Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Sordid and Strange Darrell Gilyard Story and What It Reveals About the SBC

The Florida Times Union reports that Darrell Gilyard, a former Southern Baptist pastor, will appear in Florida court this month to defend himself on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct against a fourteen year old girl. Gilyard, who resigned January 4, 2008 as pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida after his arrest, is an interesting case study regarding the old, but sad axiom in the Southern Baptist Convention - "It's not who you are, but who you know that gets you places." Though one cannot be sure of the motives of those involved in the following story, it seems that there is an air of "us vs. them" mentality in some SBC leadership circles that leads to cover ups and excuses for inexcusable conduct among SBC ministers.

Darrell Gilyard burst on the SBC scene when he preached at the 1989 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference at the instigation of Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines. Gilyard related to SBC pastors how he had grown up as a homeless teenager, living under a bridge in Jacksonville, Florida, only to be miraculously converted and called to preach. He expressed gratefulness to both Vines and Patterson as he articulated the need for young, conservative gospel preachers to follow the leaders of the conservative resurgence. His message received a standing ovation at the SBC Pastor's Conference, and a star had been born in SBC circles. Jerry Vines had "discovered" Gilyard in Jacksonville, and Paige Patterson had discipled Gilyard as the young preacher attended Criswell College in the mid-1980's.

Gilyard would later repeat this "homeless" story on Jerry Falwell's Old Time Gospel Hour television broadcast, only to have his adoptive mother, Barbara Davis of Palatka, Florida, tell the media afterwards that she had raised Darrell from age 5 to 19 in middle income comfort, and that his story of living homeless under a bridge was a lie. Unfortunately, lying was the least of the problems of this young man who was fast becoming a rising star among Southern Baptists. While Gilyard was at Criswell, a long litany of sexual allegations against Gilyard came to the surface. It was during this time that Gilyard, with the encouragemnt and recommendation of Paige Patterson, became a staff member at Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas. What happened next is unconscionable.

Predatorial Behavior Explained Away

According to The Dallas Morning News, Concord's Senior Pastor, E.K. Bailey said a dark side of Mr. Gilyard began to emerge while "ministering" at Concord. Rumors began to fly that the associate pastor was making advances on women in the church. In 1987, within two years after his hiring at Concord, Mr. Gilyard was fired in front of 1,500 members of Concord Baptist for having had inappropriate sexual relationships with at least, according to Pastor Baily, twenty five women members of the church.

Mr. Bailey said officials from First Baptist, Dallas, Texas, the church that sponsors Criswell College, attended the open service during which Mr. Gilyard was fired. Though Criswell College and FBC Dallas representatives were present at the Concord service where Gilard was fired, Patterson later decided there was not enough "evidence" to further investigate Mr. Gilyard or discipline him in terms of Criswell College or Gilyard's ministry among SBC churches. Gilyard was promoted among SBC churches by Patterson, Vines and other conservative leaders. In fact, according to Pastor Bailey, "Paige Patterson wrote me an unkind letter over the whole ordeal (Gilyard's firing). He basically told me that he would have come out to my church and solved the problem for me if I had told him first." Notice, according to the letter, the problem was not the young ladies being victimized. The problem was not the sexual impropriety of Mr. Gilyard. The "problem" was the public firing. It never would have happened if Patterson had been involved.

Pastor Bailey, now deceased, said First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas and specifically Paige Patterson, continued to promote Mr. Gilyard throughout the predominantly white Southern Baptist churches. "You saw his star rising and rising," said Pastor Bailey, "and you knew what kind of a person he was." Pastor Bailey's comment illumines the theme of this post: "It is not 'who' you are, but 'who' you know that matters in the SBC."

Let me illustrate. After Gilyard's termination at Concord in 1987, he had little trouble gaining employment as assistant pastor for Hilltop Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma. Hilltop is a Southern Baptist Church and Senior Pastor Dan Maxwell hired Gilyard in 1988, less than a year after Gilyard was terminated at Concord. Maxwell had previously hosted a series of "conservative resurgence" pastors' meetings at his church at Hilltop, with Paige Patterson as the guest speaker. A former staff member at Hilltop, who would later serve with us at Emmanuel, told me that Pastor Maxwell hired Gilyard in 1988 at the sole urging and recommendation of Paige Patterson. Patterson told Maxwell to hire Gilyard, in spite of the allegations in Dallas, because the women in Dallas could not be believed. This squares with what Pastor Maxwell would later recount to The Dallas Morning News when he explained why he had hired Gilyard. "Paige Patterson said he had been out there (to Concord Missionary Baptist) and talked to the women and there had been nothing to the allegations. He (Patterson) could not substantiate them." However, less than a year after Gilyard arrived at Hilltop, allegations of sexual misconduct against Gilyard surfaced at that Southern Baptist church as well. Two women told Pastor Dan Maxwell that Mr. Gilyard had made sexual advances toward them, and a third woman confessed to having an affair with Mr. Gilyard.

Pastor Maxwell says he took this information of Gilyard's misconduct to Dr. Patterson. Dr. Patterson called and spoke personally to the woman who said she had an affair with Mr. Gilyard. After Patterson spoke to the woman, he told Pastor Maxwell that he did not believe the woman's story. "That individual's story changed many times," Dr. Patterson later explained to a reporter of The Dallas Morning News. "That bothered me," he said.

What is disturbing to me is the fact that Patterson is "bothered" by the womans story and not by the fact Gilyard is once again accused of sexual impropriety; particularly since Patterson already knew of Gilyard's 1987 sexual misconduct at Concord Baptist Church. Patterson was "bothered" by the woman's story at Hilltop, but NOT by Gilyard's alleged sexual misbehavior at Hilltop? Gilyard was terminated from Hilltop in early 1989 by Pastor Maxwell, and the friendship between Maxwell and Patterson, according to a staff member at Hilltop at the time, was terminally breached.

Back in Dallas in 1990

After being released from Hilltop in 1989, Mr. Gilyard made his way back to Dallas, Texas, and with the assistance of Patterson, Gilyard become the associate pastor at Shiloh Baptist in Garland, Texas. Before long, sexual misconduct allegations surfaced at Shiloh against Gilyard. Once again, Dr. Patterson intervened on behalf of his disciple. In 1990 Dr. Patterson met with two women who represented friends who, they said, were involved with Mr. Gilyard. Don Simpkins, a pastoral counselor, also attended. Mr. Simpkins said Dr. Patterson asked him to counsel Mr. Gilyard once a week. "I was supposed to "polish the rough edges," said Mr. Simpkins. Mr. Simpkins said that after a few visits with Mr. Gilyard, he suspected some "personality disorders' and wanted to test Mr. Gilyard . "He refused," Mr. Simpkins told the Dallas Morning News, "so I called Paige to let him know it wasn't going well, but he never returned any of my calls."

Gilyard was fired from Shiloh Baptist Church in 1990, only to wind up as pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas a few months later. In July of 1991, reports of sexual improprieties by Pastor Gilyard at Victory Baptist (his fourth church in four years), burst into the public realm. The allegations by the women at Victory Baptist Church who claimed to be his victims are so bizarre that I will post them verbatim from the July 14, 1991 Dallas Morning News article that made them public:

When it came to women (Gilyard) would not allow them to usher, serve on the finance committee, teach men or take classes with them.

But outside the church, according to the women who claim to have been victimized by him, Mr. Gilyard spent most of his time with women. Those who talked with The Dallas Morning News about their experiences asked to remain anonymous . . .

A woman joined Victory Baptist shortly after she moved to Dallas last year. Mr. Gilyard offered her a job at the church. "He called about 10 o'clock one night and said he wanted to talk about my work," she recalled. "We talked for a while like that, then the conversation shifted and he started getting real personal.

He wanted to know what attracted me to him. I should have hung up, but I felt flattered.' She said the phone call became more sexually explicit until finally she hung up. I felt dirty and sick afterward," she said.

She said she told Darrell DeBoard, the administrator at Victory Baptist, two or three days later. The woman said she also quit her job at the church and moved out of town that weekend.Mr. DeBoard declined to discuss the incident, saying he could not violate a confidence . . .

Martha Dixius, a social worker who taught Sunday school at Victory Baptist, said a woman in the congregation approached her in November for help. The woman, said Ms. Dixius, had "a trust level of a 7-year-old. She is very naive.' In a counseling session, Ms. Dixius said, the woman told her that Mr. Gilyard had noted her visitor's card and phoned her the next day with an offer to show her through the church. During the tour, he asked her questions a bout her personal life.

The next evening about 6 p.m., the woman told Ms. Dixius, Mr. Gilyard drove to her apartment and called her from his car phone. "She let him in her apartment because he told her he wanted to talk about some of the problems they had discussed the night before,' Ms. Dixius said. "She told me that by 6:30, she was raped." The woman told her she was too confused and frightened to call police. The woman told Ms. Dixius that Mr. Gilyard continued to go to her apartment for six months and have sex with her. "He would - call her from the car phone and say, "I'm coming up, let me in,' and she would be too frightened to say no.' After counseling the woman for four months, Ms. Dixius referred her to another counselor. The two counselors met with the woman and Darrell DeBoard, administrator of Victory Baptist. "The word "rape' was used a lot," Mr. DeBoard recalled, "but I understood that to be emotional rape. She was graphic with details, so it was hard not to believe that something had happened."

It was only during the time that the Dallas Morning News made the above allegations against Gilyard public that Paige Patterson ended his support of Gilyard. Gilyard had been fired from FOUR churches in FOUR years for allegations of sexual misconduct from dozens and dozens of women. Patterson knew of the sexual misconduct allegations against Gilyard at Concord Baptist Church in 1987. He knew about the sexual allegations against Gilyard at Hilltop Baptist Church in 1988. Gilyard preached at the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference in 1989 after being introduced to Conference leaders by Patterson and Vines. Patterson knew about the sexual misconduct allegations against Gilyard at Shiloh Baptist Church in 1990. Patterson knew about the sexual misconduct allegations against Gilyard at Victory Baptist Church in 1991.

Again, The Dallas Morning News made public the sexual misconduct allegations against Gilyard on July 14, 1991, at least six years after initial accounts of Gilyard's sexual improprieties surfaced at Criswell. Since that day in 1991 Patterson says he has had nothing to do with Darrell Gilyard.

Gilyard left Dallas in late 1991 and went to Florida where he eventually became pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville in 1993. The state of Florida is now seeking to prosecute Gilyard for "lewd and lascivious conduct" against a fourteen year old girl while serving as pastor at Shiloh in Florida. The sordid and strange Darrell Gilyard story has yet to end, but there are some lessons we can learn from it in the SBC.

Lesons Learned

(1). Information is power - to either check or correct poor leadership.

One wonders if glowing recommendations regarding Darrell Gilyard and his "ministry" would have continued from SBC leadership, in spite of their knowledge of allegations of sexual impropriety against Gilyard, had it not been for the public revelations of the Dallas Morning News in 1991. Thank God for a free, independent press. In addition, we thank the Lord for those women who have been victimized by Gilyard but are now making their voices heard in order to prevent other predatory behavior. Tiffany Croft, a young lady who became a victim of Gilyard's immoral conduct, wrote to me this past year expressing her desire to stop Gilyard from victimizing other women and girls. Croft eventually started a blog of her own called Let's Stop Darrell Gilyard Together". She is proof that every voice counts. She has made a difference.

