and issues to be weighed at our disposal. But this guy should never have been put in a position of responsibility in financial matters.

Louis

Thy Peace said...

Louis: I always enjoy reading your comments, for they are slow paced and methodical. You are fairly thorough with your arguments.

I think here Pastor Wade might be talking to a wider audience from his reply. I did not take it that he was slightly agitated.

I can tell you from my perspective, the John 3:16 conference and its aftermath has rattled me. I am the one who knows very little about theology. I am trying to understand all the different factions and groups.

Normally in a healthy theological debate, some friction is always there. Here some seem to have gone little bit too far. Hence the reactions of Tom Ascol, James White and others. I am still trying to fully understand Pastor Wade's last post and I am slowly getting there.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

I read a couple articles online about this. They mentioned a couple other things..

Harvey & his apparent partner took out a $200K mortgage to buy his boss's condo. That would never have happened had the history been known. He left, so the mortgage is unpaid.

They stole, per the police, $176,000 from the agency, via phony credit card purchases.

The Agency, in addition to having to repay the fake premiums .. which may be insured ... is facing the possibility of penalties and fines, which would not be covered. And possibly the loss of their licenses.

They will also doubtless lose customers over the matter.

And on and on. Simply because the IMB Trustees didn't ... IMO ... trust God to sustain the work if they did the right thing, and prosecuted Harvey as they should have.

Wade Burleson said...

Louis,

I am relaxed, and enjoying a cup of fat free caramel macchiato.

I simply challenged your statement that I should have blogged about the Gray Harvey situation instead of the baptism and tongues policies.

If you feel the freedom to offer me advice regarding my service as a trustee, you need to realize I will point out the fallacies of your suggestions, and grant me the corresponding freedom to do so.



Wade

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace:

Thanks for the nice comments. Theological debates, and the institutional ramifications, are won and lost sometimes on things other than the merits.

I have some dear friends on the John 3:16 conference side of the debate. Malcolm Yarnell is one of those people.

In my opinion, we have to give academics and theologians a little elbow room. It's not that I treat their arguments as less than serious. I simply believe that the danger can be compounded by overreacting. If people on both sides of this divide (and those inexplicably mired in the middle - I am a 3.5 to 4 pointer) keep "showing up for work" - participating in the life of the convention, communicating warmly to people who have other opinions, and not getting riled up when we hear something, and realizing that other people are going to see things differently, no matter what we say, that it how the battle of cooperation had won.

The moderates would have never taken my advice. But if I had been leading them, I would have NEVER advised them to form an opposition to the CR (especially to call themselves "moderates"). That way, neither their churches, nor they would have been identified in many cases. They could have blended in to the larger Baptist family and probably have drug the CR out for years and years. Some of them really did oppose liberal theology. But by responding by drawing battle lines and identifying themselves and having opposition parties etc., they made the division deeper. I am not blaming them, just giving my thoughts. After all, as I have said on this blog before, I was in favor of the CR and am glad for the theological conservatism and that the liberal profs have gone to non-SBC schools.

In this case, I think that the reformed Baptists are really on the move. Not because of any organized strategy. It has more to do with the times that we live in, the issues that are at the fore, and the teachers/leaders from the reformed camp that are simply making better arguments and making more sense than those from the non-reformed camp.

The non-reformed camp are the guys losing their nerves, in my opinion. They tend to make the more egregious statements. They tend to attract an old crowd. I know of hardly any educated young people who are energized by the anti-reformed argument.

So, the non-reformed guys are putting on conferences, having meetings about reformed people. it's very defensive.

Go to "Together for the Gospel" and similar gatherings. They are not there to talk about non-reformed people and what they are doing and how they are destroying the church yada yada yada. it is move visionary and proactive than reactive.

So, with the reformed group setting the stronger agenda (in my opinion) in the SBC, the anti-reformed group is getting more aggressive.

The way to respond to this is be aware of what is being said, but DO NOT overreact. Stay calm. Keep showing up no matter what is said about us (even the 3.5 reformed guys like me). That will keep the peace. Getting angry, drawing lines etc. will only start another battle. And this one will not be all that productive.

Take care.

Hope to meet you someday.

Louis

Elmer Gantry said...

Louis said...
Hey, here's an idea. We should have a registry in Nashville maintained by the SBC that should monitor the financial wrong doings of every SBC pastor or any employee at any agency. That way, when these guys go look for new jobs, the registry will flag them!


Surely you jest! If the SBC refuses such a registry for ministers who are sex abusers, why would they consider such a thing for mere financial wrong doers?

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Don't know what machiatto is. But at this hour, make sure it's decaf.

Why I would never try to advise you. Little old me, advise you?

Have a good night! I am up too late. Got to meet my running group at 5:30 a.m. to run 6.2 miles.

Louis

Kevin M. Crowder said...

It seems to me that in Southern Baptist life there has always been a (as is commonly called) "good ol' boy's network" that has until recently been in some respects full of good intentions with respect to saving the face of a brother who has sinned. While some may still be able to see this as a noble act within the body, others point out the "fruit" of these so called "righteous" cover-ups. Wade has drawn our attention to the Pattersonian cover-ups of those who struggle with sexual sins. Such cover-ups have resulted in more victims. The NAMB, indeed the entire SBC was hoodwinked with the Reccord golden parachute. My own Association has been severely damaged in the past by a DOM who embezzled money from a local charity (and not prosecuted). Now we hear this. We need a Convention-Wide policy. You steal? You go to jail. You like little boys and girls? You go to jail. You cover-up the afore-mentioned sins of others? You get fired. You openly practice Arminianism? You get banished to the UMC. :)

K

Anonymous said...

Elmer Gantry:

Yes. I jest. Big time.

I am opposed to registries for many reasons previously stated on this and other blogs.

First, they won't help people as much as we might think beyond existing resources (although they would give us a good image). Second, the SBC's money should go as much as possible to missions. Third, they would open up the SBC and the mission funds to incredible lawsuits (like the Catholics have had). To date, those funds have never been subject to a grab by plaintiff's lawyers. Finally, what really needs to happen is to mobilize all 40,000 churches to fight predators, not centralize this in Nashville. 40k churches and 16m people mobilized is much better than a few computers with some employees stuck in Nashville.

Hate to give you and others a crash course on my opinions on this subject, but since you asked...

Louis

CB Scott said...

To quote another "that which I feared" has come to this comment thread.

You say:

"Wade has drawn our attention to the Pattersonian cover-ups of those who struggle with sexual sins. Such cover-ups have resulted in more victims."

Patterson did not cover up the Gilyard situation. he did all he could do other than shoot the man to keep him out of pastoral ministries after he was exposed.

What Wade is talking about here, in this post, is of a serious nature as to something being covered up and then later bringing more harm upon people.

Wade says that at least 20 trustees still serve who had knowledge of this situation. The administration (in my opinion) had to know it.

Someone needs to be held accountable. The current board of trustees at the IMB needs to reopen this matter publicly.

This is a real issue. This is not something that needs to get sidetracked here.

This kind of thing needs to end in the SBC.

cb

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
You say there are about 20 left of the 89 IMB trustees still on the board that let themselves be sworn to secrecy.

In my opinion, that’s about 20 too many as Scripture says, to know of a crime and not report it makes you just as guilty.

