On May 22, 2022, the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention
(“SBC”) released a 288-page report by Guidepost Solutions,
detailing the results of its independent investigation into allegations
of sexual abuse within SBC-affiliated churches.
In the report, Guidepost described how the SBC Executive Committee stonewalled
and denigrated survivors of clergy sex abuse over the last two decades.
The report further detailed how two former SBC staff members maintained
a secret list of reports accusing Baptist ministers of sexual abuse, with
no indication that any action was taken to ensure that those ministers
were not in positions of power at SBC churches. On May 27, 2022, the Executive
Committee published an additional, 205-page list containing more than
700 entries from sex abuse cases that largely span from 2000 to 2019.
At least 35 of those entries identify accused sexual abusers with ties
These recent publications have revealed that there have been hundreds,
if not thousands, of instances of alleged sexual assault and abuse by
clergy and other personnel working for churches affiliated with the SBC,
including churches in Alabama. The SBC is the largest protestant denomination
in the United States, with approximately 14 million members nationwide.
It is also the largest denomination of any kind in Alabama, with almost
one million of Alabama’s 4.8 million people have belonged to one
of the approximately 3,200 churches within the state affiliated with the
SBC in 2015.
Now is the time for victims to come forward to seek justice for the sexual
abuse they have suffered. Much of that abuse likely could have been prevented
if the SBC Executive Committee had acted on reports and complaints made
to them and local SBC-affiliated churches had exhibited greater awareness
and diligence to protect their membership. The most important thing to
know is that, in order to pursue a claim, you need to act quickly. Coming
forward is a difficult decision to make, but the delay can dramatically
affect whether a lawsuit can be filed. There are laws establishing how
soon a victim of wrongdoing must file suit in court after suffering an
injury, although such time limits may be extended in certain circumstances,
including when the victim has suffered sexual abuse or other injuries
when they were still a minor.
It takes courage for survivors to come forward, and, as with all of our cases,
Glenda Cochran Associates Attorneys at Law
are here for our clients every step. If you want to reach out for a free
consultation of your case, you decide the way you want to communicate,
whether in person, by phone, or by letter. You may also remain anonymous
while we discuss your case. Everything you say to
our attorneys and staff
is privileged under the law. All discussions remain strictly confidential
— even if you do not hire us to handle your case. Call us for a
free consultation at (205) 328-5050, or toll-free at (888) 906-3955, or
fill out a contact form today.