Dear SBCV family,
After reading the 300-page report to the Sexual Abuse Task Force of the Executive Committee of the national Southern Baptist Convention based in Nashville, TN, I would like to share a statement with you.
When I think of Southern Baptists, I think of folks who sit in the pews, ministers serving, people who attend our SBC of Virginia conferences, go on mission trips, serve on Sunday, and go to work on Monday – folks like the people where I preached on Sunday – people coming to worship the Lord and seeking to serve the Lord. People who invest trust in their leadership both in the local church and in the national fellowship of churches. May God give Christian leaders wisdom and strength in these days for the task ahead.
I can’t begin to imagine the hurt and grief of survivors whose trust in leadership has been broken. It grieves me to see more leaders failing to finish well or serve as God intends. It is heartbreaking, sobering, grieving, and challenging beyond words. We, indeed, must humble ourselves, learn, and seek solutions to serve and care better for people.
Over the last year, our state convention launched a Caring Well Task Force to provide safe resources and information for survivors, churches, and individuals seeking to learn best practices for how to navigate the subject of spiritual and sexual abuse and domestic violence. This task force meets on a regular basis and has a regularly scheduled meeting this week.
Let us continue to pray together. I know we must find solutions. I also know that we are dependent on God to be our deliverer. May God bless us as we walk with Christ and seek to serve faithfully.
Your brother in Christ,