My father had the philosophy that honesty could not be taught; it had to be caught.
He gave ‘honesty, lying, and stealing test’ to schools. He was taught that those who cheated would lie, those who lied would steal, and under ‘circumstances’ those who stole would kill.

Because of the cover-up by the IMB, it seems Gray Harvey may have reached the last stage to prevent being caught.

How many times do our leaders have to shoot themselves in the foot before they bleed us to death?

To cover up truth is to deny Christ saying “The truth will set you free.”

I agree with Irreverend Fox with “MY HEAD IS SPINNING.” I keep wondering what’s next. When will ‘enough is enough’ going to happen?

Hiding the truth of the sake of Baptists is a copout.
They hide the truth to preserve their precious egos that the C/R couldn’t possible have bad leaders.

greg.w.h said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
greg.w.h said...

For the record:

No relationship to me or my family. Was not aware of the story at all until I read Wade's post.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

haha - Greg.

My first thought was that it must be Harvey the Rabbit. Because as a missionary, I had never heard this story.

So sad. On many fronts.

SL1M

Alan Cross said...

If you dig a little into what is going on in the IMB, you find all kinds of issues.

There is a lot going on at the IMB that is not good. I wrote a post about this at the now defunct SBCOutpost back in the spring after hearing directly from missionaries in 4 different regions all telling the same story. The biggest thing that I learned was that the baptism numbers are bogus and that there is a broken leadership culture on the field.

After writing my post, I found out that no one really cared. As long as the money flows, that is what is most important.

So, I am not surprised to find out that this has happened. Until we begin to value truth over success and image, we will keep having these problems. I would wonder when people will care and speak out, but overall, people just want to live their lives and pretend that all is well.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a ''Christian thief.'' When Decisional Regeneration was substituted for The Doctrines of Grace, it filled the churches with lost, unregenerate church members.

And a lost man will do anything to satisfy his lust and greed.

A Christian can fall into sin, but will not practice sin [I JOHN 3;8-9].

His actions prove He is a lost man. such without repentance, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law.

Shame on those directors, in order to avoid bad publicity, failed to do so. 2 Wrongs never make a Right.
They all should resign, and new directors elected.

Dr. Paul W. Foltz

bryan riley said...

Tell the Truth and trust the Holy Spirit!

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading "Spending God's Money," which detailed the extravagant and abusive spending as well as the unchecked VP egos at NAMB under Bob Reccord's leadership.

That book, in combination with this news about the IMB covering up this embezzlement, makes me glad that I chose to move my membership to a church that is not affiliated with the SBC. It was not an easy decision because I've been a Southern Baptist ever since I accepted Christ as a teen-ager.

It grieves me to see how a portion of my tithes were treated by these agencies. I'm grateful for people like Pastor Wade who will bring this to light, but it appears he is the minority, and I pray that the Lord will continue to use him and others to turn the SBC around. Most SBC leaders, however, seem content to cover up these kind of transgressions.

Stan Stepleton said...

Wade, as always, reading and praying. Grace and peace to you today and to all who read here.

happy gram said...

k.crowder: that's the most positive and right-on comment i've seen you post in the last 2 years.

NativeVermonter said...

If I truly believed I had done everything in my legal power in a given situation and was still overruled then the conscience would be clear. Now if that decision subsequently back-fires then I would do everything in my power to make sure the people who were RESPONSIBLE for the initial decision were removed from office.

In fact, the conscience would not be clear until it did happen.

ml said...

Wade, it is possible that these kinds of actions could open us [SBC] up to charges of recklessness or gross negligence. This is exactly what Chuck Kelley was arguing about with the agency membership. It is time that every detail of the SBC be in the open and reported. We are not talking about the national security of the United States. We should have all salaries disclosed and all meetings minutes available to the people who are supporting the entire show. Otherwise we ought to stop the support.

Jon L. Estes said...

Can and should this be addressed from the floor during the convention in Louisville? Can someone take a microphone and ask about this event after the report? I am not trying to put Dr. Rankin on the spot but he is the President and therefor should field the question.

If it can become a floor discussion and then we find no one cares, I'm not sure what to do - but truthful information can't hurt us. Maybe getting the info out on such a platform is necessary.

Is it ministry suicide? Only if being baptist is more important than being Christian.

Wade Burleson said...

Jon,

I imagine the response if a question is asked will be "We cannot discuss personnel matters."

At some point the distinction between personnel matters and a crime against our Convention will need to be made clear and full discussion of the latter is very appropriate.

Elisabeth said...

This does remind me an awful lot of the way sexual abuse by ministers tends to get covered up. "Can't expose that - would hurt the ministry." "Forgive him - holding a grudge is not Christlike." "Now, it's under the blood, he's a brother in Christ." And one of the true motivations for cover up is something one of my counselors told me - it hurts that someone you trusted did something so bad to hurt someone. It's also embarassing to admit someone pulled the wool over your eyes. So you pretend it didn't happen, that it wasn't so bad after all, and you cover it up and don't do anything - and the perpetrator is free to hurt others.

Loren Hutchinson said...

What about a motion at the convention for the IMB to reimburse the insurace agency for any losses they sustain due to the IMB's refusal to prosecute? Anyone think such a motion would gain any support?

Anonymous said...

To Elisabeth,

I agree with you.

Forgiveness and treating someone in a Christ-like manner does NOT include allowing them to continue to prey on others. I believe the opposite is true.

If anything, we are required to try to get the sick individual AWAY from others and under the care of professionals trained to help them. There is a whole line of thinking now that those who prey on children cannot be fully rehabilitated of their sickness. I do not know if that is true, but there is some evidence to support this theory.

In my own faith, we have seen the horror of those who 'covered up' the sickness of predators so that the reputation of the Church would not be harmed and in the naive hopes that the sick person would 'change' in a new setting. It was all too easy for some to turn away from their responsibilities, many out of ignorance, but more out of pride and fear of bad publicity.
I can tell you that the ultimate price for that idiocy has been way too high. So I hope, at least in this one example, others can learn from the tragedy in my own Church. There are some victims who still suffer greatly and that is the saddest thing of all. Better to always think about the welfare of potential victims before any other considerations, especially if they may be children.

After much blindness and irresponsibility on the part of many in authority, I can say that now my Church has faced the problem and dealt with it in both a Christ-like manner and a fully ethical manner with integrity. There are now established clarified standards that are in place so that any ambiguity about handling this type of problem no longer presents an excuse. But, as I said, there are those who bear the scars of abuse and will do so for the rest of their lives.

In handling abuse within any organization, 'Integrity' is the guiding principle that is needed and without it, ALL involved will ultimately suffer in ways unforeseen. L's

Anonymous said...

Good Morning REX RAY,

I finally saw your last story that was printed several posts ago. It was wonderful, as all of your stories are.

You have a gift for telling stories that light up our imaginations and warm our hearts and make us laugh.

I think this may be your special ministry. Did you ever think of it that way? Well, I do. And I'm grateful that you have received this gift.

So, 'write' on, brother. L's :)

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

So you believe there really is no way around this to get answers to the people?

If this is correct, then what are we really supporting?

I know we can say missionaries on the field but is this the way we want to continue to support the missionaries by looking the other way when we are robbed? By just letting things go unchecked because the "Trustees" are in charge?

I appreciate you and the information you have shared over the years but if all we ever do is blog about it, we fail in our kingdom responsibility to be good stewards.