(2). Southern Baptist churches would do well to remember that the qualifications for effective pastoral leadership are measured by the words and testimonies of those church members who have been recipients of a pastor's love and ministry - not professional endorsers.

In other words, though it is often not "who you are, but who you know" that gets you places in the SBC, a wise church will discount the big names on a resume and do due diligence with those people who have experienced the ministry of a pastor over the course of years. Likewise, big name denominational leaders may say negative things about people they do not like, but the "proof" of effective pastoral leadership is in the people being led.

(3). It is a shame when those outside the SBC must call our leaders to account for their actions because we Southern Baptists are too fearful to hold our own leaders accountable.

The Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called on the trustees of Southwestern Theological Seminary to remove President Paige Patterson for protecting Darrell Gilyard from being held accountable for his sexual misconduct in the 1980's and 1990's. SNAP believes victimized women and girls could have been protected from the predatory behavior of Gilyard had Southern Baptist leaders, particularly former SBC Presidents Vines and Patterson, held him accountable when they first were informed of his behavior. On January 9, 2008, President Paige Patterson officially responded to SNAP's request that Patterson be removed:

Christa Brown and the SNAP organization have alleged that years ago, and even in the present, I have protected Darrell Gilyard, most recently the Pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, when he was involved in sexual misconduct. These snap judgments by Brown and others are misinformed and inaccurate.

Patterson goes on to write about how he "moderated" the 1991 meeting where Gilyard was terminated from Shiloh Baptist Church in Dallas, but . . .

(a). He does not answer why in 1987 he rebuked Pastor E.K. Baily for terminating Gilyard from Concord Baptist Church after "twenty-five" women accused Gilyard of sexual misconduct.
(b). He does not answer why he recommended Gilyard to Hilltop Baptist Church in 1988 AFTER knowing the charges against Gilyard at Concord.
(c). He does not answer why he arranged for Gilyard to speak at the SBC Pastors Conference AFTER he knew of the sexual misconduct allegations at BOTH Concord Baptist and Hilltop Baptist churches.
(d). He does not answer why he refused to "believe" the stories of the women who claimed to be having sexual relationships with Pastor Gilyard; that is, not until The Dallas Morning news reported the stories of these women publicly.
(e). He does not answer why he arranged for a "pastoral counselor" to work on "the rough edges" of Darrell Gilyard in 1990 after Gilyard had been terminated from his THIRD church in THREE years (Shiloh Baptist, Dallas, Texas) for sexual misconduct instead of working to remove Gilyard from all pastoral ministry.

Why Bring All This Up Again Now?

Southern Baptists have proven we do not like to air our dirty laundry. When things become known to the outside world, we attack the messenger, rather than deal with the problem. We must change our approach. Southern Baptists must stand up and speak out, rather than mock or ridicule those who do.

According to the blog Abuse and Christianity, Darrell Gilyard has been back in the pulpit of a Southern Baptist affiliated church while he awaits his trial in Florida. Rather than act as if Southern Baptists would never ignore sexual predators in the pulpit, rather than mock and ridicule those who expose our lack of moral judgment, we should learn from our history so that Southern Baptist churches and pastors will not be tempted to repeat it.

We must understand that if we don't clean up our own house, nobody else will.

In His Grace,



Kevin said...

For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God. . .
1st Peter 4:17

Jon L. Estes said...

When leadership has no accountability for wrong decisions, where are we being led? Why is it so difficult to admit our wrong? Is this not the first step in recognizing one is lost? Should it not be easier for the believer to step up be transparent in our leadership decisions than to continue to build a wall of protection around our wrong?

Why is it so difficult for these things to be recognized?

Christa Brown said...

Thanks for helping to keep this case in the spotlight, Wade. This one carries special interest because of its connection to Paige Patterson. But the tragic reality is that there have been dozens upon dozens of similar stories all across the country - stories of Baptist ministers who were allowed to move on and remain in ministry despite dreadful allegations against them, and with no one in leadership mustering the will or the courage to even take a hard look at the allegations, much less to warn congregants or minister to the wounded.

Anonymous said...

I realize there is always the danger of false accusations in any area of life. But considering the usual reaction ("She asked for it")to any woman who raises any such issue - from harassment to rape - such accusations are almost always true, since the woman is putting herself at risk to say so. In this case the fact that these accusations were made in different and unrelated places gives more credence, if needed.

That out of the way, believing the man rather than the woman (in this case, many women) is nothing new. Those who didn't believe the women have a heritage going back to the first male disciples, who did not believe the women who told them of Jesus' resurrection. Do I need to say that Jesus himself sent them with the message?

The present day doctrines that women are lesser creatures leads to all kinds of abuses (often done in the name of the One who treated women better than their culture did). This is just one example.

We are all sinners, but what was done helped neither him nor his victims, it just made things worse by letting him do more wrong.


Anonymous said...

Didn't Vines preach at Gilyard's church within the last year?

This story is also an indicator of what happens when Patriarchy is taught as the norm. Women are disrespected, not believed and treated as second class citizens in order to protect the 'great man'. These events only affirm that Patterson has had a low view of women for a long time. We must not forget Patterson's bragging about sending an abused wife back to the husband and told to submit more expecting more violence. (Based on Patterson's track record, I do not believe his version of the outcome of that story) And of course, Dr. Klouda is the latest proof of his view of women.

Also, based upon his inviting Gaines to preach at SWBTS, we can see he is not real concerned about having pedophile ministers of prayer on staff at SBC churches, either. I guess scripture can be ignored when it is inconvenient.

What is amazing is that we have paid Patterson quite nicely for his lack of integrity and still do.

wadeburleson.org said...

Please let me encourage anyone who comments to do so with a name attached. Anonymous comments are not appreciated.

In His Grace,


John Daly said...

I'll let this D.A. Carson quote speak for itself:

"Sadly, too many leaders consciously or unconsciously link their own careers and reputations with the gospel they proclaim and the people they serve. Slowly, unnoticed by all but the most discerning, defense of the truth slips into self-defense, and the best interest of the congregation becomes identified with the best interest of the leaders. Personal triumphalism strikes again, sometimes with vicious intensity. It is found in the evangelical academic who invests all his opinions with the authority of Scripture, in the pastor whose every word is above contradiction, in the leader transparently more interested in self-promotion and the esteem of the crowd than in the benefit and progress of the Christians allegedly being served. It issues in political maneuvering, temper tantrums, a secular set of values (though never acknowledged as such), a smug and self-serving shepherd and hungry sheep"

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,
I cannot give my name. Is it possible that after Darrell Gilyard's behavior was reported and a pattern of reports emerged, and after Darrell Gilyard was placed in new churches;
that the women who were allegedly victimized might have a legal case against the leadership of the SBC?

Goodness knows, have we not learned anything from what happened with the Catholic Church?

What a terrible breach of trust has occurred here. What righteous recourse do these victims have? What can they do, not so much for their own material benefit, but to discourage the leadership of the SBC from ever doing this again? It is clear something needs to be done; but what?

wadeburleson.org said...


Just please send me the reasons why you cannot give your name at wwburleson@hotmail.com. I will keep your information confidential, but as owner of this blog it is my responsibility to ensure that nobody posts anonymously without good reason.



Anonymous said...

I am sorry. My comment is this one: Tue Sep 09, 10:01:00 AM 2008


wadeburleson.org said...

Thanks Lydia.

I appreciate you letting us know. The other commentor will be emailing me.



Anonymous said...

With all the stories that have been told, the SBC leadership - who do not hesitate to interfere with local church autonomy in other ways - cite church autonomy as a reason not to do anything about this sort of thing.

The Baptist General Convention of Texas seems to be taking action that addresses the issue without interfering with local church autonomy using this webpage:

But I doubt the SBC leadership would consider following the lead of such a group, since the BGCT has remained traditionally Baptist despite the SBC leadership's turn away from those principles.


DT Boy said...

This whole thing is just sad. What is so bad about this is how each of those churches who continued to bring him on staff. I understand the idea behind forgiveness and being able to move beyond past mistakes and sins. I have a friend who was a pastor and made some personal/sexual mistakes. Yet time has passed and I believe him to once again be fit for ministry.

In the end I think each of these churches could and should be held liable for not doing their due diligence on hiring this man. I do not care who recommends someone you should always do your best to dig into the past and learn what people have to say.

Just my thoughts

Pamela said...

I'm not the least bit surprised at this type of cover up. The denomination that I came up in basically allowed men to do what they wanted to but if a woman did anything questionable they were put before the church to apologize for her sins. Leaders had a free ride. This is one reason I left that denomination when I was 17 (decades ago). The same stuff is going on today with a pastor of that denomination where well known people still go to his church for conferences or invite him to speak at theirs. Many, many accusations were made against this man, including rape. I will need to check on this again but I believe this situation also has gone to the police.

As I stated in another post this type of stuff I have seen for many years. Along with this madness is the idea that women must be covered by men. Basically men can do what they want to but the women always had to ask permission to do stuff. The SBC is no different than most denominations. As long as the leader brings prominence and money to the denomination many of them will do whatever they can to prop the person up including covering up their sin, especially sexual ones. They seem to always accuse the women that end up with these slimy men. Yes they should be responsible for their actions. HOWEVER so should the men, especially those that use their leadership and power to get to these women in the first place. Unfortunately this is not happening.

Women must look out for themselves because they are disposable in most churches. The Bible clearly says that sexual immorality of any kind is wrong. However that would not be my main reason for not participating in that sin. You can see, especially in the church world, men are not harmed nearly as bad (if at all) as women are. The only real consequence comes when their behavior gets to a point where they have broken laws. If men want to get rid of their wives for a newer model they can do so with no impunity in most denominations. Women consistently get accused of lying and are thrown under the bus. I'm not ignoring false accusations but this situation and the one I am thinking about in another denomination are just way off the mark and should have been taken care of long before they got out of hand. It's hard to swallow that dozens of women are all are falsely accusing these men. In both cases the leaders of the denominations knew about the madness but did nothing. With the situation I'm thinking about the head of that denomination died a few months ago. I do not know if the current leadership will do anything about this or not. Women better protect themselves.

And denominations wonder why people do not want to be a part of a local church. How do people know if the leaders at that church are honorable and will take care of issues like this according to the Bible? Many will not even try and just not participate. That is a shame. However leaders can change this by living according to God's word and implementing church discipline with leaders that run amuck.

Anonymous said...

Think of the conditioning of many Christian women in our society. The older ones remember when rape victims were brutually attacked once again in court by the defendant's lawyers. Many women believe that submission to authority is a holy obligation ordained by God. Take this conditioning, add to it the the trust women place in their church leaders. Result: increased vulnerability to potential abuse. What can Christian churches do as a pro-active measure to empower women's protection?


Jenn's Mom

Christa Brown said...

