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Was James Vernon McNeal Named in SBC Abuse Investigation Report?

James “Javie” Vernon McNeal, a children’s minister at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Hazel Green, AL, was arrested in 2016 on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12. According to Alabama prison records, McNeal was convicted of two felony sex offenses in 2018 and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Helpline

Southern Baptist Convention Guidepost Report

According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was launched on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The report contains terrible brand-new information regarding specific abuse instances and sheds light on how denominational officials actively disapproved abuse avoidance and reform for several years.

Southern Baptist Convention leaders have actually announced a substantial and independent third-party investigation that uncovered that abusers were frequently neglected, forgotten, and even blamed by high-level church officials from within this religious denomination of greater than 16 million members. Furthermore, it revealed these leaders frequently deceived their very own members to prevent them from being aware of the unchecked sexual wrongdoing.

Continue reading about the Southern Baptist Convention Guidepost Report

A Record of Overlooked Abuse

For almost twenty years, survivors who were sexually abused tried to get in touch with the administration of the “SBC” concerning the preachers and congregation workers. Nearly all of these reported occurrences fell outside of the SOL, making it unclear the number of abusers were in fact indicted. According to the report, a secret list was kept. Nonetheless, survivors’ cries for fair treatment went unheeded as leaders from churches and organizations attempted to protect themselves instead of those who have been preyed on by sexual abuse.

The report states that an essential Southern Baptist leader was credibly implicated of sexual assault just 1 calendar month after finishing his two-year term as the convention’s president. The report likewise names 3 previous presidents of the convention, a former vice president, and the former head of the SBC’s administrative arm as well-known SBC leaders who helped in covering for and even encouraged believed abusers.

One victim talked about being treated with hostility as she claimed she was sexually assaulted by a youth pastor. The accused pastor served in multiple Southern Baptist churches in numerous states. At a meeting with the SBC leaders in 2007, a member of the Executive Council “turned his back to her during her speech and another chortled.”

Accountability in the Baptist Church

Russell Moore, the former head of the SBC’s policy arm, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, stated ‘this is not all Southern Baptists, take a look at all the good we do.’ The Report demonstrates a trend of stonewalling, intimidation, coverup, and retaliation.” He anticipates this document will bring much-needed change and hold those responsible for their sexual abuse.

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