Who can I contact within the IMB to get answers? The web site really doesn't help in contacting the trustees or president.

ml said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ml said...

Hey Wade, here is a stretch but why not consider using our own statement against us. Ed Stetzer is currently stringing a thread together on cooperation--http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/. Article 14 of the BFM is on cooperation. It reads:

Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.

Is the statement about associations and conventions referring to our organizations? It seems the latter section refers strictly to cross-denominational cooperation while the beginning refers to our larger conventional energies. IS this the meat needed to end the top down structure at work in our convention? Does the SBC exist for the churches or do the churches exist for the SBC convention. How you answer this question is rather telling. Maybe convention agency offices should come with term limits? Just a thought.

Christa Brown said...

For those who might like to arrive at their own opinion on whether or not Paige Patterson helped to cover up the Gilyard situation, here are a couple links:

The 1991 Dallas Morning News article, recounting the allegations of numerous women.

The video of military chaplain Don Simpkins, who was assigned by Patterson to counsel Gilyard

Given the lack of transparency about financial wrongdoing that Wade has described here, it's no wonder that so many local churches manage sexual abuse allegations so poorly. Look at the example set by the denomination's highest leaders.

Robert I Masters said...

Christa,
Please try to stay on topic...Wade has given you plenty of blogtime for your Crusade.
At what point do your accusations become slanderous; or defamatory , to the thousands of God-fearing,Christ-loving, Law-abiding pastors in the SBC?

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Elisabeth said...

Uh, Robert, Christa was not the first person to mention Gilyard in this comment thread. And also sexual sins by pastors was mentioned fairly quickly in this comment thread. And since when is linking an article in the paper which stated things that have been proven slanderous or defamitory?

Sheath your claws, friend.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why this story comes as any surprise to anyone. Bellevue Baptist in Memphis had a similar situation about 10 years ago. A staff minister (in "Biblical Guidance" -- ain't that ironic!) was discovered to have been embezzling money from the church and cheating on his wife. Dr. Adrian Rogers found out and was going to bring the guy before the church for some old-fashioned "church discipline." Of course, the guy didn't show up, but he was fired.

He applied for a job at the seminary but was given an unfavorable recommendation by Bellevue, so he turned around and sued Bellevue for "defamation of character." Instead of fighting the lawsuit in court (I can't think any court in the land wouldn't have sided with the church), Dr. Rogers decreed that the church pay the guy off -- to the tune of $500,000 -- so as to avoid any "negative publicity" for Bellevue.

Steve Gaines, current pastor of Bellevue, was the pastor who let his "Minister of Prayer," a confessed child molester and known sexual predator, roam the halls of the church for six months after he found out about it and was finally forced to do something about it when the case became public knowledge.

So, again, I don't know why any of this surprises anyone. It's just business as usual.

Grace

Elisabeth said...

Well, the press (the same paper that broke this story yesterday) has now picked up on the IMB connection. Bet there's going to be a lot of "why wasn't he arrested back then" questions.

gmommy said...

Robert I Masters,
Crusade?
I'm sure you didn't mean to sound so arrogant.

Being an advocate for those who have been lied to and about and ignored by many many "God fearing" pastors is not a crusade.

If real God fearing pastors were holding these clergy predators and the pastors who have covered for them accountable.... Christa's organization wouldn't exist.

At what point do the accusations become slanderous; or defamatory , to the thousands of God-fearing vulnerable and wounded victims and survivors???

What about those being preyed upon right now??

Healing from the actual sexual abuse is a walk in the park compared to facing the dishonest, blind, cold, arrogance of those who care more about their organization than they do human beings.

Be condescending to me like you were to Christa. I'm a member of the same "crusade".

Wade is right to expose the corruption in the SBC. Sorry if that threatens those in leadership.

The REAL God fearing pastors serving sacrificially in their churches will not be threatened by the truth.

Anonymous said...

"Patterson did not cover up the Gilyard situation. he did all he could do other than shoot the man to keep him out of pastoral ministries after he was exposed."

CB, you are rewriting history. Of course, I know you believe Patterson whatever he says.

"What Wade is talking about here, in this post, is of a serious nature as to something being covered up and then later bringing more harm upon people."

When it is money, it is serious. When it is sexual perversion, it isn't.

"Someone needs to be held accountable. The current board of trustees at the IMB needs to reopen this matter publicly."

When it involves money, someone needs to be accountable. When it involves sexual perversion then we are only defaming those who protect predators.

"This is a real issue. This is not something that needs to get sidetracked here."

When it involves money, it must NOT get sidetracked. That is only supposed to happen when it involves sexual perversion.

"This kind of thing needs to end in the SBC."

When it involves money, it must end. When it involves rape, pedophilia, etc., it needs to be swept under the carpet.

Glad we find something that outrages you (besides Wade). But, I guess you can't see the dots on this one. As EM Forester used to say: CONNECT!

There is a cancer in the SBC.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

The term 'pastor' I think means a shepherd. Someone who protects the flock, not the wolves. I am right, I think. L's

Anonymous said...

"If real God fearing pastors were holding these clergy predators and the pastors who have covered for them accountable.... Christa's organization wouldn't exist."

Robert, gmommy has a point. In fact, Patterson has had Gaines in to speak at chapel after he ignored scripture about the pedophile minister of prayer.

The lack of outrage from his peers over his biblical ignorance is amazing. Who disciplines the discipliners? Not even his own peers were outraged.

Ditto for Patterson and Gilyard. Not to mention Vines.

There is a cancer on the SBC. My guess is that there will be outrage over the money from many quarters. Which fits as we see how fearful they were of lawsuits from victims. Frank Page called the victims 'opportunists'. Nice.

Strange how angry when it is brought up. You have little love for the victims.

The cancer on the SBC is in the hearts of its leaders.

Lydia

CB Scott said...

Lydia,

You are wrong. I do not believe all of what Patterson says.

It is you who has a problem with history.

You simply do not know it.

cb

Anonymous said...

"You are wrong. I do not believe all of what Patterson says.

It is you who has a problem with history.

You simply do not know it."

If I believe you or Patterson, then I have to believe that Gilyard's victims lied and that Gaines was publicly rebuked by Patterson and his other friends in high places and not given speaking engagments. But that did not happen.

Patterson does not have a track record for truth. Sorry.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

BTW CB, I know enough of history to know that Ben Cole wrote on the Outpost that you called him and asked him to make information about Patterson public. When he did, you mysteriously got on the fence and even started defending Patterson and trashing Ben Cole on the Outpost. Now you trash Wade quite a bit.

I am not apt to trust you much.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

You go girl. You have hit the proverbial CB - er - nail on the head.

CB's temper and mouth will always keep him in trouble.

Suzie

WatchingHISstory said...

NASS said: "Dr. Rogers decreed that the church pay the guy off -- to the tune of $500,000 -- so as to avoid any "negative publicity" for Bellevue."

Has anyone researched Bellevue's Congregational minutes to verify the aproval of that amount of money? Where would confidentiality agreements between the parties be kept.

Is there an organization except Larry Flynt's that would allow one man a decree to spend that much money over a frivilous suit (defamation of character) Embezzel money and have an affair and get one-half-million dollars as punishment!

I left the garage door open three weeks ago. . .shouldn't I get $50,000 or more?

I'll bet this was hush money for something other than the case involved and this was what the church needed to hush-up.

