Tag: Baptist

Southern Baptists address issues of sexual abuse

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Last week, Southern Baptists from around the country met in Birmingham, Alabama for their annual meeting. A major focus for Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president J.D. Greear is sexual abuse within the SBC, America’s largest Protestant denomination.

In February, the Houston Chronicle ran a piece outlining hundreds of examples of sexual abuse allegations within the Southern Baptist Convention since 1998.

Two sides to the story: Matt Chandler receives criticism for handling of sexual abuse.

Matt Chandler. Photo from YouTube

Monday, the New York Times ran an article titled “Her evangelical megachurch was her world. Then her daughter said she was molested by a minister.”

The story talks about the Village Church, a megachurch in Dallas, Texas and the home church of Matt Chandler, one of the most popular and dynamic pastors in the contemporary Evangelical movement.

The story chronicles a former church member named Christi Bragg whose daughter was sexually assaulted at a church sponsored retreat in 2012. The New York Times piece gives accounts of how the Village Church responded to the allegations.

The article gives the impression that the church did very little to help the family and glossed over a crime while only carrying about protecting their own interests as a church.

Sutherland Springs church dedicates new building 18 months after massacre

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On the morning of Sunday, November 5, 2017, worshippers gathered at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, a small town of about 500 people. During the service, a 26 year old gunmen came into the sanctuary and began shooting. 26 people died, 20 others were injured.

This weekend, the congregation dedicated a new church, next to the former building where the assure occurred. During the service, the names of the victims and their ages were read aloud as a bell tolled. The bell comes from the original building, and the bell tower of the new church is now the tallest building in Sutherland Springs. First Baptist Pastor Frank Pomeroy said, “It will be a beacon on a hill that people can look to wherever they’re at and be reminded about what God’s done here,” he said. “It’s not about the building. It’s about the provisions of God and what he’s done for us over this last 18 months.”