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Was Paul Lavertu Named in Southern Baptist List of Abusers?

During church functions, Paul Lavertu, a former youth leader at Gateway Baptist Church in Loveland, CO, abused a developmentally disabled church member and member of the youth group.
Lavertu pleaded guilty to child sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact. He was sentenced to 35 days in prison, which he had already served, and 15 years probation with sex offender treatment in 2007. Gateway Baptist Church in Loveland and three pastors were sued, and the pastors cited three church leaders for failing to report the alleged abuse.

Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Helpline

Southern Baptist Convention News

According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was released on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The report includes horrifying brand-new information concerning specific abuse instances and sheds light on how denominational officials actively hindered abuse prevention and reform for years.

Southern Baptist Convention leaders have announced an extensive and independent 3rd party examination that discovered that abusers were typically disregarded, forgotten, or perhaps blamed by high-level congregation representatives from within this religious denomination of larger than 16 million members. In addition, it disclosed these leaders frequently deceived their own members to keep them from knowing the rampant sexual misconduct.

Read more on the Southern Baptist Convention News

A Record of Ignored Mishandling

The report asserts that a key Convention official was credibly accused of sexual assault merely one month after completing his two-year stretch as the convention’s president. Additionally, Johnny Hunt, a popular Georgia Southern Baptist preacher and senior vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s objectives arm, was credibly implicated of assaulting a female at a 2010 vacation in Panama City Beach, FL. The North American Mission Board president declared he was uninformed of the allegations prior to Hunt resigning on May thirteenth. The report also identifies 3 prior presidents of the convention, a previous vice president, and the former head of the SBC’s administrative arm as prominent SBC officials who assisted in covering up for and even motivated known abusers.

One victim described being treated with animosity as she alleged she was sexually assaulted by a youth pastor. The implicated pastor served in several Southern Baptist churches in a number of states. During a meeting with the SBC leaders in 2007, a member of the Exec Committee “turned his back to her during her speech and another chortled.”

Responsibility in the Southern Baptist Convention

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 report demonstrates a pattern of stonewalling, retaliation, intimidation, and coverup.” He hopes this document will deliver much-needed change and hold those accountable for their actions.

The report claims that a key Southern Baptist official was credibly implicated of sexual assault merely one month after completing his two-year spell as the convention’s president. The report also names three previous presidents of the convention, a previous vice president, and the previous head of the SBC’s administrative division as renoun SBC leaders who aided in protecting and actually motivated suspected abusers.

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