CB Scott said...

Lydia,

I have never trashed Ben Cole.

You are now in need of providing evidence as to the truth of what you have just said or you are a liar.

And you are a liar.

Wade,

There is a great possibility you have a credible post here. You would do well to ask those who are taking it another way to stick to the subject.

cb

Anonymous said...

NASS said: "Dr. Rogers decreed that the church pay the guy off -- to the tune of $500,000 -- so as to avoid any "negative publicity" for Bellevue."

You must have me confused with someone else. Those are some good questions though.

Grace

Wade Burleson said...

Please folks, let's stay on topic. Thanks.

gmommy said...

Wade,
Nothing productive can come from any discussion that WH/CP involves himself in.

I do think it was very rude and beyond arrogant the way Mr. Masters responded to Christa Brown.

I continue to be amazed by the lack of compassion and grace Baptist leaders show towards those who have already been thru so much.
It's rare now to see men in the SBC leadership even behave like gentlemen when it comes to those wounded by clergy sexual abuse.

We will take care of each other even when pastors and leaders turn a blind eye.
We won't be silent no matter how much we are dismissed or degraded.

There is a special strength God gives us to survive. So much has been taken already that rude arrogant men won't silence us.

Sorry this is so uncomfortable for everyone but it's reality.

You can't put a dollar figure on the lives that have been damaged forever by clergy sexual abuse so that makes it easier to pretend those souls bleeding around you aren't real.

God knows the truth. He sees whose hearts are hard and who care only for their personal agenda and not for their brothers and sisters in need.

Thank you Wade...for the "blog time" to crusade against clergy sexual abuse.

CB Scott said...

Wade,

Thank you. We both know I have never "trashed" Ben. Frankly, "trash" is not the proper word in reference to our (cb and Wade's relationship) either. I have rebuked you as you have me. But nonetheless trash is not the operative word here and I thank you for calling us all back to the subject at hand.

Wade, I read in the Mobile Press-Register this morning that Harvey and another former employee of Starfish Insurance Agency may have gone to Turkey leaving unpaid bills in addition to having taken the money from the insurance agency.

According to the article I read one would be lead to believe a pattern of such behavior has long been the way of Gray Harvey.

Have you heard that to be the case? Or did he just suddenly take up a life of crime and deceptive living while in Istanbul?

cb

Anonymous said...

Wade is right.

We need to try to end some of this tension.

The time of year is upon us to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christmas Season, where we honor Him by being peaceful with one another. :) L's

"God's goodwill in sending the Messiah, brought PEACE into this lower world. PEACE is here put for all that good which flows to us from Christ's taking our nature upon Him.
This is a faithful saying, attested by an innumerable company of angels, and well worthy of all acceptation, That the good-will of God toward men, is
glory to God in the highest, and PEACE ON THE EARTH..
The shepherds lost no time, but came with haste to the stable. There, they were satisfied, and made known abroad concerning this Child, that he WAS THE SAVIOR, even Christ the Lord,
the PRINCE OF PEACE. "

T'is the Season to begin our reflection upon these mysteries of our faith and to do it peacefully as a Christian community.

Christmas Truce? :)

Wade Burleson said...

I know nothing of Gray Harvey's background, only his crimes.

WatchingHISstory said...

Shame on us that Paul Williams is not in prison.

WatchingHISstory said...

Wade

missionary service in a foreign country often breeds corruption.

Especially long term service. There is a lot of ends justifying means mentality. Often there is exposure to cultural evil. Then there are shortcuts for money laundering, especially in hostile anti-christian environments. Sumggling necessary items, customs procedures. Living a lie for visa purposes.

All these things can destroy core values for the sake of the "service." Missionaries can become unethical people.

They are underpaid and underappreciated and this can breed corruption.

Anonymous said...

Please folks, let's stay on topic. Thanks.

Mr. Burleson,

Could you please say who among us (other than WatchingHISstory) was not on topic? I thought my 2:44 comment was very timely and on topic. Unfortunately, any time Bellevue Baptist or Dr. Rogers is mentioned on a blog anywhere, this Charles Page person shows up to spew his garbage. Unlike him, I have no bone to pick with Dr. Rogers. I've hardly ever commented on another blog, but I read quite a few, and I've read quite a bit about the Bellevue situation. Today I was only relating a story I thought to be relevant to the discussion. I'm sorry my comment attracted his attention, but I can't control what Mr. Page chooses to do. I understand he's been banished from many blogs, and to avoid these diversions you might want to consider this yourself. It's only a suggestion.

I also thought Ruth, Lydia, Christa Brown, and gmommy's comments were very relevant to the topic. Clergy sex abuse is an unfortunate, ugly reality that no one seems to want to hear about. No one wants the "negative publicity" whether it involves an embezzling minister or a molesting minister.

Of the 5 or 6 times I've posted on your blog in the past year, it seems you've always immediately come on and admonished people to "stay on topic." If I didn't know better, I might take it personally. I shouldn't, should I? The SBC "regulars" seem to be able to go off on tangents all the time with no rebuke. Surely I'm wrong, but I'm beginning to detect a double standard. I don't understand what constitutes an "on topic" comment.

Grace

WatchingHISstory said...

sorry wade

GMOMMY is a "kissy goddess". She always kisses up the blog administrator and therefore gets 'carte blanche' on any clergy she can hang a charge on. She and Christa are riding this for all it is worth and who can argue with a 'poor victim'

She demonstrates the ability of a victim to use her victimhood for bullying others. She is guilty of rude behavior herself!

There needs to be a way for victims to vent and organize themselves in ways to prevent futher abuse of innocent victims. IMO the real issue is educating victims to report any abuse as soon as possible.

But she and Christa 'wallow in pity' over the inability a victim has to come forward. It is much easier to play the blame game with secondary factors.

Anonymous said...

AND A LITTLE CHILD SHALL
LEAD THEM


"In the coming Kingdom, even nature is to be redeemed. The animals will not fight or bite or eat one another. “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” What will it be like when even the animals are at peace?"

oc said...

WHS,
Quit trying to poison this blog like you've tried to on every other blog you ever posted on.

And "sorry wade" probably won't cut it here either, as you have proven yourself unrepentant time and time again. I don't think Pastor Wade will allow you to continue to spew venom around here much longer as you try to hurt people, then you can put another notch on your gun as just another blog banned from.

WatchingHISstory said...

Wade

My one desire is to be as much like Jesus as possible. I have no desire to be gentle, sweet, meek or mild.

For the most part these are false images of Christ people want us to be inorder to rule us. This is true particularly in Church-life.

I am 62 years old and am tired of being ruled by incompetent Christians. I am using crudeness to break out of this stronghold.
People want to control us and I refuse to be controled. I am a bold Spirit-filled evangelistic "faith following regeneration" Calvinist.

I believe that the strongman needs to be bound and his house and goods spoiled. It is time that we break some store windows and loot the hypocrites goods.

That is the Christ I am emulating.
Grace, spare me the pity you experience from my garbage being spewed all over your pristine righteousness.

I have not yet reached the likeness to Christ I desire. I can speak the language but the part where Hypocrites think you have a demon demands an intensity I have not yet attained. Learning to be that angry without sinning is a lofty goal.

I know this; for every hypocrite there is to hate there are good common people to love. When good people see you hating hypocrites they come to life. My greatest joy is seeing a common man come to life.