Susie states: “The Baptist General Convention of Texas seems to be taking action…”

Seems to be” is the operative phrase. When it comes to effectively addressing clergy sex abuse, the BGCT is just as blind-eyed as the SBC. The BGCT has a terrible track record on this.

The BGCT’s booklet “Broken Trust” (and the “broken trust” pages on its website) are no more meaningful in practice than the SBC’s booklet “Protecting our children.” Words. Words. Words. Nothing but words.

Many people have told me that I should back off on the BGCT because, after all, they're the "good guys" - meaning they're the “moderates.” But if they're turning a deaf ear to abuse survivors, leaving predators in pulpits, and not even warning people in the pews, what difference does it make whether they label themselves "moderate" or "conservative"? Either way, more kids get hurt, more families suffer, stupefying silence is perpetuated, predators keep preaching, and wounded people are betrayed all the more by the faith community.

Perhaps the BGCT does better public relations work than the SBC, and perhaps BGCT leaders are sometimes better at using a softer tone with abuse survivors. But duplicity and harm can be accomplished just as easily with a smooth, buttery, pastoral voice as with a harsh, hateful voice.

The question is always: What are they actually doing? When you look at it from that perspective, clergy sex abuse may be one of the few issues on which so-called conservatives and moderates share common ground. They both do virtually nothing to warn people in the pews or minister to the wounded.

Anonymous said...

An often repeated line in the Gilyard case is "the churches that hired him failed to do their due diligence". Even worse than that is the fact that these churches DID know of Gilyard's past but chose to believe that the allegations were false or that Gilyard had repented. I read a quote from a leader of the most recent church in Jacksonville that basically said they were aware of his past but he was so gifted that they called him anyway.

As long as churches have this attitude there is no hope for keeping predators out of pulpits...except to put them in jail, as hopefully will be the case with Darrell Gilyard.

Michael A. Jordan, Pastor
Mount Vernon Baptist Church
Axton, Virginia

Anonymous said...

My first experience with this sort of thing was when I was 19.

A man in our church who had been working with the teenagers was discovered to have either had relationships with, or attempted to have relationships with, 2 girls in the group. It was never fully determined how far one of these relationships went.

This man was married. Had 2 little children. His wife did not attend our church.

When this was discovered, the youth minister confronted the man and was very harsh and direct, which was appropriate. Since one of the girls reported him the minute he tried to approach her, and the other denied the relationship went beyond kissing (something I have never believed), the matter was not taken to the legal authorities.

He was never allowed to work with the youth again at the church.

However, the Sunday after this man was confronted, the pastor allowed this man to come down front, rededicate his life, and then allowed him to step into the pulpit and speak. At first it was to ask for forgiveness (very non-specific, for the sake of the girls), but then he launched into a rebuke of those who had confronted him etc, etc.

This man was a layman. He eventually left the church after a few months, and moved to another church. I do not know if he kept up his activities there. I moved away to school. I do know that he continued to contact and meet with the girl he had a relationship with for several months after he was discovered and confronted.

The pastor was a big hearted man. He definitely believed what the Bible says in the area of sexaulity (not a progressive), but he also believed strongly in forgiveness. That is what moved him to allow this man to speak from the pulpit to the congregation.

The entire incident made a huge impression on me as a 19 year old. It was one of those lessons that I could not have paid to learn anywhere.

I have a heightened sensitivity to relationships that don't look right. And I am very aware of how people can use manipulative language to cover up what they don't want known.

At our church, we have a hard and fast rule. If you have been guilty of a sexual crime or indiscretion like this, that is an immediate disqualifier for pastoral ministry service. That may seem harsh. But if churches don't have standards, what organizations will?

I understand the desire to rehabilitate people who sin. We are all sinners, and we identify with weaknesses in others. That is a big ethic in the Catholic church and one of the reasons they got so burned. Baptists tend to shoot their own wounded.

But isn't there a happy medium here? Prosecute when appropriate (children, force is used etc.), forgive and rehabilitate when appropriate.

But we should also take practical steps to help protect victims, preserve the purity and reputation of the church, and help the person with the sinful behavior, if they are open to that.

We should not be giving people who have problems like this the opportunity to commit the same behaviors. And we should not put them in leadership.

I have heard more than one man caught up in a situation like this say, "But God forgave David, and David did not lose his throne..."

My response is - "You are not David. If Samuel annointed you to be King under the direct command of God, then o.k., but that did not happen in your case." So all of this, "God called me...", "God is telling me... etc." - save your breath.

Sorry to be so direct, but that's the way I feel about this.

I feel equally strong that the SBC should not become an investigating organization, or keep databases or any such things like that. The SBC exists for one thing - to collect missions contributions, and send them to the agencies. We do not have the expertise, the resources etc. to do what would need to be done.

There are also potential liability problems (see the Catholic Church) that would put all of our missions operations at risk.

But the SBC can educate churches to do the right thing, and we can encourage our leaders to do the right thing.


Lin said...

"But the SBC can educate churches to do the right thing, and we can encourage our leaders to do the right thing."

This statement really bothers me. Why should we have to 'encourage' our 'leaders' to do the 'right' thing. Doesn't that suggest an even bigger problem?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it does suggest that. Maybe the healing of the SBC leadership will come from a grassroots effort.
I think that it must.

Jenn's Mom

Tom Parker said...


How is the SBC going to educate churches about such matters? They sure have not done it yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I quite know how to put my thoughts into words here...but, I'm going to give it a try.

My husband and I were at SEBTS when Dr. Patterson was president. There were NO patriarchal over or undertones...doesn't mean it wasn't there, but I wasn't aware of it.

I agree with the old saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know", but in our case it didn't help. We know Dr. Patterson, we called him for help when we were abused in ministry...you can read the story at http://peaceofchange.wordpress.com/author/peaceofchange/, but we were white.

Having been in SBC circles in the North and the South...I think that it has more to do with the fact that this guy was black. The SBC loves to have guys and gals of color come to their churches, promote them, etc. because it proves they are not racist. It isn't about promoting Daryll Gilyard, but Dr. Patterson. Isn't he cool...in the north, it was about embracing churches of color because there were so many of them. I was told by NAMB leadership that SBC churches had to allow women in the pulpit because that's what the "black churches do". They didn't want them to feel alienated. They couldn't afford racial division...I don't think it had anything to do with women. I really don't think they care.

When my husband was really treated badly, Dr. Patterson could have recommended him to a church and we could have been employed again overnight. Instead, he asked, "How are your finances?" knowing that he had been unemployed for over six months. Never asked, How are your wife and kids doing through all of this...are you still married? Are the kids ok...didn't ask for references to see how we were received at other churches...no reputation check at all...just "how's the money?" and..."Let me pray for you."

And yes, I am working through bitterness.

Anonymous said...


On education, I was speaking mainly about the abuse issues that have come up over the last 2 or 3 conventions.

There are probably many churches that do not have a clue what to do in situations like that or how to prevent them.

I believe that LifeWay or the Executive Committee can help provide churches with practical information about how to do background checks on all employees and volunteers from databases that are maintained by professionals, and they can provide information on steps toward prosecution, reporting etc.

That's what I was referencing.

Jenn's mom:

It's definitely a grassroots effort that will address this most effectively.


You should not read weakness into the word "encourage." There are lots of other verbs and adjectives that may apply, depending on our relationship to the person involved. I don't know who the pastor of First Baptist Dallas is now. But, given the prominence of that church, I would consider him to be a leader. All I can do with regard to him is encourage him.

I can vote to fire my own pastor.

I can vote for a motion at the SBC to address a problem at the SBC headquarters.

We should all do whatever we can do in our given context.

I'm all ears if you have another course of action that you have found to be effective.


Anonymous said...

Dear Peace of Change:
You made reference to SBC's comment about "black churches". Are Southern Baptist churches still segregated? If so, I did not know this. If it is true, is there a biblical reason or a cultural reason for this?


Anonymous said...

"I'm all ears if you have another course of action that you have found to be effective."

Strange. I should think it would be obvious to 'Christian leaders' what to do.

Since the seminary is a church now (wink), I should think Patterson is no longer qualified to be an 'elder' since he has so little regard for scripture. 1 Timothy says that elders should be above reproach even to the outside. Patterson does not seem to think this is necessary in certain well known situations as he keeps promoting pastors who are not above reproach. Even if their church does not fire them, I find it strange that Patterson protects them, invites them to speak, etc.

But then, we are learning that those are only 'guidelines' for some.


Tom Parker said...


Thanks for your comment. What blows my mind is why the SBC is not making this priority #1.

Tom Parker

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

Thank you for bringing attention to this case of clergy sexual abuse particularly because it shows the connection to Paige Patterson and other leadership people.
I hope some will see the trickle down effect Patterson's influence has had on the SBC, the seminaries, and then on to the local churches.
Many suffer when a pastor's response to a sexual predator is to protect the minister rather than the victim and the flock.

Forgiveness isn't about ignoring the sin. But that has been the example shown by the PP group.
The excuse used in my own local church was called forgiveness. Unfortunately church members have been paid lip service to forgiveness ( "under the blood") rather than by true Biblical repentance which involves confronting sin.
The SBC good ol boys have proven they are more concerned with their star status than real servant leadership.

Anonymous said...

This makes me sick!! I've lived through a church where a youth pastor molested young boys of the church. It was devasting to all involved. This youth/music pastor was then invited to a church in Arkansas, and I was told knowing all the facts.

He didn't last long even though he technically didn't work with youth, except during choir. I don't know any of the details of what happened there. But I do know his dear wife left him and he is thankfully no longer in the ministry.

It truly effects more than just the minister & victims. The entire church becomes a victim and ends up choosing sides (yes, there were some at our church that were angry at his being asked to leave....can you imagine!!)

I had a hard time holding my head up at school since I had been so vocal about my faith and invited many young people unknowingly to church. It made a lot of comments make sense after the fact that I didn't understand before. I quit going to church for awhile. I was angry, not at the youth pastor but at the pastor who knew of incidents a couple of years before but allowed the "forgiveness" thing to come into play and that allowed this molester to continue molesting people that I knew and cared about. I was furious. That pastor has since left the SBC. He was a godly man, but fell into the trap of believing that someone like that could stop. Where was the accountability....this was a youth minister that hand-picked sponsors, etc. for youth events.

Even after 30 years, it still makes my blood boil. I'm sorry but I think the SBC needs a list of folks like that and it needs to be available to churches that are hiring!!! NO EXCUSES!


Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous,

No, Southern Baptist churches, according to the latest Baptist Faith and Message are not segregated, (nor are they patriarchal) Meaning whites, blacks, hispanics, whoever...can attend any Southern Baptist Church without being asked to leave. My experience has proved differently. My experience has been that there will be a predominately white congregation or a predominately black or predominately hispanic congregation. i don't think the hispanics count because they ususally have a service in Spanish...so they have a good excuse...ex. We have some friends who invited us to their SBC church on Sunday...(we just me them, but liked them very much) They told us that it was a multicultral church (we didn't ask) So we went there on Sunday and in a 6000 member church were were the only white family. That's not multicultral. Later, they spoke with us and basically want us to attend so we can attract more whites and they can be multicultral. So no one wants to appear racist. It isn't politically or spiritually correct, but nonetheless, people tend to congregate in churches that way. Maybe because SBC is a very old, Southern denomination and people grew up that way? I don't really know. All I know is that the white SBC leadership that I have been around trip over themselves to make sure that the "black" SBC people are elevated and appreciated. Not a bad thing, but I do not believe that the motivation is love or respect. Sorry if I sound judgmental...it just always felt so wrong.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for filling me in on my "curious" question. When my aunt took me to Catholic mass in New England, many years ago, we went to the "French" church. There, masses were offered in Latin and the sermon in French. In town, there was also a "Polish" Catholic church, mass in Latin, sermon in Polish. In these churches, the only difference was that the sermons were given in the languages of the culture. My people came originally from Canada and French was spoken by all the family. My Dad did not speak English until he entered school. In our case the town had two Catholic churches but you could go to either one. Same religion, different cultures.

Christa Brown said...

Education is a fine thing, but educational efforts will not be enough to effectively address clergy sex abuse. Denial in the face of evil is a very strong human instinct, particularly when that evil is committed by someone who is greatly loved and trusted. Even highly-educated people demonstrate this. It’s why most other major faith groups in this country have recognized the need for independent review boards to assess clergy abuse reports. It is also extremely hurtful for this denomination to tell clergy abuse victims that the way they must report it is to go to the den of the very wolf who savaged them.

A review board doesn’t have to exercise authority over local churches. Rather, it can provide the much-needed resource of an objective, professional, independent assessment of clergy abuse reports. If a church had a serious foundation problem, it would almost certainly seek an assessment from a professional with expertise in foundations. An allegation of clergy sex abuse constitutes an even more serious foundational problem than does a foundation problem with the church building. The resource of outside, expert assessment is desperately needed – BOTH for the churches and for the victims.

Louis says that the SBC does “not have the resources, etc. to do what would need to be done.” But if the SBC, with its $200 million per year in Cooperative Program dollars, doesn’t have the resources to set up a committee of experts for the responsible assessment of clergy abuse reports, why does anyone imagine that the average local church is going to have any greater resources or ability or expertise?

Background checks aren’t nearly enough. Experts, including the FBI and the National District Attorneys Association, recognize that the vast majority of active child molesters have never been convicted of anything. By the time most cases are reported, they CANNOT be criminally prosecuted. Some say it’s at least 90% of active child molesters who have never been criminally convicted. Most say it’s more like 95 to 97 percent who haven’t. Those who sexually abuse vulnerable adult congregants are even less likely to have a criminal conviction. And even among those who have been previously convicted, the sex-offender registries of some states are not retroactive. This means that a child molestation conviction in the 1980s may not show up on any registry. We saw this just a few weeks ago with a man who, despite a mid-80s child molestation conviction in Oklahoma, was preaching in a Southern Baptist pulpit in Colorado. Again… realities like this are why most other major faith groups in this country have instituted review board processes to assess clergy abuse reports.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jerry Vines preached there every year after Vines retired from FBC Jax. Never did while pastor of FBC Jax, but certainly did afterwards. And Fred Luter even called "Brother Gilyard" by name at the Pastor's conference two years ago during a sermon to draw attention to him. These leaders have no shame. They will defend their own, yet relentlessly attack, blackball and slander any members who dare ask any questions about their financial and sexual abuses. These men answer to only one thing...finances. As long as Mac Brunson has a $14 million dollar budget to pay himself and his family and promote his own 501(c)(3) ministries, and as long as the preacher boys keep buying his books on how to pastor, he will never change. We are gullible sheep indeed.

Pamela said...

Christa, you are correct. A friend of mine reported his father when he found out that he molested his stepson (my friend's half brother). He went to prison in the 90s. I found out that names only stay on the OK web site for 10 years. His dad's name was just removed from the web site I think in 2005 or 2006. Unless someone that knows about his conviction says anything no one will know he was ever convicted. I thought the names stayed out on the web site forever. Not so.

Anonymous said...

This post and the previous one on patriarchy. Does anyone else see the relationship? In both cases women are devalued. Children also. Besides the mistreatment of women, there have been cases of abuse of children, boys and girls, among Baptists (and others), just as among the Catholics who received so much publicity.

If you think another is less human than you (call it what you will, but that's what it amounts to when you devalue people) it makes it easier to abuse them.

If men are taught they are to rule over women it's easy for them to think they can do what they want. Women who are taught this may be reluctant to resist advances for the same reason; they know it's wrong, but males are supposed to be superior - a real dilemna. Then if the woman gives in, she is usually the only one blamed, though in our society it is not as bad as in some where rape victims are killed as adulteresses. Let's just hope these people don't get any worse here; they're bad enough now.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for your thoughts and concern. I don't know you, but can tell that you care deeply about this issue, as I believe all do who have posted on this blog.

I, also, know nothing of your background, training or experience. I personally do not know how many religious groups have review boards, and how many have not. I have no idea if the denominations that have can require their churches to participate or not, or if those review boards have any more resources than the states and FBI and other groups that monitor sexual violations/perpetrators. I don't know of any studies that have reviewed the efficacy of such programs.

Here is why I am opposed to the SBC creating a new agency or board to either judge or monitor allegations of sexual impropriety. I know that you will not agree with me, and that's o.k. I am not seeking to convince you or anyone else on this blog. I suspect that you feel strongly about this and that you have reasons for your feelings. I just want to take the time to share with you why I oppose the suggestion that you have made.

1. Baptist churches are autonomous. That means they govern themselves. The SBC has no control over churches. The ideas that you have suggested would not necessarily have to end up exerting control over churches. It could be voluntary. But that would be a problem from the start. If half participated, and half did not, the bad guys would figure that out. Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc. have more control over their congregations.

2. The only reason the SBC exists is to collect missions money from contributing churches. If the churches in the SBC decided to do missions on their own, there would be no SBC. When our church contributes to the SBC, we send a check to Nashville, and the SBC divides up the money to send according to a budget adopted at the annual meeting of the SBC. The SBC does not have courts, investigative bodies, committees that put a seal of approval on ministry candidates or anything like that. I am opposed to expanding the mission statement of the SBC. I don't want the SBC to ever get into the business of doing anything other than collecting money and sending it out. I want a small SBC national headquarters. I don't want to put any more people on the SBC payroll to make it bigger.

I also don't want to change the SBC emphasis from missions. Baptist churches have never joined together to form investigative or review boards. They have joined together to do missions.

When the good people of our church take their hard earned money and give to the cause of sending missionaries, at home or abroad, or providing education to people who will undertake that task because they are not going to be able to go otherwise, I don't want to tell them that we are also paying for investigative or review boards to govern other churches that should, frankly, be in a position to govern themselves. Other churches may feel differently, but I know that our church would not do that. We think that each church and its members, along with the civil and legal authorities in their respective jurisdictions, should handle the situations at each church. The same is true for background checks and hiring.

3. I really want anything that is done in this area to be helpful, and I have not had anyone explain to me in detail how some small board or group in Nashville is going to do an adequate job of keeping up with everything that needs to be kept up with in this area. Depending on what day we are counting, their are 40,000 churches that contribute to the SBC and 16 million members in those churches. The undertaking of investigating reports, keeping sexual abuse records, and keeping those searchable and accessible by 16 million members or their churches is a massive undertaking. I suspect that the FBI and other law enforcement authorities in the states commit significant resources to this. Not to mention the civil and criminal courts that try the cases. And the people involved in this from investigators to record keepers are professionals in their respective areas. I do not want the SBC to undertake any assignment and not do it first rate. Otherwise, we will not really help the people that we are claiming to help.

I know that pastors and many Chrisitians want to help. But starting a program that is not first rate is not worth starting.

You mention that current registries do not have convictions pre-dating certain years. Well, how can the SBC be certain that it will gather these allegations up accurately? It seems to me that the SBC system might be able to gather some records from prior years, but we really could not represent that our records for prior years was accurate. It seems we would be starting from the date we started, or that we could incorporate the convictions from other registries.

4. Cooperative missions is the purpose of the convention. I have already said something of this. However, let me also say that I do not want to divert one penny of money that is being giving to make disciples and promulgate the Gospel. Again, I know absolutely nothing of your background. For all I know, you could be pastor at the First Baptist Church of some town. I will say that it is very easy to talk about spending other people's money. I am mainly talking about the SBC critics here. It is easy for them to point to the SBC and tell the SBC how it should be organized and what it should concentrate on. Even without any plan or cost estimates, one can see that to do this right would divert significant resources from our current mission. Many have talked about the need in our convention for an SBC great commission resurgence. I agree completely. That will only be impeded, however, by taking a bunch of resources away from missions.

5. Finally, it is important to note that as of today, no lawsuit can ever be brought against the SBC for the conduct of some minister or member in the SBC churches. The $200 million that is given to missions gets to missions, and it is not in danger of being tapped by plaintiff's lawyers looking for a big target. This is something that I know about. I am a lawyer. As it stands now, the contributions to the SBC are safe.

If we take your suggested course of action, the money given to missions is no longer safe.

If the SBC endeavors to take this on an begins investigating, keeping records, dossiers on people, whatever. It opens itself up to liability if it fails to perform that function correctly. Let's say the SBC takes this on, and makes a mistake. They fail to keep records properly, and a minister gets another church assignment due to the error. Someone is molested. Instead of that local church being the target, the entire SBC and all of the missions contributions are now at risk.

There are a lot of people serving around the world under harship and peril. We don't pay them much. But the SBC has been organized and run well so that the missions contributions (their pay) is not at risk. I don't want to change that.

Look at the millions of dollars the Catholics have had to pay out. They had to do that because they were connected, and that made liability flow upstream - from the Priest, to the Church, to the Diocese etc.

Why would Baptists want to undertake an enterprise that would put all of their missions money at risk. It just makes no sense.

Thanks for listening to my concerns. I wish you the best in all things.

You obviously have a heart for this. I would recommend that you and some friends consider staring a review board of sorts. You could organize it and solicit participation by SBC churches. I think that would be great.

You mention independent professionals assisting a church with it's foundation. That is a great analogy because that is what I am recommending.

Instead of churches retaining full time engineers on their staffs, or instead of the SBC starting an engineering department to go around and work on the foundations of all the churches that have problems with their buildings, the churches use independent professionals.

Your organization could be that independent group that churches could use. If you could gather the expertise in investigations, record keeping etc., you might have a real influence in the future. I would certainly like to see you or someone offer that service.

But as far as the SBC goes, I believe it would be a bad idea for the reasons I have stated.

I think that the better idea is to train the 16 million people in the 40,000 churches. That, in my opinion, will maximize the efforts in this regard. That would be a lot better than having the SBC take on some job that it was neither organized or equipped to do. And it would not raise jeopardize the reason the SBC exists in the first place - to spread the Gospel to the four corners of the earth.

Take care.



FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wade - just to add to the end of your thorough Gilyard chronology, I wanted to post an excerpt from my blog last December where I explained that one pastor in Jacksonville who knew of Gilyard's past DID confront the leadership at Shiloh Baptist shortly after Gilyard was hired. Here is the excerpt from my Dec 2007 blog post:


According to local pastor George Harvey, Jr. of the Mt. Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1993 Pastor Harvey DID try to tell Darrell Gilyard he was unfit for the position of pastor. Harvey reports that his attempts to confront Gilyard and warn the church were met with a grievance filed by the several deacons against Harvey.

