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Joshua Neal Ponder Named in Southern Baptist Abuse Database
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Was Joshua Neal Ponder Listed in SBC Abuse Investigation Report?

Joshua Neal Ponder, youth minister at Mabank’s First Baptist Church, was arrested for sexually assaulting a teenager. From 2001 to 2007, he worked as a youth minister at the First Baptist Church of Palestine, TX. He is now a convicted sex offender.

Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Helpline

SBC Investigation Report

According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was released on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The file includes scary new details concerning specific abuse instances and sheds light on how denominational authorities actively hindered abuse avoidance and change for years.

Southern Baptist Convention leaders have actually announced a substantial and independent third-party investigation that found that abusers were typically neglected, forgotten, or even blamed by high-ranking congregation leaders from within this religious denomination of greater than 16 million individuals. Furthermore, it showed these leaders typically lied to their very own members to keep them from knowing the widespread sexual misconduct.

Continue reading more on the SBC Investigation Report

A History of Overlooked Abuse

For nearly 20 years, survivors who were sexually abused sought to speak with the administration of the Southern Baptist Convention concerning the preachers and church workers. Nearly all of these disclosed occurrences fell beyond the SOL, making it not clear the number of perpetrators were in fact indicted. According to the document, a super secret list was kept. Nevertheless, abuse victims’ cries for fair treatment went unheeded as leaders from churches and organizations tried to secure themselves rather than those who have been taken advantage of by sexual assault.

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

Responsibility in the Southern Baptist Convention

Russell Moore, the previous head of the SBC’s policy branch, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, mentioned ‘this is not all Southern Baptists, take a look at all the good we do.’ The report shows a pattern of stonewalling, coverup, intimidation, and retaliation.” He hopes this document will deliver much-needed change and hold those liable for their horrific actions.

The report claims that a principal Southern Baptist official was credibly accused of sexual assault only one month after completing his two-year stretch as the convention’s president. The report likewise names 3 prior presidents of the convention, a former vice president, and the previous head of the SBC’s administrative arm as notable SBC leaders who helped in protecting and even motivated thought sexual abusers.

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

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