Grace and GMOMMY and the rest of NASS" sheep: I need you in my life to practice the Christ-like life.

I hunger to see common men come into the realities of the kingdom.
Just like the Bible this takes hypocrites!

I've gone from angry to happiness. See it is that easy. That is how it works!

Everybody, start a revolution. Find a hypocrite and spew him some garbage and OLE viva la revolution!

WatchingHISstory said...

oc "kissy goddess #1"

You know me getting late gotta go to bed. Some of us have to work for a living.

oc said...

Please get some help Charles. I'm praying for you.

Anonymous said...

"You are now in need of providing evidence as to the truth of what you have just said or you are a liar."

Outpost archives... if they still exist.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"May the One who makes peace in the heavens bring peace to us and to all of Israel (and all of humanity), and let us say, 'Amen.'"


ٍîهمن ùى çهى هùى ùلْ:

ùéي ùىهي

ùىهي ّل

÷مéù éْهي

ٍهùن ùىهي لîّهîéه

نهà éٍùن ùىهي ٍىéًه

هٍى ëى éùّàى

هٍى ëى éهùلé ْلى )هàîّه àîï)

Thy Peace said...

Lydia said ... "Outpost archives... if they still exist."

Yes, there is a way.

Internet Archive Wayback Machine for sbcoutpost.com

Try it!

Thy Peace said...

From the Internet Wayback Machine:

Can I search the Archive?

Using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, it is possible to search for the names of sites contained in the Archive (URLs) and to specify date ranges for your search. We hope to implement a full text search engine at some point in the future.


So currently, you can not search as in google search for the Wayback Machine. Maybe in the future. For now you can peruse by dates.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE MENTALLY-ILL



"Pray for the mentally-ill.


Pray that their mental illness does not hinder their relationship with the Lord.
And pray for all those whom they have hurt and scandalised by the strange and bizarre things that their mental illness has caused them to do.

Pray for all those with mental illnesses, those affected by their illness, and for their caregivers.

Pray for these people who are so very ill.
Do this for the love of Christ.
He will hear and He will help them and He will remember your compassion for their suffering.

Thy Peace said...

ALL the comments and posts are there. Good luck in your search, Lydia.

Off-Topic Anonymous Dude said...

Will all you self-appointed blog cops give it a rest? If Wade wants to tell people to stay on topic or if he wants to take action to restrict or remove anonymous comments, he can handle it himself. Whining from control freaks who want to police other people's blog ettiquite is much more distracting than anonymous comments or so-called "off topic" comments. (It's called "conversation", folks -- two way communication of ideas can take various twists and turns. Learn to live with it and you might just learn to like it.)

Sorry, Wade, I'm just so tired of it.

Anonymous said...

ALL the comments and posts are there. Good luck in your search, Lydia.

Tue Dec 02, 10:49:00 PM 2008

Thanks, Thy peace. There is plenty of reading (pack a lunch) in posts AND comments over the time it was up to prove my point. But you might want to zero in on Ben Cole's goodbye post. It was a bit stunning to read after reading many of CB's vitriolic comments there for so long....and now here.

Those interested can read for themselves.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Dude,

You contradict yourself, but that's okay. You boys just keep on fussing and "discussing."

With that, I am...

Out of here.

Thy Peace said...

Lydia, the Wayback Machine only shows web pages that are 6 months old. It looks like Ben Code Exit Strategy posts were made on July 11th 2008. I can not find this on the wayback machine. Also none exist after Feb 05 2008.

Are you looking at a different date? If so please share. Are you looking at a different web link? If so please share. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Are you looking at a different date? If so please share. Are you looking at a different web link? If so please share. Thanks.

Tue Dec 02, 11:42:00 PM 2008

Nope. You are right. The wayback machine does not have it.


Lydia

Rex Ray said...

L’s,
I’m afraid your “Christmas Truce” is like water off a duck’s back. One point of Wade’s post is when sin is covered up (unpunished) the person is free to sin against others.

That works for all sin so I have no sympathy for those that whine and moan that unpunished sex sin is off topic.

C.B., you jump on Kevin Crowder for making the best comment he’s ever made on Wade’s post. Why?

How can you call people liars while taking up for the cleverest liar I know of in the SBC? He personally told me in my ear they had explained all the ‘errors’ in the Bible that they could; while telling the crowd in a loud voice: “We got them all!”
He didn’t lie to me, but he lied to all that heard him.

You might claim that was just a white lie that didn’t hurt anyone. As a rule, people that lie over little things don’t have a problem with the big ones.

What about him telling an untruth in the report to the SBC Executive Committee what a German professor said who was in the Baptist World Alliance?

When the untruth was brought to light, Chapman said Patterson wrote it. Patterson was the last speaker in the 2004 SBC that brought new accusations that the BWA was ‘gay friendly’.

How many people did it hurt by him influencing the SBC to withdraw from the BWA?

If a person lies, will he steal? Don’t you think he had his ‘finger in the pie’ when his aid got a new car at half price at the cost of the Seminary which he was president of?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the way I see it, this ‘car deal’ led to your being fired when you helped to expose it. That makes your attitude to protect Patterson the strangest of all.

CB Scott said...

Rex,

I do respect you for your willingness to stand up. In the three years I have read your comments you are always seeking to be honest in what you say.

I realize my comments are often "strange" to you.

Rex, I am not trying to protect anyone. I am just trying to be truthful. That which I know to be the truth I believe I must stand on no matter who is involved. Paige Patterson had nothing to do with what happened at the IMB relating to Gray Harvey.

Have I ever spoken against things Paige Patterson has done? Of course I have and you have read things I have said.

Have I ever defended him? Of course I have and you have read that also.

I have just tried to be honest. And in that effort I cannot be against all things Patterson or for all things Patterson.

What I know to be true is what I am going to state. You know the effort has cost me. But, I believe it is the right thing to do. For me it is the only thing to do. I know some things I say seem strange, but thus far I believe I have been truthful. At least, I have made an effort to be. I trust you to understand that and I think you do.

Therefore, I have made the comments I have because this situation does not involve Paige Patterson and I believe it only diminishes the seriousness of what has happened at the IMB to bring his name into the dialogue.

It seems that everyone has an opinion of Paige Patterson. But, my brother, not every opinion is right regarding Paige Patterson. Many of those who say so much about him do not know him in the least way. The things they say are so far from true it is astounding. It is also wrong and sinful.

He is not all things evil. Nor is he all things good. He is a man.

He has done some wonderful things for "many" people, me included.

He has done some wrong things to "some" people, me included.

That is just the way it is. And that is where I stand.

cb

Elisabeth said...

CB,

I don't always agree with you, and sometimes your opinion has made me just plain mad, but as far as your last comment, all I can say is "Wow."
I do not agree that bringing PP and his involvement with the Gilyard case diminishes the seriousness of the IMB and Harvey case that Wade was talking about here; on the contrary, I am more of the same opinon as Rex, about the unpunished sin angle.
But I do definately respect your wanting to stand for truth, and trying to take more of a stance that PP is neither all good nor all evil, even though he has hurt you. A pastor hurt me badly in the past, and one of the ways I have been able to find healing is to realize the same about him - he is neither all good nor all evil.

Wayne Smith said...

