I went through Biblical Guidance counseling at my Southern Baptist church.
Many details of my past childhood abuse, as well as the personal painful issues in my marriage, were in my file at the church. I thought it would always remain confidential.
Five years before the staff sexual predator was exposed at my church, I had a very inappropriate and repulsive experience with him.
I told many church members...
No one wanted to deal with it or help me.
So I gave up and somehow blamed myself for the minister’s predatory conduct.
Then, after he was reported for child molestation, and after it came to public light, the church conducted a bogus investigation. I was told that ALL the counseling files were being gone through to see who had had anything to do with this minister. No one asked my permission, and my privacy was of NO importance to anyone.
Now I would never want anyone I cared for to go to a church for ANY kind of counseling.
When the church’s investigatory report was finally read to the congregation, the minimizing was unbelievable.
Sexual Abuse was called an "incident" and "sexual activity". The women, like myself, who were also preyed upon were of NO significance.
The minister's primary victim, who exposed him to the Senior Pastor, was totally minimized in relation to how the report told us to forgive and support the predator. He had been abused as a child also…as if that somehow justified his deviant behavior!
I had a complete melt down, left the church dazed and betrayed, and got lost trying to get home just a few blocks away.
I couldn't believe that my once safe church had cared more about the cover-up and rationalization than about the CRIME and the damage done...both by the predator and by those who knew and were silent.
SO many others knew, including the Senior Pastor. Why didn't anyone do anything?
I have had some better days but have not completely recovered since that report was read and the Senior Pastor minimized and justified his cover-up.
How many women and children fell prey to this wolf???? How many more wolves are in our churches today?
Yet the church leaders still go on as though no damage was done.
My health and business have never recovered since this betrayal. It’s very hard to maintain when the body stays in fight or flight mode.
Of course, there were never any letters of apology or help of any kind from my church of 25 years.
This has to stop!
The fact that people can't see that this is trickling down from the SBC is ONLY because they choose to be ignorant.
These sexual predators and those that protect them MUST be exposed and expelled from the churches.
I fear I will never feel safe again.