Stop Pastoral Abuse
Justice Department investigates SBC
Updated: Aug 13, 2022
Following a report outlining Southern Baptist Convention leaders' failures in addressing widespread clergy sexual abuse, the SBC is now under investigation by the Department of Justice.Federal investigators are looking at the denomination and several of its affiliated agencies, the SBC confirmed Friday. "Individually and collectively each SBC entity is resolved to fully and completely cooperate with the investigation," an SBC statement said. The federal investigation follows a third-party inquiry by Guidepost Solutions, which Southern Baptist voting delegates approved at the 2021 SBC annual meeting. Guidepost released its findings in May in a nearly 300-page report detailing a pattern of SBC leaders dismissing reports of abuse and survivors' calls for change. The report also included an allegation of sexual assault against a former SBC president.Guidepost and an SBC task force overseeing Guidepost's work brought forward a series of policy recommendations. Voting delegates approved the recommendations at the 2022 annual meeting in June, including establishing a new task force that will study abuse prevention measures.
"While we continue to grieve and lament past mistakes related to sexual abuse, current leaders across the SBC have demonstrated a firm conviction to address those issues of the past and are implementing measures to ensure they are never repeated in the future," the SBC said in its statement Friday. An SBC spokesperson confirmed that a top SBC committee received a subpoena for documents from the DOJ.