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Was Travis Smith  Listed on SBC Abuse Investigation Report?

Travis Smith, pastor of First Baptist Church in Stover, MO, and former youth pastor of Pilot Grove Baptist Church, was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016. According to Missouri court and prison records, he was convicted of statutory rape, sexual abuse, and statutory sodomy in criminal cases involving three victims in three different counties in 1998, 2000, and 2005. Smith had previously been acquitted of sexual abuse allegations against a different victim in 2011.

Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Helpline

Southern Baptist Convention Guidepost Report

According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was released on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The file contains scary new specifics regarding specific abuse instances and sheds light on how denominational authorities actively opposed abuse avoidance and change for decades.

Southern Baptist Convention leaders have announced a substantial and independent third-party examination that revealed that abusers were frequently overlooked, forgotten, or perhaps blamed by upper-level congregation leaders from within this religious denomination of larger than 16 million individuals. Moreover, it exposed these leaders often deceived their own members to stop them from being aware of the widespread sexual abuses.

Click to learn more about the Southern Baptist Convention Guidepost Report

A Record of Dismissed Misconduct

Almost all of these disclosed occurrences fell outside of the statute of limitations, making it uncertain how many predators were really charged. According to the report, an internal list of abusers was kept.

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 numerous states. During 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.”

Responsibility in the SBC

Russell Moore, the previous 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 shows a pattern of stonewalling, coverup, retaliation, and intimidation.” He hopes this document will deliver much-needed reform and hold those liable for their sexual assault.

The document asserts that a principal Southern Baptist leader was credibly implicated of sexual abuse no more than one month after finishing his two-year stretch as the convention’s president. The report also names 3 prior presidents of the convention, a former vice president, and the former head of the SBC’s administrative arm as renoun SBC leaders who helped in protecting and even encouraged thought sexual abusers.

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

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