All and One for the Gipper / CB Scott,

Of all the Bloggers That have been around here, CB Scott Has the Biggest HEART for the LORD and is the Most Honest Christian I know.
CB is a straight talker and may come across as a little rough around the edges. One thing I know is that he can be trusted and what CB says, you can take to the Bank.

Wayne

Lin said...

"If there is any good news, it might be that Gray Harvey was baptized in a Baptist church and never prayed in a private prayer language. (The preceding sentence will only be understood by some Southern Baptists and all IMB trustees).

Shame on us that he's not in jail."

Boy, this says it all. It is the Pharisees all over again...straining at gnats while the elephant is standing in the middle of the room.

CB Scott said...

KMAN says:

"It really isn't your job ot keep someone from stealing.........................I came on board in the CA office right after Harvey left and was confronted. All I can say is that we were headed in the right direction accounting-wise, but decisions continued to be made that tied the hands of the accounting process so that the right thing could not be done!"

How many times has such a statement been made to the shame of the SBC.

Sorry that happened to you, KMAN. I really am.

cb

Anonymous said...

Makes it look like Harvey had at least 2 accomplices forbidding oversight: if so, how high up does the buck stop?

Also, the lady who didn't know about Harvey's crimes: does she have any legal right to sue the SBC for hiding his crimes from public view?

Essentially, Harvey was given the green light to steal by the lack of oversight AND he was protected by the SBC from accountability before the public.

Doesn't smell good.

rick said...

Please do not think its only fundamentalist type SBCers who act this way. Along with others, I blew the whistle on similar activities in the staff of the BGCT in Texas. Since then, I have been consigned to outer darkness, had my reputation ruined and generally been treated like a criminal. The fellows in charge have been treated to standing ovations and lovely retirements.

A tragedy is indeed unfolding

Anonymous said...

Dear MR. SCOTT,

Hi, it's me, L's

You wrote: "It seems that everyone has an opinion of Paige Patterson. But, my brother, not every opinion is right regarding Paige Patterson. Many of those who say so much about him do not know him in the least way. The things they say are so far from true it is astounding. It is also wrong and sinful."

I was thinking that all many of us will ever know about Mr. Patterson comes from reports about his actions. There is always the possibility that a report is incorrect or biased. If the report appears factual, then I suppose people might begin to 'judge' this man's character based on his reported actions.

His actions, as reported, are not flattering. I believe that we can learn a lot about a person's character by how he or she treats the most vulnerable people under their authority and care.

May I safely say that PP's actions can be examined as clues to his character? Particularly his actions towards SBC employees under the leadership's auspices? Judging an apparent action is different from judging the person, who may be much misunderstood.

It seems that a high profile person in any Church organization would be careful for actions that might reflect poorly on the organization. (Like Caesar's wife being 'above reproach')

And yet there appears to be almost an aggressively abrasive, strident nature to the leadership's style which is in great contrast to the integrity the SBC enjoyed when men like Dr. Herschel Hobbs were prominent.

It almost seems as though the style adopted was openly intended to intimidate those dependent on the SBC for their incomes and benefits: especially those employees with families and health issues on their plate. I can only imagine their suffering and worry.

What are people to think, based on how employees were treated? Very disturbing to hear about what happened to those unfortunate people. You know, there IS a price to be paid by a leadership that has caused so much havoc in their employee's lives.

If people don't speak up, where is the nonsense going to end? I think people are not trying to ruin anyone's reputation so much as they are trying to see fairness done to those who suffered as a result of treatment by the SBC.

Sir, you are an intelligent man. Surely you must see that people can't turn away from what has happened as though it didn't matter. People were hurt. Something did happen. That is out in the open. It does matter.

My two cents, as an out-sider.
It is painful to watch all this. L's

Anonymous said...

Sex criminals and thieves are not held accountable. Things are hushed up.

Many missionaries were sent packing, because they were 'expendable' to the new conservative resurgence.

Nice contrast.

Something was 'resurging' all right, but it wasn't to do with Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

It is commonly known that CB Scott has a rule #1: "Trust no one."

How does the great sage apply his rule to this comment string?

CB Scott said...

L's,

You said:

"Surely you must see that people can't turn away from what has happened as though it didn't matter."

I have never said that. If you knew the history of the SBC in the last thirty years you would know I have never said that.

You said you were not of my faith and you are right. You don't know Patterson. Most here do not know him. But that is not the issue here. Patterson is not the issue here whether any commenter here knows him or not.

The issue here is Gray Harvey and people like KMAN. KMAN got hurt in this matter as his comment above states. I am sure others have too.

Patterson is not related to this post. Talking about him here only diminishes the seriousness of this situation as I have already stated above.

That is the reason I posted on this matter myself on my blog. I had hoped people would discuss the matter without making comments that are not relative to this particular situation.

Many have read the post. Few have commented. I thought that might be the case. I had hoped it would not be.

People are still afraid to deal with an issue that may cost them if they are critical of an entity within the SBC structure.

Some of us know what the cost can be.

I had hoped that maybe there could be enough dialogue that maybe something could be done.

Obviously I was wrong. People had rather say nothing. Or, people want to talk about things that are of no personal cost.

People often like to throw stones at a caged Tiger. Few are willing to face him out in the open.

Many here just want to throw stones at caged Tigers from behind "anonymous" trees.

At other places many will read and say nothing.

Those who say nothing when they know the truth are just as guilty as those who know nothing and throw stones.

But one thing history will reveal L's. I have never turned away from what has happened as though it never happened.

You are wrong on that one. It was not me who turned my back on your situation a few posts back. That was the action of others, but not me.

cb

gwfrink3 said...

Are additional audits of the relevant International Mission Board recorder needed? ( http://baptistplanet.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/baptist-imb-secrecy-linked-to-fraud/ )

Bob Cleveland said...

I suppose one of the dangers in building such a structure as the SBC, particularly where a lot of people put a lot of work into it, is that "we" get to thinking it's "our" deal. And that we're about "our" work, in it.

We're not. We're about the work of the King of Kings down here. There is no place in it for compromise in integrity, honesty, and the like, and that's precisely what the IMB Trustees did when they swept it under the rug and voted to (A) trust the word of a confessed thief, that he's repay hundreds of thousands of dollars, rather than (B) do the right thing and have him prosecuted for embezzlement. But THAT would have required that they trust GOD to handle the bad publicity (?) they feared would interfere with their income (which they were apparently not attributing to God, anyway).

The more I know, the less I understand.

Anonymous said...

"Patterson is not related to this post. Talking about him here only diminishes the seriousness of this situation as I have already stated above."

Don't be ridiculous. I suppose we could put each scandel and/or evil deed in it's own category and never connect the dots to see the REAL problem in the SBC. They are ALL related because there is a mindset. Patterson just perfected it over the years. So, why does he still work for the SBC in any capacity?

"He is not all things evil. Nor is he all things good. He is a man."

How relevant. Same could be said of the crook Harvey.

But what you have ignored is clear teaching of scripture. If one willingly sins KNOWING the truth then there is no sacrifice.

It is called wickedness. (Hebrews 10 and other places)

You really do believe we can be saved and live like deceitful wicked plotters for as long as we want, don't you? (Perhaps it is the title that throws you)

I am truly amazed that folks think people can be wicked... know truth... and still be saved.

Does anyone ever study ALL of 1 John and not just their favorite verse?

It is the same type of thinking that did not convict Harvey: Self preservation.

Lydia

CB Scott said...

