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Was Charles “Rick” Willits Listed In SBC Abuse Investigation Report?

Charles Richard “Rick” Willits, a former youth preacher of the Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, was convicted of nine counts of child sexual assault in 1999. He was detained on suspicion of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy he met at church. He was given a 15-year sentence and was released in 2014.

Jerry Dale Carver, another Greater Hills Baptist Church minister, was charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old child in 2006.

Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Helpline

Southern Baptist Convention Report

According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was released on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The document consists of horrifying brand-new details relating to particular abuse instances and clarify how denominational authorities actively opposed abuse prevention and reform for many years.

Southern Baptist Convention leaders have announced a substantial and independent third-party investigation that uncovered that abusers were typically overlooked, forgotten, or perhaps condemned by upper-level congregation representatives from within this religious denomination of greater than 16 million individuals. Additionally, it revealed these leaders often lied to their own members to avoid them from knowing the rampant sexual wrongdoing.

Click to read more on the Southern Baptist Convention Report

A Record of Dismissed Misconduct

For nearly two decades, survivors who were sexually abused sought to reach out to the administration of the Southern Baptist Convention regarding the preachers and congregation staff members. Almost all of these disclosed incidents fell beyond the SOL, making it unclear the number of sexual abusers were really indicted. According to the report, a secret record was kept. Victims’ cries for justice went ignored as leaders from organizations and churches tried to shield themselves rather than those who have been victimized by sexual abuse.

One victim detailed being treated with animosity as she alleged she was sexually abused by a youth pastor. The accused pastor served in numerous Southern Baptist churches in several states. At a meeting with the SBC leaders in 2007, a member of the Exec Board “turned his back to her during her speech and another chortled.”

Responsibility in the Baptist Church

Russell Moore, the former head of the SBC’s policy arm, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, mentioned ‘this is not all Southern Baptists, look at all the good we do.’ The bombshell report shows a pattern of stonewalling, coverup, intimidation, and retaliation.” He hopes this report will bring much-needed reform and hold those responsible for their sexual assault.

He wishes this report will bring about much-needed change and hold those accountable for their actions.

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