Enabling a serial child sexual predator: Prestonwood Baptist Church and John Langworthy

UPDATE: Judge rules Langworthy will face trial.

If you were a victim of Langworthy’s child sex crimes in Dallas, please call Doreen in the Dallas police department at 214-671-4211. The Dallas police department wants to hear from you and she’ll be expecting your call. Doreen is the report intake specialist for the child abuse/exploitation unit and is a trained counselor.

If you were or are a victim of Langworthy's child sex crimes in Mississippi, please call Josh Frazier in the Clinton Police Department at 601-925-6106 or call the main number and ask for Josh at 601-924-5252.

Our hearts ache for Langworthy's victims who, once again, are being forced to wait for justice. But in one sense, the real culprit isn't Langworthy or the justice system, but his former colleagues and supervisors at two churches who chose to protect Langworthy and their institutions over children, Prestonwood Baptist in Dallas, Texas and Morrison Heights Baptist in Clinton, Mississippi.

The justice system is designed to bend over backwards to be fair to the accused. And Langworthy is fighting for himself, using every technicality he can, just like almost every child molester does.

But we shouldn't lose sight of the complicity of these church officials. Had even one of them done the absolute bare minimum, obeyed the law, and reported - even anonymously - their suspicions or knowledge of Langworthy's crimes or inappropriate deeds to police, he would almost certainly have been stopped years ago from hurting more kids.

The public message sent by Morrison Heights Baptist Church has been one of support for Langworthy as seen on video (embedded below) at his confession. There is not one word of support for the children sexually abused by John. It's all about him (sounds like Sandusky). He planned it that way. This confession is a tactic of manipulation to continue to silence others from coming forward since he says there have been no more "indiscretions" since 1989. And we're supposed to take a confessed child molester at his word? If he was repentant, he would have turned himself into the police right after this public confession (or 22 years before) and named every single one of his victims and asked for justice to be done so they can heal. He confessed only after he was exposed. The right message they and Prestonwood Baptist should send publicly is one of support for the brave survivors that have already come forward and to urge anyone else harmed by Langworthy to call the police immediately, come forward with no blame or shame, get help, begin healing and protect others.

Watch John Langworthy's August 7, 2011 Statement at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Faith & Lifestyle  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

If Langworthy's superiors at Prestonwood had actually acted on the information they had about his crimes in 1989 instead of trying to cover them up, Langworthy would have been jailed long ago. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and he was allowed to move on to unsuspecting churches, schools and communities placing even more kids at risk by enabling his serial predatory behavior.

While we hope the secular justice system may finally discipline Langworthy, the question remains: are church authorities - at these two congregations or higher up the Baptist hierarchy - going to discipline church staff who ignored or concealed Langworthy's crimes, allowing him to walk free and hurt others? For church authorities to do nothing about those who enable child sex crimes is inexcusable and only encourages other church staff to act irresponsibly in the future.

We hope that anyone else who at any time has seen, suspected or suffered abuse by Langworthy will call police immediately, get help, start healing and protect other kids from him. See here for helpful contact information on reporting John's crimes in Texas and Mississippi. If I can be of any assistance, please email me at spacecitysnap@gmail.com or call me at 281-748-4050. Your call and/or email is confidential.

Contact Mississippi Crime Stoppers (central MS) or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by phone or secure web form.

To report abuse by Langworthy or other perpetrators that occurred in Dallas at Prestonwood Baptist Church, call the Dallas Police Child Exploitation Unit at 214-671-4211. Your call will be answered by an experienced and trained counselor who will take your report. If you need to leave a message, your call will be returned.

Some of John Langworthy's recent grooming behavior has come to my attention from several sources. This behavior dates back to my memory of interactions with victims in Dallas at Prestonwood. He continued to do that with kids in Clinton, MS after he left Dallas. He made boys in his school choirs hug him before they left class each day, boys only. To some of his favorites he would write letters and give gifts. He had their pictures framed on his desk. These behaviors are classic grooming tactics of a serial child sexual predator.

The forced hugs should have been a huge red flag of inappropriate behavior. The school officials, including Clinton schools superintendent Phil Burchfield should be questioned about why they allowed this predator to continue unquestioned to prey on kids in their midst.

Comment on New BBC Open Forum from August 11, 2011 about Langworthy:

i ought to know said...
At first I couldn't remember if this happened BEFORE or AFTER the pastor (Billy Weber) was caught in an affair with one of the angels from the Christmas pageant! Jack Graham inherited a big old mess--he knew what he was getting into-- and did nothing but help sweep things under the rug to protect the mega-church's image. Being that I am a former P'wood youth group member at the time JL was on staff and committing such horrific acts, I feel compelled to comment. The youth pastor at the time (Neal Jeffrey) and all of senior staff should be held accountable as well since they assisted in the cover-up. I DO remember the reading of John O's resignation letter to the youth group, citing "personal improprieties" rather than calling it what it is: sex abuse with multiple, innocent victims. The parents of the victims were pressured by church staff (and volunteer youth workers) to not talk about what happened, and that spilled over into silencing the victims. Disturbing, sad, and all around pathetic way to handle the situation. You will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER convince me that he did not re-offend once he escaped penalty in Texas.
and on August 16, 2011:

iought2know said...
The first of many has come forward--such a hard thing to do, but will pave the way for others.

To those from PWood or anywhere else who think coming forward now is pointless due to statute of limitations running out...PLEASE do so anyway!! Did any inappropriate contact happen while out of the state on choir tour or at camp...while visiting JL in Mississippi...or threats/intimidation made? 

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not be afraid to tell the police what was done to you!
CBSDFW: Former Prestonwood minister's attorney wants sex abuse case dropped

Associated Baptist Press (story with my comments)

Aaron Fisher, victim No. 1 in the Jerry Sandusky case, sits down with the Daily News to tell his story of sexual abuse from The Monster


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