Lydia,

You are one of the people I am talking about here. You know nothing about this situation and what is actually causing it.

You know nothing about Patterson or what he has or has not done.

You just like to run your mouth. You are a person described above as one who likes to throw rocks at caged Tigers from behind anonymous trees.

I have confronted Patterson along with many others. I have done it face to face. You are the kind of person who would never do that.

You lied about me and Ben Cole. You know nothing of our relationship.

Have Ben and I ever argued? Of course we have. Have we defended each other? More than you could possibly know.

Wade knows that to be true. Bob Cleveland knows that to be true. Most people that have a true knowledge of the SBC and what has transpired knows that to be true. They know the relationship between Ben and cb.

You just simply speak out of ignorance. That is because you are ignorant to most all of this, yet you just want to throw rocks.

You have still not brought evidence of me "trashing" Ben Cole as you said I did. And I am still calling you a liar for you are one. Yet, you have no remorse for being one. You just gather new stones to throw. That is real character there Lydia. Yes sir, real character.

Bring it. Let's look at it in context.
It is people like you going off into la la land with this post that made me think it might be a good idea to post on it myself in hopes some substantial dialogue could occur.

I guess I was wrong. A great number of people have read the post, but few have commented. They know the administration and trustees of the IMB have acted poorly and sinfully, but they don't want to speak up for fear of the cost to them personally.

Then there are people like you with some kind of axe to grind who fly off at the mouth saying things of no substance whatsoever which only makes those with real knowledge of these situations want to walk away and say "what is the use."

You are unreasonable here and for all the time I have read your shallow babble you have been unreasonable.

If you want to talk about this issue, then identify yourself and speak to the issue.

If that is not your desire, just go ahead and throw rocks at caged Tigers. But, remember that in doing so you will never be any real help to solving this problem of failed character before us among so many in the SBC. Actually you are part of the problem. You are probably not even part of the SBC are you? Yet, if you are, you are as guilty as those who say nothing to help the situation. You are as guilty as those who are causing the problem.

cb

CB Scott said...

Bob,

You may have drilled to the core of the problem here in saying:

"(A) trust the word of a confessed thief, that he's repay hundreds of thousands of dollars, rather than (B) do the right thing and have him prosecuted for embezzlement. But THAT would have required that they trust GOD to handle the bad publicity (?) they feared would interfere with their income (which they were apparently not attributing to God, anyway)."

It does seem many cover things just to keep the "boat" floating. Especially if the boat is docking in "their" boat slip at their private harbor.

cb

Anonymous said...

You truly have done more to divide than unite. I wish you would have strived to make a difference for the greater good of the Kingdom instead of a difference where you disagreed when you were a trustee and not sought to divide. From your blogs, it seems that your whole time as a trustee was one conflict after another. And now it seems that even though you are not a trustee, you are still highlighting your conflicts and how you are right in all matters relating. Maybe you should put yourself in check and ask this question: do you seek out conflict? I've yet to see you, read from you, or hear you yield when conflict comes. That's dangerous and arrogant.

maybe your blog should be retitled: conflict that i've had and how i've won (and never lost)

I hope that one day you will see what kind of damage you have done, repent of it, and admit.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

When Nathan pointed his finger at David, there was a face behind the finger.

Were you to have the courage of a true prophet, there might be the possibility that I, like David, might repent of sins pointed out to me.

Since you choose to remain anonymous, and since you point your electronic finger without the courage of conviction or any evidence of the Spirit of God, I shall respond like Luther rather than David:

"Here I stand. I can do no other."

Rex Ray said...

KMAN,
Your story reminds me of my missionary uncle, Rex Ray, when he first went to China. His boss was retiring and told him, “We don’t need to pay money for an auditor…we’re Christians.”

Rex paid a detective out of his pocket to follow his boss. The detective found a warehouse with enough equipment to supply a hospital. His boss was starting a hospital state-side, and through the years had order two of everything and put one in the warehouse. This happened in the 1930’s, and the Foreign Mission Board took the equipment but let the guy retire in full glory because it would portray a ‘bad’ image of Baptists.

After his death, Rex’s daughter printed his ‘book’ he had worked on for years, but the story above was left out. Guess why?

His book, “Cowboy Missionary in Kwangsi by Rex Ray” was used as a ‘study book’ by the WMU. He had faith to pray a cloud would separate him from bandits who were holding him ransom. While buying medical supplies by running the Japanese blockade, he had the gall to make a Japanese General pay $400 for the loss of his motorcycle when aircraft sunk a ferryboat where he saved three Christian non-swimming women. While bullets riddle the boat, he lay in a corner and one of the women threw herself on top of him. Afterwards he thanked her for protecting him, but she said, “Oh no, Rev. Ray, I picked the safest place on the boat because I knew the Lord was going to take care of you.” (America was not at war at the time.)

KMAN, thank you for standing for truth. It’s a shame people cannot sign their real names. Is it fear from Christians or fear of a KGB?

Your story: “It is not your job to keep someone from stealing” is an example of ‘spiritual abuse’ as explained by Jeff VanVonderen that Wade wrote about on a previous post. VanVonderen wrote: “The person who speaks about a problem must become the problem.”

What you were told in paraphrase was, ‘Mind your own business!’ This stinks to high heaven, and those involved should be investigated. It makes us wonder if you’ve uncovered only the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

CB Scott said...

Anony, (with the "electronic finger")

On this issue, I will stand right beside Wade Burleson.

And if you want to identify yourself, I will gladly tell you why I do.

cb

Anonymous said...

CB,

You watch too many John Wayne movies.

Too bad most of the outpost archives are gone.

Your insults are a badge of honor to me.

Lydia

Christa Brown said...

1. CB Scott 12/2 1:48 am said:
"Patterson did not cover up the Gilyard situation. he did all he could do..."

2. Numerous others on this thread then expressed a differing view of Patterson and spoke of the parallels between cover-ups of clergy sex abuse and the cover-up of financial wrongdoing.

3. CB Scott 12/3 10:13 a.m. said:
"I believe it only diminishes the seriousness of what has happened at the IMB to bring his [Patterson's] name into the dialogue."

4. Others continue to express views about PP that are contrary to CB Scott's view and to point out how the lack of accountability and hush-it-up pattern prevail for both clergy sex abuse and financial wrongdoing.

5. CB Scott 12/4 9:14 a.m. complains about "... people going off into lala land with this post..."

Uhhhh... it looks to me as though CB Scott keeps complaining about a line of thought that he himself brought to the table.

And Rick... I know you're right. The BGCT and SBC share some common ground here.

Rex Ray said...

Rick,
Was your whistle blowing connected to the 1.2 million swindled from the BGCT a few years ago?

Authorities kept ignoring warnings over and over money given for starting churches were going to churches that existed only on paper.

Adding insult to injury, authorities would not let the BGCT Convention vote to prosecute because they said they would be the ones to decide that decision.

CB Scott said...

Lydia,

John Wayne was an actor. I am the real deal:-)

Christa,

I have no problem with your desire to see justice relating to sexual abusers being brought to justice. Been there done that a whole bunch. I am right with you on the lack of justice in that regard. It makes me sick. I have pushed hard many times only to see guys walk because a DA says he won't make the case because he is afraid he would lose and he does not want to "waste" taxpayer money.

Yet, this particular situation does not involve Paige Patterson. It involves the trustees of the IMB and the administration of the IMB and in particular Jerry Rankin.

