Seth Udinski, FISM News
As the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) begins the long road to healing in the midst of a widespread sexual abuse case, denominational executives at the state level are already taking tangible steps towards healing and accountability.
In Florida earlier this week, the SBC State Board of Missions instituted a nine-person committee with at least four ordained pastors and four women to handle allegations of abuse within the denomination. The Florida Baptist State Convention said,
The Florida Baptist State Convention directs that the newly-elected president of the Florida Baptist State Convention establish a special committee of the state convention to examine all policies and procedures governing sexual abuse allegation reporting, sexual abuse survivor care and sexual abuse prevention within the Florida Baptist State Convention by reviewing all applicable policies and procedures of the State Board of Missions, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center, The Baptist College of Florida, and Florida Baptist Financial Services – including any subsidiary organizations of each ministry.
Additionally, on Monday the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) elected to “conduct a comprehensive review of existing policies and procedures related to sexual abuse awareness, prevention and response.” According to a statement from the North Carolina Baptists website, the results of this review will be reveled at the state’s executive gathering in the fall of 2022. BSCNC President and local pastor Micheal Pardue said,
This is not an issue that we can slack on. This will show that we are being proactive and ensure that we are doing everything we can to address this issue. We want to be very open to our convention and make sure that we are doing the best we can to protect people in our churches and hold people accountable.
Sources indicate that several other Baptist state leaders are instituting similar procedures, including those in Texas, California, and Kentucky.