Here is Pastor Harvey's post on this blog dated 12/25:

"In April, 1993, I prayerfully confronted Gilyard at Shiloh and told him that he was Biblically disqualified from pastoring due to his divorce in Texas and because of all of the improprieties with women out there -- in that short meeting, he literally ran through the auditorium to get away from the rebukes. I followed with a letter outlining the reasons for disqualification. Within a week, two of his Deacons met with me -- Deacon Herman Sykes told me that I was nuts and Deacon Copeland said, "We don't care what he's done, as long as he wins souls". Both Deacons subsequently filed a complaint against me with the State Attorney's office because of my tenacious rebuke of Gilyard's evils. "

Just goes to show that the amount of wisdom and discernment and backbone one possesses is not a function of one's power and position...unlike Patterson, Pastor Harvey is a relatively unknown servant of God in Jacksonville, but Pastor Harvey can sleep well knowing he tried to warn the people of Shiloh about Gilyard. With intimate knowledge of Gilyard's track record, Patterson had to know that Gilyard's chance of repeating his sexual predation was near 100%.

Lastly I'll agree with the anon above that it was quite disappointing when members of FBC Jax learned that Jerry Vines went to preach at Shiloh Baptist on at least on occasion after his 2005 retirement; especially since Vines knew that Gilyard had tried to seduce one of the young ladies Vines pastored at FBC Jax. One has to wonder if this sort of thing, having a big name preacher lend his name and credibility to Gilyard by preaching in his pulpit, wasn't somehow "empowering" to Gilyard to continue in his abusive and criminal behavior.

Tom Parker said...


Please help me, am I to understand you in your last comment that you are basically advocating doing nothing other than what we are currently doing in the SBC?

Anonymous said...

"When the good people of our church take their hard earned money and give to the cause of sending missionaries, at home or abroad, or providing education to people who will undertake that task because they are not going to be able to go otherwise, I don't want to tell them that we are also paying for investigative or review boards to govern other churches that should, frankly, be in a position to govern themselves."

So, they are not paying any part of Patterson's salary, no money goes to seminaries, fluffy SS literature, lots of overpaid bureaucrats, and warehouses full of outdated Jesus trinkets (NAMB), etc?

These things are ok with them to pay for but a review board to deal with pedophile ministers who roam our churches is just over the top for them?

Louis, What kind of people are you worshiping with anyway? They do not sound very wise.


Steve said...

Here is a bit of the unbelieveable and inexcusable: "....because the women in Dallas could not be believed." Twenty-five women, Dr. Patterson.
Twenty-five reasons a resignation would do the Convention some good.

This Patriarchy business is quite popular and probably profitable but it cannot be of God, it cannot be of the New Testament.

I could tell you what world religion antithetical to Christianity this sounds like but I don't want to bore you.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Louis: You say that you do not know Christa or her background. It would behoove you to do so. You can do this by clicking on her name and reading her blog. That may give you some insight and show you why you may just be wrong. At least I think you are. A little research on your part wouldn't hurt. It's how I do my writing, and believe it is the wise thing to do. I suggest you try it. It most certainly will tell you why Christa is so "passionate" about this subject, especially since it happened to her from a Southern Baptist leader that she trusted in her youth.

Anonymous said...

This post and the previous one on patriarchy. Does anyone else see the relationship? In both cases women are devalued. Children also. Besides the mistreatment of women, there have been cases of abuse of children, boys and girls, among Baptists (and others), just as among the Catholics who received so much publicity.

If you think another is less human than you (call it what you will, but that's what it amounts to when you devalue people) it makes it easier to abuse them.

Sue:I agree with what you have posted here and the rest of your comment and the courage to say it like it is. It has been denied, however actions speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...


Depends. What do you have in mind?

I am open to missions in new ways. Just not courts, invesitgative bodies, registries, that sort of thing.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the recommendation. I knew that she had history of abuse, but have not visited the website. I assume that is why she, and those who identify with her, feel so strongly.

I feel strongly about the issue, also. Just disagree with the remedy.

I meant her qualifications. I have no idea about her education, employment history etc. For all I know, she could have worked at the Brookings Institution studying the efficacy of denominational courts, investigations etc. and could have a lot of expertise such that any Fortune 500 or denomination would actually retain her or her company to work in this field. I just have no idea about that. Even if she had that background, it would not change my philosophical objections to what she has recommended.

Others, like you, may disagree and that's fine.

Take care.


Lindon said...


What concerns me is all the 'pragmatism'-- such as what you cite--- instead of spirituality in dealing with this issue. And, it is an issue.

"I meant her qualifications."

Could you give an example of what you mean?

Tom Parker said...


You keep talking about missions. Can't we have missions and also do something in the SBC about what allowed the Darrell Gilyard story to go on so long. Something must be done.

Anonymous said...


Background, training and experience, education - as it relates to my first comment addressed to Christa's concerns.

All of the people on this blog, as far as I know are equally spiritual. All of us are thoroughly disgusted with sexual abuse.

The only differences that I can grasp have to do with the appropriate remedy.

There's a lot of different opinions on that. No one's bad or good because of a solution that they propose.

It's up to the churches. They can vote to direct the SBC to do what they want.

Until then, the churches can have tough policies themselves and do background checks on all staff and volunteers, as our church does.

The agencies need to do the same.

It was only a few years ago when a Seminary prof, whom I shall not name, was discovered to have had serious sexual ethics problems. One could discern in his writings alone that he might have had the sort of loose sexual ethic that can be a signal to that behavior. That seminary, in my opinion, acted irresponsibly to leave him in a teaching position all those years.

Also, the former seminary journal of Southern Seminary (which was moved and continued off campus) within the last few years discussed how there was a much more loose sexual ethic on the campus in the years before Mohler arrived. Some of the women in the article described Southern as having a bar or dating culture between some profs and students. Can't remember the name of that article. It would be worth digging up.

At any rate, this stuff has been around (look at all the Papal abuses from years gone by) for centuries.

It must be opposed vigorously by each new generation.

The churches have to decide how they want the SBC to handle it.


FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The Patterson refusal to believe the women who came forward is amazing. But look how Patterson treated Sheri Klouda, another example of shabby treatment of women in the SBC.

And Patterson's friend Mac Brunson has learned well from Patterson is now carrying the mantel...as demonstrated by his lie told last month about Sheri Klouda during a sermon, totally mischaracterizing Klouda's own views of her lawsuit against SWBTS and Patterson. And Brunson was Klouda's pastor and never offered her any assistance or counseling during the time when she was let go at SWBTS, and last time I checked Brunson has never apologized to his church or to Klouda for telling a bold-faced lie about her from the pulpit.

Click here to read about Mac's Lie and hear the audio, and click here to read Sheri Klouda's response to Mac's lie.

Anonymous said...

If the Catholic Church can finally face what happened in their own house and try to responsibly address its difficulties and help the victims whose lives have been ruined; then, I know that the Southern Baptist Churches can do no less.

Who knew about Gilyard's alleged activities, when did they know it, and what did they do (or not do) about it? Looking the other way and victimizing victims by calling them liars is not acceptable. Since the SBC leadership is under scrutiny in this matter, is it possible that the Southern Baptist Churches, acting in concert, can take responsibility to investigate AS A CHRISTIAN ENTITY ? The protection of innocent church members from predators IS a sacred trust. As unpleasant and difficult as it may be to do what is right, a response is called for. Ideas?

Worried Observor

Lindon said...


The reason your response is so disingenuous is because there is not even a hint of a public rebuke by other leadership for those who coddle these sexual predators. But there is lots of defending and ignoring.

Where is Mohler in rebuking Patterson? Gaines? Not his job? He speaks out on everything else why not this? Where are the trustees? This topic is political like everything else in the SBC. That is why it has not been handled in a spiritual way.

It is interesting how our churches are 'autonomous' until it comes to women preaching, private prayer languages and baptism. Only then are our leaders willing to 'speak out'.

Unknown said...

I agree with Louis that if the sbc tries to take responsibility for finding and reporting sexual predators there will be a number of Lawsuits which will probably bankrupt the sbc and therefore all the mission activities. So I recommend a partial solution. Has anyone heard of a site ratemyprofessor.com? Think of that a non responsible entity separate from the sbc that stores reviews of pastors with the majority of the work done by the site visitors who submit reviews of pastors in a hopefully neutral form of whose design has to be carefully considered.
Bottomline: users(who are churches/individuals) submit their experiences with a particular pastor including sexual allegations.
Then other users can search for a particular person and see the record as submitted by other users.
of course the person in question should be able to respond to bad reviews.
The role of the administrator would be one of a moderator rather than a researcher.
This is not a cure-all but one more tool in the selection process.
If their is something like this I don't know about it yet.
What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the SBC leadership is straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Something like this can become a national scandal, if they do not attend to it appropriately.

Maybe they are having difficulty discerning the sheep from the goats. Imagine. Many fine Christians have come under their censure. But, on this issue, they do nothing?

Christa Brown said...

"They can vote to direct the SBC to do what they want."

They did vote, and they voted for a study. Where's the study? Was there ever even any budget allocated for the study? Were there any experts consulted as part of the study? Were there any hearings conducted as part of the study? Were there any on-the-record consultations with leaders in other faith groups that are already using review board processes to assess credible accusations? Was any data compiled as part of the study? Was there ever anything that remotely resembled what most ordinary people would consider to be a legitimate study? Or did the leaders in Nashville simply offer up conclusions -- conclusions that just happened to be the very same conclusions they offered up even before people voted for a study. And then did those leaders in Nashville simply rationalize their own predetermined do-nothing conclusions by telling people that using the federal database was a better solution. Constitutional law scholar and Princeton professor Marci Hamilton (and author of the recent book "Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children") described this conclusion by saying "...the SBC prevaricates..." Why? Because anyone who knows anything about this issue knows that most child molesters cannot be prosecuted and aren't in the federal database. If SBC leaders had conducted a legitimate study, that's one of the first things they would have learned.

Hamilton also said this:
"The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has recently proven why it is that children are at risk for sexual abuse in our society: It’s easier not to protect them, and especially easy to issue ineffectual platitudes while looking the other way." Sad, huh?

What's saddest of all is that people in the pews trust their religious leaders, and then SBC leaders dishonor that trust by passing off such nonsense. What sort of leadership has so little respect for its followers?

Anonymous said...

A little comment about whether money intended for "missions" is misspent if used to deal with the problem of sexual predation by ministers.

Define missions. If it's reaching out to those who need to hear about and come to know Jesus, then it would seem some opposition to things which drive people away from Him is in order. Do you know people who are not interested in Christianity because of the actions and expressed attitudes of some of its adherents? I do.

I expect there will always be differences as to what constitutes true Christianity until we are in the heavenly presence of God who will sort us out about it. But when church leaders preach that women are inferior they are potentially driving away half the human race from the One who treated women better than others of His time, and even some up to the present.