I have dealt with issues involving Paige Patterson many times in the past three years. You were probably not interested in those issues because they did not have a relationship to your particular cause.

You have me wrong here. I support your cause. And have in more than just words.(I would have done more than just talk had I been around and called on to be involved when you were abused by the trash who abused you.) And long before I ever heard of you.

If a post is dedicated to sexual abusers I will stand by you in it as far as I believe you to be correct.

I hope you see my point. I am not your enemy. Ask Wade or those who know me.

cb

CB Scott said...

Rex,

There seems to be a pattern in Christian, religious and benevolent organizations in these matters.

It seems that they have a fear that if all does not appear to be "perfect" within their ranks their contributors will exodus in mass.

Certainly Christian organizations, should, operate as wade has pointed out in the title of this post; Tell the Truth and Trust the People.

Or better would be to Trust God and Tell the People.

Christian organizations, especially within the SBC, through the years must think the people to stupid to hear the truth and act properly.

Or is the problem they simply don't trust God?

cb

gwfrink3 said...

They don't trust God, or the people? Will they be trusted themselves now if they don't start telling the whole truth? Finally doing the right thing?

CB Scott said...

Frankly I can't help but wonder if some changes are not now going to be necessary.

cb

CB Scott said...

ANONY,

You were and continue to be wrong if you helped cover this up,

Your rationalization of your actions are just that; rationalizations.

You say:

"HE was, is and continues to be in control."

That is true.

The problem is; You ignored the truth of that when you were helping to cover this up.

You should have done the right thing. You did not. Now you make this elitist rationalization.

The sad thing is, based upon what you say now, you have probably learned nothing in all of this. If it were to happen again, you would probably repeat the same sinful cover-up. You are to be pitied.

cb

gwfrink3 said...

I see frequent references to sexual predators here. Stop Baptist Predators draws the parallel carefully at: He could have been stopped

Anonymous said...

Anony here again.

One thing I forgot to mention, but this was brought up more than once at the SBC convention in proposed motions and there were thorough discussions and investigation into the matter.

CB you make a lot of assumptions and accusations about me personnally and have not grounds to do so because you have no facts.

CB Scott said...

Anony,

Notice I said:

"You were and continue to be wrong if you helped to cover this up."

The word "if" is very operative here.

Someone(more than one) covered this up. That was wrong. It should not have been so.

As I said; "If" you were involved in the cover-up you were wrong to do so and my statement stands.

The facts are simple. Gray Harvey stole money. He was not prosecuted by the IMB. He later stole more money from another person.

Had he been dealt with properly by the IMB he would not have been able to steal from another person as he did.

Those are the facts.

The rest, on the part of the IMB and you if involved directly, is rationalization for poor stewardship of a sacred trust.

This was handled wrongly. You know that and all the effort to make me, Wade or anyone else bear an illegitmate guilt is another example of that of which is lacking on the part of all involved in the cover-up.

It really is that simple.

cb

Anonymous said...

Anon,

We have no business taking truth to other nations when we do not care about ALL truth here.

We are phony's and fakes. Does God really teach us to cover up sin in our camp so as not to hurt our witness? What a hypocritical thought...so very mancenterd and arrogant.

Why not speak out with your real name since we have it so wrong. If you are against Wade or this blog, your bosses will love you. nd now you are defending their horrible decision about Harvey.

You might even get a promotion!

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"John Wayne was an actor. I am the real deal:-)"


Duke,

They have treatments for this now.

Lydia

:o)

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Anonymous,

I believe it is your comment that compromises security for those you allege concern over.

It is deleted.

Anonymous said...

Really? You delete the one comment that disagreed with you? And actually put two sides to the story instead of your own.

And if you were actually concerned with security for those on the field at all you would not have splashed Gray's name connected with the IMB all over your blog.

Nicole

Anonymous said...

Anon here again,

I can't say I am surprised that my comment was deleted. To clarify I no longer work for the IMB so I am not looking for a promotion but only the Truth to be represented. Wade, it is the censoring of my comment that clearly cries double standard. Somehow it was wrong for the trustees of the IMB to sensor you but ok for you to sensor me? Wow!
Obviously there is no point in seeking the whole story here because it isn't wanted but just the simple pursuit of your agenda: Bash all those connected to the IMB leadership every chance you get. Sad...

Lin said...

To both anonymous'

This story is in the abp and the Mobile Register. It is not a big secret.

CB Scott said...

Lydia,

I actually have a bulldog named Duke. But he is not named for that Duke.

His whole name is The Duke of Scott House.

His bloodlines are far better than mine. So I guess I am just the keeper of the Duke.

Nicole,

The concern is for that of the whole SBC. If we cannot be trusted to be honorable in the stewardship of the money member churches of what real worth do we think we are within the Kingdom?

This kind of lying to SBC churches needs to end. There is a generation coming among us that will n ot tolerate this kind of hypocrisy. If we loose them due to our hypocrisy what will the SBC look like in ten years?

cb

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

If you are the person who used to work for the board and worked with Gray Harvey, you may also be the person that two people told me was involved in the embezzlement.

Please email at wwburleson@hotmail.com and I will tell you if you are the one identified by two people, in writing, as an accomplice.

In His Grace,

Wade

CB Scott said...

And now....the rest of the story

gwfrink3 said...

What is "the rest of the story" here? Accomplices, Wade? Baptist Planet asks how tangled this Web really is and I do share that dismayed wonder.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Writing from Istanbul and definitely someone in the know. We lived through this whole ordeal and were devastated by the "keep it quiet" mentality of the leadership/trustees. I applaud you for exposing this scandal. We are tired of the the "sweep everything under the rug" ethos of the Board/Convention. Which leads me to a question. How many oaths of silence did you take during your time on the Board of Trustees at the IMB? We know of at least one that you have taken. How many more? I don't expect you to tell us the content of the "oaths of silence", but to just learn how many. I think this could reveal to your readers how epidemic this attitude is (as if we don't already know).
Also, I recall someone made a motion for the investigation of the Gray Harvey embezzlement issue at the 2006 Convention (one you remember well) and that it was never allowed to come up for a vote. Do you remember this Wade?
Thanks for your investigation into this matter. Keep bringing light into dark places. That's what we are trying to do in Istanbul.

Sergeant Theophilus said...

Wade

Not being a part of the SBC, This is a little like hearing how sausage is made. But we should never be suprised at the results of man's absolute depravity should we. Being involved in prison ministry, I know many Christians who are in prison for their second or third time after receiving Christ as their savior. Now many Christians will say that it's impossible for Christians to commit crime. But the longer God allows me to hang around, the less sure I am that a Christian cannot willingly commit sin. At any rate you are right when you say that everything should be open to public scrutiny and Christians ought not to be conducting business in secret. The problem with the SBC or the Catholic Church or any institution, is that somehow the leaders of the institution at some point become more interested in preserving the institution than in preserving truth. Again, alas, the institution takes on a narcissistic personality through the people who are afraid of it and themselves failing. Actually we should never be afraid of church organizations failing, especially when they have to be kept propped up by men and their devices rather than by the strength and power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the IMB has outlived it's usefulness in it's present form and needs to be reformulated. Just like GM and Ford and Chrysler have outlived their usefulness. Always enjoy reading your blog, don't let bitterness overwhelm you.

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