SBC Executive Committee issues apology to former member Jennifer Lyell

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News


The SBC has begun its public admittance of failure in a highly publicized sexual abuse case by addressing the situation surrounding former SBC employee Jennifer Lyell, who was reportedly abused by a former professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary some years ago.

The SBC Executive Committee issued its statement of sorrow on Twitter on Tuesday, highlighting its initial denial of the charges as an error. The statement reads, in part,

The SBC Executive Committee acknowledges its failures to Ms. Lyell, including the unintentional harm created by its failure to report Ms. Lyell’s allegations of nonconsensual sexual abuse were investigated and unequivocally corroborated by the SBC entities with authority over Ms. Lyell and her abuser. The SBC Executive Committee acknowledges its failure to adequately listen, protect, and care for Jennifer Lyell when she came forward to share her story of abuse by a seminary professor…The SBC Executive Committee apologizes for all the hurt it has caused, is grateful for Ms. Lyell’s perseverance and engagement. And prays for her complete healing from the trauma she has endured.

Lyell alleged that she suffered under abuse from a make SBTS professor for over ten years, beginning in 2004 when she was a student in the M.Div program at the seminary. Sources indicate that initial reports claimed the relationship was consensual, but Lyell alleges it was abusive.

If the abuse allegations are as extensive as initial reports claim them to be, this may not be the last of public apologies made by the SBC to victims.

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