For 25 women not to be believed sounds like the culture where a woman claiming rape must produce 4 male witnesses to the act to be believed: anyone think that's likely to happen?

We are all sinners, but encouraging people to continue in it doesn't seem the answer.


Christa Brown said...

Even under the Taliban, a woman's word is said to be worth 1/2 that of a man's. But if the Gilyard saga is an example, it would appear that, for Paige Patterson, a woman's word isn't worth 1/25 that of a man's.

Alyce Faulkner said...

Wade, I'm so glad you're back and also thrilled that for perhaps the first time I can disagree with you.

Your last sentence, who will....
God will and I believe He is at work doing just that.
Thank God for people who just keep saying the truth.

Tom Parker said...

I keep wondering when SBC leaders will hold PP accountable for his actions.

Anonymous said...

They can ignore the problem and lose credibility or they can honor their responsibilities and rejoin the Baptist community. Maybe part of their power trip is to keep everyone waiting for what is inevitable: they must act.

ezekiel said...


I hear what you are saying about the missions and funding there of. And for whatever it is worth, I think your heart is in the right place, you are sincere and share the outrage against the lack of discernment and ultimately the lack of guts from our leadership to publicly confront this sin.

Having said that, does it always boil down to money? How do we value or put a price on one single soul that is forever altered and damaged by this sort of sin. What do we tell Jesus when we stand before him and tell him why we didn't do what was required of us to stop this?

When we talk of missions and the dedicated people giving their all to serve in foreign missions, how do we explain to them that we as a church would even consider looking the other way on any sin, much less sin that would or could impair their ability to fulfill their calling? Have you ever talked to one of them to see if they ever encounter anyone they witness to that just throws the headlines, the filth and the dirt that we see back in their faces?

I get the idea by reading your comments that purging the sin from the church and thereby assuring our missionaries monetary security is too high a goal, too hard to achieve or just an unwanted distraction. The quick fix seems to be some structural manipulation, some man made, legal manuvering rather than trust in The Most High God and obedience to His Word.

I argue that if we can't share the commitment to purge our house, His house, of sin such as this, we don't really have any business fielding missionaries. Period.

Mat 23:15 comes to mind. Right now the church is sick and sick for a reason. (Rev 2:20-23) Today, our world is full of folks that won't set foot in a church, don't have any faith or trust and have wandered from the pasture, left the path because we as a congregation don't have the leadership or the courage to change the leadership that is leading us down this path. Hypocrites and pharisees.

We spend millions every year trying to save handfulls while multitudes perish under our noses. All because we turn a blind eye to the disgrace of sexual predators and sexual immorality in our midst.

See also Jeremiah 8

Anonymous said...

Do note from a very valid source P. Patterson has had two threats on his life.

Anonymous said...

They've lost credibility with a lot of people already, and don't care. There are unfortunately enough people that still can be fooled by their "waving the Bible" and insisting they are the only ones with truth and anyone who doesn't go along with them is: Choose Any: Doesn't Believe the Bible (the favorite); Not Christian; Not Baptist; Trying to Destroy: The Family, The Church, America (which according to them is a Christian nation - I'd hate to live in their version of a Christian nation); or maybe they'll invent a new one. Whatever buzzword they choose, enough people will believe it to continue their control of the SBC until they destroy it, and then blame that on anyone but themselves. Don't be surprised - I won't be. Sad, but not surprised.


Ron said...

It is amazing to me that this story never seems to end. I remember back in the early 90’s Gilyard was invited to speak at the Arkansas Baptist Pastor’s conference which was controlled by followers of the conservative resurgence in Arkansas. Shortly after that we heard of all the problems.
This story contains multiple layers of cover ups. If I am not mistaken, the Gilyard scandal was a major reason for the attempt to fire Patterson at Criswell by W.A. and the trustee board. At that time the leaders of the Conservative Resurgence rushed to Dallas and threatened the school and the trustees that if they fired Patterson they would seek to keep students from attending Criswell and then W.A. and the trustees back down and waited for him to leave on his own. This is another example of the leaders of the conservative resurgence protecting their own in spite of major issues while they seek to destroy those who do not support their political activities over minor issues.
Sexual misconduct is not the only area of cover up however. Slander and lies have inspired the greatest number of cover ups. One trustee at the IMB continually accused our missionaries of liberalism, heresy and other theological problems. When I would confront him or ask other trustees to demand accountability for his statements, he and the trustee would ignore me. This man went on to serve as a trustee at the NAMB and continued this record of slander against missionaries while serving two terms there. His own state convention refused to seat him as a messenger because of his actions. This did not stop Paul Pressler from referring to him as a hero of the resurgence or other leaders to continue to promote him. This story has been repeated over and over for the last 30 years.
Ron West

Anonymous said...

Dear Susie,
Could you explain the concept of a "Christian nation"? Does that mean that our country will lose religious freedom? I do not understand.

Christa Brown said...

Louis states: “It is important to note that as of today, no lawsuit can ever be brought against the SBC for the conduct of some minister or member in the SBC churches…. If the SBC endeavors to take this on… It opens itself up to liability if it fails to perform that function correctly. Let's say the SBC takes this on, and makes a mistake. They fail to keep records properly, and a minister gets another church assignment due to the error. Someone is molested. Instead of that local church being the target, the entire SBC and all of the missions contributions are now at risk.”

So, is that what the SBC’s do-nothingness comes down to? Institutional self-protection? Minimizing risk to the organization’s coffers? (Of course, the SBC could insure against that risk and thereby still protect its coffers to a large degree, but that’s another topic….)

Is it any wonder that many people question whether this faith group holds any true meaning?

One thing for sure: The message of Jesus wasn’t about self-protection.

And the message of Jesus sure wasn’t about institutional protection either.

Maybe, just maybe, if there is ever going to be “an SBC great commission resurgence,” it won’t come about by virtue of money, or power, or institutional self-protection. Maybe, just maybe, it will come about based on faith and on a willingness to truly reflect the life taught by Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed at some of the responses that seemed to be filled with excuses as to why the SBC should not be proactive in doing something constructive.
Part of the reason the Catholic church received such big settlements against them was because they chose to cover up and NOT do anything.

I see no problem in autonomy with any local church that has such a problem to write a letter to our Executive Committee stating the facts and that such a list be maintained. Then it would be up to local churches whether to check that list or not (at their own legal peril. I don't see how that effects the local autonomy of any church.

The point is that now even if an SBC church desires to do this, they have no place to be certain that the info will be properly maintained.

Thank you Christa for being an advocate for victims, keep up the good work.

Ramesh said...

I have some simple suggestions here.

I know this will work.

SBC should become bottoms-up organization, rather than top-down organization. They should not be dictating what the churches should do.

I know this is hard for lot of the victims to do, but if they followed the lead of Christa Brown and Tiffany Croft and others, and they spread their word through blogs ... people are informed about the offenders.

Then the local churches can google about each prospective officer of the church and then investigate and choose to hire or not hire them for the positions.

I understand for some churches that do not do this, more people are vitimized as a result.

Then the only option then is for the state and government authorities to do their job.

I am probably very naive in suggesting this.

Tom Parker said...

Ron West:

Sadly for so many people PP and Paul Pressler are seen as heroes and they would never question any of their actions. They are considered heroes of the CR. PP and Paul have had to give little to no accountability to man but they will one day to God.

Anonymous said...


If you read my original comment you will note that I do not condone or want to hide abuse at all. I am certainly willing to concede that you and others here feel strongly about the issue.

The question is the way to address this problem.

You are a bright person and write excellent comments. There is no need to start calling people disingenuous.

Ezekiel and Christa:

If you read my comments, you will see that there are several points made there. Only one of them is about money. The others include efficacy and theological issues, as well.

I really do believe that a separate organization should be started to which the SBC could refer people. One commenter suggested that people could send a letter to the SBC where the information could be kept and reviewed by people who wanted to review it.

My only suggestion is that someone start a completely separate and independent organization that could start receiving those letters - today. The SBC could tell people about the organization, and people could search the records there. That sort of approach would result in everything that you guys are trying to achieve, and would not have the negative aspects that I mentioned.

And I am serious, Christa, that you and some others who are close to you should start this service. You could set up a 501c3 with the help of a lawyer, and start providing these services immediately. You could write the SBC and tell them that your service is available, and the SBC could educate people about your service. I think that LifeWay or the SBC already has some companies that they publicly identify as being available for background searches.

So, I think that is a great solution. I just think it needs someone with the commitment and energy to take it on. Christa, I don't know you personally, but if your writing reflects your personality, I truly believe that you could take this on, with the help of the people on this blog who have commented in favor of the solution that you are seeking.

Can anyone tell me why that would not be a good solution?

I know for certain that if the Executive Committee sought the advice of counsel on this undertaking that they would be advised against it, for many of the reasons that I have cited. Again, it is easy to play with other people's money. When churches give that missions money they do so with the belief that those who receive it will be wise and good stewards over it.

If I were on the Executive Committee, and the lawyers told me not to do this because it would put the missions enterprise at risk, I could not go forward and ignore that advice. That money was given by other people for a specific purpose. I would not want to do anything to put that at risk.

Someone below said that the Catholic Church paid millions because they did nothing. No, the Catholic Church paid millions because they did nothing AND the Catholic Church is organizationally connected which allows for ascending liability. The SBC does not have that kind of connection, and should not start enterprises that would create that liability.

Christa, I believe that the SBC's emphasis at this year's convention was the result of their study. The motion did not say how to perform the study, but just said perform a study (that's my recollection at least). They apparently studied this question in house, and came up with the "education" approach that I have been recommending.

It may not be an answer that pleased you or others, but that's the answer for now. The Churches can vote to change the work of the SBC, the purpose of the SBC and can vote to expose the missions enterprise to lawsuits. The Churches can certainly do that. But I do not think they will do that when they understand what is at stake, and when they understand that there are other options available that will not create the problems that the solution suggested by you and others creates.

Best to all of you.


Lin said...

"My only suggestion is that someone start a completely separate and independent organization that could start receiving those letters - today. The SBC could tell people about the organization, and people could search the records there. That sort of approach would result in everything that you guys are trying to achieve, and would not have the negative aspects that I mentioned.

Louis, Our leaders do not even publicly acknowledge that there is a specific problem with other leaders. They do not rebuke them publicly for coddling pedophiles and sexual predators. Until they are willing to hold each OTHER accountable... what is the point? As a matter of fact, they have treated Christa terrible.

Ezekial made the best point:

"I argue that if we can't share the commitment to purge our house, His house, of sin such as this, we don't really have any business fielding missionaries. Period."

We seem intent on 'purging' PPL, certain baptisms and women preaching but not the coddling and protecting of sexual perverts?

There are those in the SBC with a national platform to speak on many issues and lots of people listen to them such as yourself. Where are they on this one? Silence.

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace:

You are not far from the correct answer. It's not navie at all.


Anonymous said...


We are not being silent. We are talking about this.

As far as "holding people accountable", I cannot see how that can be done by me or you.

What do you suggest should be done to hold people accountable? I mean in real, practical ways.

