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Was Gary Don Welch Named in Southern Baptist Convention List of Abusers?

Gary Don Welch, a youth minister at Northside Baptist Church in Corsicana, Texas, was arrested in 2012 on suspicion of aggravated sexual assault on a child. A 16-year-old girl came forward, alleging that Welch had sexually abused her since she was 13 years old. For a series of incidents with a teenage congregant, he was convicted on four counts, including aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and indecency with a child. Welch received a 55-year prison sentence.

Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Helpline

Southern Baptist Abuse Database

According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was released on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The file includes scary brand-new specifics relating to specific abuse instances and clarify how denominational authorities actively disapproved abuse prevention and reform for several years.

Southern Baptist Convention leaders have actually revealed a comprehensive and independent 3rd party investigation that found that abusers were typically disregarded, forgotten, or perhaps criticized by high-level church administrators from within this religious denomination of more than 16 million people. Moreover, it uncovered these leaders frequently deceived their own members to avoid them from understanding the flagrant sexual assaults.

Click to continue reading more about the Southern Baptist Abuse Database

A History of Overlooked Misconduct

The report claims that a key Southern Baptist leader was credibly accused of sexual assault only one month after finishing his two-year stretch as the convention’s president. In Addition, Johnny Hunt, a well-known Georgia Southern Baptist preacher and senior vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s missions arm, was credibly implicated of abusing a female during a 2010 trip in Panama City Beach, FL. The North American Mission Board president claimed he was unaware of the allegations prior to Hunt resigning on May 13. The report additionally identifies three prior presidents of the convention, a former vice president, and the previous head of the SBC’s administrative arm as prominent SBC leaders who helped in covering for and even motivated known abusers.

One victim detailed being treated with animosity as she claimed she was sexually abused by a youth pastor. The implicated pastor served in numerous Southern Baptist churches in a number of states. During 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 branch, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, stated ‘this is not all Southern Baptists, look at all the good we do.’ The report demonstrates a pattern of stonewalling, intimidation, coverup, and retaliation.” He hopes this document will deliver much-needed reform and hold those liable for their actions.

The report alleges that a leading Southern Baptist official was credibly implicated of sexual assault merely 1 month after completing his two-year stretch as the convention’s president. The report also names three previous presidents of the convention, a former vice president, and the previous head of the SBC’s administrative branch as renoun SBC leaders who helped in covering and even encouraged presumed sexual abusers.

He wishes this report will instigate much-needed reform and hold those accountable for their horrific acts of abuse.

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