Doesn't our polity simply prevent that? What, practically, can anyone do who is not on the board or church of the institutions where this occurred. If the churches or institutions where this has gone on don't act, what do you suggest we do?


wadeburleson.org said...

Ron West,

I hear you may be in the states for a season. If you get by Oklahoma, I'll buy your lunch.

I appreciate that you speak your mind, sign your name, and go about your ministry with courage.

May your tribe increase.


Dave Miller said...

I am grateful to Paige Patterson for his work spearheading the Conservative Resurgence. It takes a certain kind of bulldog personality - someone who sees things in black and white, who is confident in his own rightness - to be a leader in war.

But the warriors are not often good at leading during times of peace.

The things that made Paige an effective leader for the SBC may make him ineffective since the shooting war is over.

David was a man of war. It was Solomon who was the builder. I will always be grateful for the CR, but I think it is time for Solomon (whoever that is) to take over and build a new SBC.

Unknown said...

yes thy peace seems to have the easiest solution. Something that the most strident ones that want "someone else" to do something about it can easily do.

of course I like the I idea of the letter senders to an independent organization, that would allow the people who fear the internet to contribute also but the cost of processing those letters and responding to the theoretically thousands of people would be prohibitive not to mention wasteful of paper.

I think that it's time to use what's called double loop learning which means rather than ask "why aren't 'the leaders' doing something?" you should ask "Why are we expecting 'the leaders' to be able to do that?

We are the leaders. Get used to it.
Do something.

Jon L. Estes said...

The SBC executive committee can only share information they have. Does anyone here have any idea how to make sure the SBC local church gives the information to the EC when anything like this happens? If information is not given who gets held accountable?

Anonymous said...

To "anonymous":

What I meant in my comment about a Christian nation is this:
Our nation was founded as a secular nation, not a theocracy, for good reason.

The Baptists of that time worked hard to make sure that religious freedom was part of the Consitiution - the First Amendment. Baptists in some of the early colonies were jailed for their faith. In
Massachusetts people were even executed for wanting to worship other than in the established state church. These were "Christian" colonies but Baptists (and many others) did not have religious freedom. Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams (who also started the first Baptist church in this country) to allow its residents to worship as they chose rather than being forced to attend and support a state church. The term "wall of separation" between church and state comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a group of Baptists who were concerned about having religious freedom in the new country.

You see all kinds of churches everywhere in America because of this freedom that is found so completely in few other places in the world. If that freedom means those who want to worship differently from you can do that, it also means you are free to do the same (and free to tell them your beliefs, as well). And your tax money does not pay for their religious work, though some, even Baptists, are trying to change that.

Another thing. Calling America a Christian nation - please don't. It's a Christian nation in the sense that a majority of its citizens claim to be some sort of Christian, but that's all.

To give just one example of the harm such can do, think of how many Muslims are calling the attack on Iraq a Christian attack on Islam. They're also using it as an excuse to persecute the Christians who live in Iraq (though most of them have fled the country by now). Ironic, because Iraq was a rather secular nation at the time. It didn't help that Bush called it a crusade.

As for someone's version of a Christian nation, whose would you choose? Even among Baptists (who should know better than to advocate such) there is disagreement as to what a "Christian nation" should be. Let's leave things as they are and enjoy our freedom.

Well I've said enough, and well off Wade's subject besides. (Sorry, Wade.) Hope I answered your question.


Wayne Smith said...


You have just identified the ones that are called “Baptist Identity People”. They are and have been the ones to Protect PP on these Blogs.

Wayne Smith

Lin said...

"As far as "holding people accountable", I cannot see how that can be done by me or you.

What do you suggest should be done to hold people accountable? I mean in real, practical ways.

Doesn't our polity simply prevent that? What, practically, can anyone do who is not on the board or church of the institutions where this occurred. If the churches or institutions where this has gone on don't act, what do you suggest we do?"

Have you not been reading this thread? We have well known Baptist preachers/leaders coddling, protecting and ignoring this sin. Even inviting those who do to preach at other churches, seminary chapels, etc.

Other leaders are NOT speaking out publicly against those who coddle sexual perverts. They are HELPING them.

What does that tell you? It tells me we have deep spiritual problems that are bigger than we might realize.

All of us need to stop thinking institutionally and start being spiritual about this. Ezekial has the best comment on this thread about this. We MAY NOT BE WHO WE THINK WE ARE IN CHRIST. This is serious business.

Stop supporting those who coddle perverts would be a start. Call for resignations. Then start asking why other leaders do not publicly rebuke those who do. What are they afraid of? Why isn't this as big a deal as women preaching?

Think of the message such drastic action would send to the perverts and their fellow coddlers lurking in our churches...even in pulpits.

We are accountable for who we put in leadership and we are accountable for looking the other way.

Wayne Smith said...

When you said above:
They've lost credibility with a lot of people already, and don't care. There are unfortunately enough people that still can be fooled by their "waving the Bible" and insisting they are the only ones with truth and anyone who doesn't go along with them is: Choose Any: Doesn't Believe the Bible (the favorite); Not Christian; Not Baptist; Trying to Destroy: The Family, The Church, America (which according to them is a Christian nation - I'd hate to live in their version of a Christian nation); or maybe they'll invent a new one. Whatever buzzword they choose, enough people will believe it to continue their control of the SBC until they destroy it, and then blame that on anyone but themselves. Don't be surprised - I won't be. Sad, but not surprised.

Wed Sep 10, 01:57:00 AM 2008

Susie You identified the ones that are called “Baptist Identity People”. They are and have been the ones to Protect PP on these Blogs.

Wayne Smith

Anonymous said...

There are two temptations nowadays that seem to be what pulls the pastors off of the right path:
Sex and Money.

The battle against temptation is greater as a pastor. In the day and time we live in, the battle has become more difficult.

All we can do is just pray for our pastors and our church leaders.

-Robert L. Peeples
Member of FBC Jax

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Wade, for keeping this issue before us. The people involved in this sordid affair who are now (or once were) in positions of influence and power in the SBC MUST answer for their actions (of course, like all of us, they will one day answer to God). They MUST answer to the law of the land (first and foremost), to the victims, and to me (and all members of SBC Convention supporting churches who put and keep them in power). I know that Patterson et.al are meeting with their lawyers, looking for a "legal loophole" to protect themselves and their base of power. They remind me of the Pharisees and "teachers of the law" in Jesus' day who were always willing to claim the "letter of the law" while ignoring the "spirit". If these were truly men of integrity they would voluntarily resign from their positions for their lack of judgment (at least), and pubically apologize to the victims.
This glaring lack of integrity is not missed by the world and people are showing their displeasure by simply staying away from church (both members and the unsaved). These same leaders love to castigate the 'little guy in the pew" for our failure to "evangelize", while they drive people away by their actions and attitudes. God help us all!

Anonymous said...

"All we can do is just pray" ?

Well, first stop worrying about the money. Your churches don't get their strength from their money.

Second, TAKE ACTION and do the right thing. You do know what you have to do.

Then, pray in the knowledge that you have done all you can do; and watch the mightly hand of God work for you. "Just praying" sounds so lame. Losing church members? Do the right thing and God will "increase your tribe". There is nothing passive about prayer but God will listen to those who are earnestly trying to do what is just and right.

Jon L. Estes said...


I don't know if you were addressing my comments or not but since I posted on accountability let me say I was looking at this problem beyond the Gilyard story. I was asking, in all honesty, who is responsible for making sure the names and faces of perpetrators are made known.

Should Patterson step down or be removed, absolutely. IMPO, for more reasons than this subject and I am thankful for all Patterson has done to help our convention.

This is just one story of too many. It seems most abusers move around from church to church not because the EC does not have their names and release them but because the local church remains silent.

Does this negate any responsibility to the leadership in the SBC when they "know" about...? Absolutely not.

Bottom line is the local church needs to rise up and take the stand against the persons who bring harm inside their walls. Don't be embarrassed but be vocal. if this does not happen, not much will.

Let's not make this tragic subject about the SBC leadership alone it is far greater than the few gnats which hide in silence on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Pray?-Yes, just pray. Pray for our pastors who have yet to fall into the sin of sexual abuse. Pray that they stay strong in their faith and that they guard themselves with the Word of God.

Take Action?-What exactly do you mean? Explain the actions necessary from your point of view. What is the right thing Anon?

Anonymous said...

Dear Conservative Congregant:
It is said that God helps those who help themselves. In this case, Southern Baptist people have been made aware of a problem that continued AFTER SBC leadership was told. Leadership chose to continue backing the alleged perpetrator. What kind of encouragement is it for Baptist people to allow leadership to do this without censure? So, how to proceed?

Another saying: "If you cannot see the road ahead; go as far as you can. From there, you will see further.

Worst thing you can do is to do nothing. I'm sure you don't want to wait until victims start law suits. Best to try to clean up now.

About prayer. It is NOT a panacea for inaction. It is not a substitute for taking responsibility when leadership goes in the wrong direction.

Think about what happened during the Holocaust. Lots of Christians prayed; but, out of fear, did not act to save the Jews.

Other Christians also prayed AND acted. Many of these Christians hid the Jews from the Nazis and saved their lives. Of course, they were afraid, too. But these Christians were given the courage to be righteous people. And innocents were protected.

Anonymous said...

If God only wanted lip-service from us, would we have been given the parable about the sheep and the goats? That parable makes me stop and think about the consequences of not taking action to help others. Inaction might back-fire. I'd rather not fall in with the goats on this one.

Ramesh said...

The crux of the issue seems to be that when it's convenient to the SBC leadership, they are a top-down organization, but when it's not, they are a bottom-up organization.

I do not know how the SBC organization should be. For I see problems both ways.

ezekiel said...


Thanks for your comments. I bet you are really good at your job. However, skirting questions and then employing the age old management tactic of "make the complainer make a list, that will shut her up" is a little less than what I had hoped for.

Those that suggest we just pray about it,

Take a look at Jos 7. Achan sinned and Joshua had to deal with it. At first, he fell down on his face, wanted to hide from it, pray about it, ask God what to do. Read God's response in Jos 7:10. Do you really think He would have us deal with it any other way today.

Those that just think we need to make lists, and record all the shedding of innocent blood (that is what it is) for the sake of posterity,

Take a look at Deu 19:13,19, Deu 21:9 Israel, God's people are told repeatedly to purge sin from the camp. In order to do that, they had to have judged what sin was (by the book) and acted on it by purging it from the camp.

For those that would tell us that is OT, Old Covenant, Under the law and doesn't apply might want to read 1 Cor 5:12,13. It seems to still be in effect, at least the way I read Him. If you want more evidence, just read Mat 22:36-40 and then read Romans 13:9. Can you honestly look the victims (your neighbor)in the face and tell them that you love them while you condone and cover up the pure raw evil that shed their innocent blood?

The bottom line is that if you have leaders protecting the wolves among us, getting them jobs at other churches, then they are leaders of something other than God's people. God's shepherds care for the flock and lay down their own lives to protect them. Examples include David the shepherd boy, David the King and Christ Himself who gave Himself up for the church (the flock).

I don't care if you are the president of the SBC, Paige Patterson or the pastor of the 5 member church. If you are unwilling to purge the sin, unwilling to protect the flock, unwilling to expose the darkness and bring in the light, YOU ARE NOT A PASTOR OR SHEPHERD regardless of your degrees or worldly status.

To me, the better plan is to exercise discernment, judgment and obey the Gospel. Purge the sin from the camp.

1Pe 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Anonymous said...

If the leadership of the SBC does not censure Paige Patterson, do they wish us to assume BY THEIR SILENCE ON THE MATTER that they see nothing wrong with what he did?

Surely, if they disapprove, they would confirm this by openly calling for censure.

By their silence, they place their church it a position of scandal.
Silence bespeaks agreement, not disagreement with Patterson's behavior.

Anonymous said...

Thought: If husband's prayers are hindered in not considering weaker vessels of their wives could this principle carry over in other applications in weaker vessels of the flock?

Anonymous said...

Juicy stuff Wade, you always seem to be privy to the juicy stuff. Here is my take on it. I have tried to be a supporter of Dr. Patterson and to this point think that you simply have it out for he and Dr. Mohler. That being said this is a pretty big charge. As I recall Cardinal Law lost his job for precisely what you have accused Dr. Patterson of doing. Covering up and playing "shuffle the predator."

If what you claim is true, then Dr. Patterson is guilty of all of the same crimes this man has committed. In fact he is responsible. That is IF your claim is true.

To me this is a big deal. This is bigger than libraries and hunting trophies. This demands attention whereas I believe the Klouda case did not.

BUT. I have another problem. Why are pastors hiring and firing staff? I agree that a great amount of oversight in the process is required by the Senior or Executive Pastor, but was there not a Search Committee working to hire this man in each of the cases? Do search committees of these larger churches not have a standardized vetting process in place? Of course I know the answer. Maybe we as SBC churches need such a plan in place. Maybe our Seminaries and leadership should be encouraged to NOT recommend Seminarians and Graduates to churches who have not gone through a PSC "certification."
This maintains church autonomy and protects our entities.

Lastly, I personally would welcome the endorsement of any man of God who has the confidence in my character and is an external witness to my calling. But would I use my college professor forever as a reference? Probably not. As Darrell went from church to church to church, did not Patterson logically become more and more detached from the facts and cease to be an eye witness to Darrell's life and calling and ministry?

At the very least, send a letter of Recommendation. But a phone call demanding his hire?

I think your post Wade demands a public response from Patterson.

If he is indeed playing the Bishop of Ft. Worth, then the Holy See in Nashville needs to reign him in.


Tom Parker said...


How can you be so flippant about such a serious matter? Man, no one takes you seriously.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your comments. I bet you are really good at your job. However, skirting questions and then employing the age old management tactic of "make the complainer make a list, that will shut her up" is a little less than what I had hoped for. "

This is so very true.


Anonymous said...

"I don't care if you are the president of the SBC, Paige Patterson or the pastor of the 5 member church. If you are unwilling to purge the sin, unwilling to protect the flock, unwilling to expose the darkness and bring in the light, YOU ARE NOT A PASTOR OR SHEPHERD regardless of your degrees or worldly status. "

And since the seminary is now a "church" then Patterson falls under these functions and has disqualified himself.


Anonymous said...


I have not told anyone to make lists or skirted questions.

We apparently disagree on what needs to be done here. Though I still can't figure out what you want to do. I am familiar with the book of Joshua and the account that you mentioned and the other Bible verses that you mentioned. But I cannot understand what you are wanting to do. I know that you are writing passionate posts, but what else do you suggest?

I sense a lot of anger in your response, and some of it seems to be splashing on to me because you don't agree with my opinions.

I am not mad at you in the least, but I, like all of us here, are trying to figure out what would be the best thing for our denomination. I beleive that I have made some helpful, practical suggestions. I am sure that I will not convince everyone that they are the best suggestions. You and some others apparently fall into that camp.

I do wish you the best, and I would be very interested to hear what you are suggesting that we do. I simply do not believe that the SBC's job in Nashville should be expaned to create a new bureaucracy to judge, track and record the sexual offenses of ministers and staff in the SBC. I have given reasons for why I believe as I do. I, also, have agreed with the suggestion that someone could start an independent non-profit that could do that.

Most of what I hear coming back at my suggestions are emotion that seems to get personal for no really good reason.

So, if you or others have some ideas, I would like to hear them. But if it's just getting mad at me because I don't agree with you or because I don't respond or write what you would like me to write, I am sorry that I can't help you with that.


wadeburleson.org said...

Kevin Crowder,

I have it in for neither Paige Patterson or Al Mohler.

My desire is to bring to an end the "good old boy" politics in the SBC that revolves around hero worship and machiavellianism.

SBC leaders have clay feet. The demands that they give that Southern Baptists bow at every doctrinal, cultural and convention bull (I use the term as Roman Catholics use it) issued from them must end.

Baptists are people of the Book. Independent. Separate. Cooperative. Free. We Baptists have historically been threats to all tyrannical leaders and pontifical religious authorities - until recently.

I am seeking to restore our heritage. And, if that means some lose their "power" in the SBC - so be it. But my aim is not any one person; it is a religious culture within the SBC that is the anti-thesis of our historical moorings.



Anonymous said...

What is needed?

To require SBC leaders to censure the BEHAVIOR of Patterson as he continued to support the alleged perpetrator AFTER being told of problems.

To require SBC leadership to apologize to those who were victimized AFTER Patterson was told of the allegations.

To seek to help the "perpetrator" in the way that only a Christian community can. To forgive and pray for this person if in fact it is legally shown that he is guilty of the charges against him.

To seek God's forgiveness for allowing the "wolves" in at the top who have harmed so many of God's beloved missionaries. For goodness sake, WHY is there a part of fundamentalism that makes people who fall into it so mean-spirited?

To make all practical attempts to prevent future occurences of victimization of innocents who trust in church leaders.

What else can be done. Ideas.

Jon L. Estes said...


Thanks for your understanding of the bigger picture. You will not, for the most part, be understood by those who are to angry to dialogue. This will not help them in their quest to be heard.

I think we ought to do all we can to stop predators on children, this is an evil worth fighting for. Yet, for some, there is only one solution tot he problem and talking about it differently than they want is not part of the solution.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Wade, for being willing to bring this out in the open!

These comments by Pamela broke my heart. I think they bear repeating. It is so sad that there is any group of people within the Bride of Christ who feel this way. Thankfully, Christ is our Savior, not the church. And He came for life abundant, not what is often available in many churches today.

Women must look out for themselves because they are disposable in most churches. The Bible clearly says that sexual immorality of any kind is wrong. However that would not be my main reason for not participating in that sin. You can see, especially in the church world, men are not harmed nearly as bad (if at all) as women are. The only real consequence comes when their behavior gets to a point where they have broken laws... Women consistently get accused of lying and are thrown under the bus. I'm not ignoring false accusations but this situation ... should have been taken care of long before they got out of hand. It's hard to swallow that dozens of women are all are falsely accusing these men. In both cases the leaders of the denominations knew about the madness but did nothing... Women better protect themselves.

Tom Parker said...


What do you suggest be done with PP. He certainly is a big part of the Darrell Gilyard story. I think that is a big part of the bigger picture that needs to be considered.

Anonymous said...

Is Paige Patterson an ordained Baptist minister? If so, is the orginal authority who ordained him able to counsel him now? Perhaps he can be helped to understand the consequences of what he has done.

ezekiel said...


Eph 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

If I am angry, it is the same anger Jesus felt when He cleared the temple. And as Mr. Estes points out, it doesn't do any goood to get angry to the point one can't dialogue.

Having said that, the solutions you so adeptly propose, to me, have all the trappings of worldly answers, worldly solutions to a spiritual problem. We probably won't see eye to eye but that doesn't anger me, frustrate me or whatever. Sorry you feel that from me and I certainly don't feel any anger or hostility toward you.

Now what we have is a spiritual problem. It requires spiritual discerment and spiritual solutions. You can make lists all day but that isn't the action the WORD requires.

Don't get me wrong, the list is a good idea. But we need to understand where it fits in scripture and why we do it. Why it is happening. It works well with exposing the nakedness of an apostate church with apostate leadership. See Ez 16:37. The abominations occuring inside the church are being exposed for all to see. Even the world she desperately seeks to charm. (Missions?)By the time He gest through with us, there won't be any secrets or anything hidden.

The OT is recorded for our instruction. We can find Him doing the same thing in Rev that he did to Samaria, Judah and Jerusalem. Read Rev 2 and look at the sickbed we are on...Who put us there?

Now from that point what is the answer? The spiritual answer?

Revelations 2:18-23. The answer is Repent. Don't do it any more. Stop doing it. That is where I have a problem with your solution. If you want to make a list to expose nakedness then great. If you want to make a list to record our abominations, I have a problem with that.

I may come across as a little hot. But I think He prefers that over cold or in some cases we see....luke warm.

You can read a little more, and hopefully get a little more understanding to what I have said on my blog if you care to read it.

Peace Brother, I have said all I care to say. Thanks for your time and your comments.

Anonymous said...

Paige Patterson's BEHAVIOR in this matter has already censured him. It just remains for the SBC to make it official.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade:
Most people feel that actions speak louder than words.

Do you think that God feels this way, too?

Anonymous said...


That is an excellent comment that I agree with wholeheartedly with regard to the spiritual aspect of this and other issues in SBC life and religious life, in general. Humility, service, and complete openness and candor and a willingness to deal with problems are hallmarks of good spiritual, public service.

On that we agree. And with that agreement, and the Word as our basis for agreement, the practical decisions that should be made are a matter of judgment. We all may have different ideas about that.

Thanks, again, for your comment.


Anonymous said...

SBC leadership could take a page from the medical profession:

Very simply put: "at least, do no harm."

When harm has been done, Christians are told to go to those they have harmed, and ask forgiveness and make reconciliation. Then and only then, they can seek God's forgiveness and find some peace for themselves.

What a sad tale this story tells about how power and pride can blind leaders to their own destructiveness.

Wayne Smith said...

Here is another link on Baptist Predators:
Stop Baptist Predators


Wayne Smith

Unknown said...

I know this is a little late, but as a member of Victory when Darrell was there and a staff member shortly after he left, let me add two more things to your story. Darrell started another church the next Sunday after the meeting to "discipline" him at Victory. The meeting at which Dr. Patterson presided. He basically denied everything he had admitted too at the meeting the first Sunday at the new church and pastored it for about 2 years before going to Shiloh. Also his impropriety continued, however nobody their really cared.

While on staff at Victory (The church goes by a different name now and is located in Garland) in 1995 I received a phone call from a private investigator in Jacksonville that had been hired by a family at Shiloh to look into the same type of behavior. Since I had witnessed everything first hand, I have copy of every Dallas Morning News article I sent him everthing I had on one condition, that he would inform me of the outcome of the case. When he called back I was shocked to find out that his church leadership knew of the allegations past and present and the family of the teenage girl had decided to drop the case after meeting with church leadership.
At that point I felt that I did all that I could do by providing all the information to the ones who had the power to terminate him. Truly sad.