I first learned from my mother and father that the reason for John Langworthy's dismissal from Prestonwood in 1989 was due to allegations of child sexual abuse. It wasn't until 2011 that I had the opportunity to speak with several of Langworthy's victims and confirm these allegations. My father was a deacon at Prestonwood in 1989. He recently reminded my husband of some key points about the circumstances surrounding John Langworthy's dismissal from Prestonwood Baptist Church where he had been employed as the youth music minister:
- There were several boys involved, and at least one of the victims was 15 when it started.
- Randy Addison was the attorney who handled it for the church and was in direct contact with some of the boys and their families.
- Bill Taylor, Administrative Pastor, was the point man at the church, who went on to become a director at LifeWay Resources, part of the Southern Baptist Convention.
- Neal Jeffrey was there. He was the youth pastor.
- Jack Graham became the Head Pastor at Prestonwood the month before Langworthy was dismissed.
- They tried to handle it discreetly.
My dad also reminded me and my husband of his warning to us in August 2011, just a couple of weeks after my WFAA interview:
I don’t want to have this conversation anymore. You can go back to 22 years ago. You and Amy are going to pay a big price for what has been done here. I’m telling you. You don’t go on witch hunts from 22 years ago. You don’t.I obtained the above comments from a *recorded phone call of my husband to my dad in August 2011. The recorded phone call to my dad was about 2 weeks after the initial WFAA interview ran, and my parents’ angry email to me that I had done that interview. My husband called him in response to their email and recorded the call so that I could hear what my dad had to say. We have the audio and a few months ago I shared it with my parents so that they were fully aware that I knew what my dad had said and why we were so disturbed. I have never shared the audio publicly. Earlier this week my dad emailed us the transcript of the entire call that he put together, so apparently he is proud of his stand and statements.
*In addition to federal law, thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted "one-party consent" laws and permit individuals to record phone calls and conversations to which they are a party or when one party to the communication consents.
Therefore, if you operate in Texas, you may record a conversation or phone call if you are a party to the conversation or you get permission from one party to the conversation in advance.
That WFAA story for the first time publicly exposed the truth about the child molesting minister and school music teacher Langworthy and when Jackson, Mississippi news media began covering the story right after it aired in Dallas, one brave survivor of abuse by Langworthy went to the police followed by several others. He pleaded guilty on January 22, 2013 to the child sex crimes detailed and embedded below in the State of Mississippi vs. John Langworthy. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison but all of it is suspended. He will be a registered sex offender for life. But kids would be safer if he was in prison. Child molesters never retire.
I recently learned that after Prestonwood fired Langworthy in 1989, and he moved back to Mississippi, he continued to call the home of one of his victims from Prestonwood attempting to speak with him.
Silence only helps the predator but by speaking up there's a chance for healing and protecting other kids.
We urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Langworthy to call the police, get help, heal and protect other kids.
If you were a victim of Langworthy’s child sex crimes in Dallas, call Doreen in the Dallas police department at 214-671-4211.
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
No More Silence: An interview with Boz Tchividjian
The greatest failure of the church/Christian organizations when it comes to responding to abuse is institutional self-protection. Too often Christian institutions have been willing to sacrifice the individual human soul in exchange for the protection of their own reputation. What makes such responses even more heinous is that they are often justified in the name of "protecting the name of Christ." Such a justification is nothing but a pious attempt at self-protection. It may come as a surprise to some but Jesus does not need us to protect His name! In fact, it was Jesus who sacrificed Himself for the soul of the individual.
I have yet to encounter an abuse situation that was handled "in house" where the consequences were not extremely harmful to the abuse survivor. All too often these issues are handled "in house" in a church-centered attempt to avoid public scrutiny and to bring the matter to a close as quickly as possible so that the church can return to more "productive Gospel work."
Not surprisingly, this church-centered response leads to devastating consequences in the life of the abuse survivor. Such responses to abuse have nothing to do with the Gospel, and everything to do with placing the institution over the individual.Church calls cops on inquiring member
Prestonwood Baptist Church Scandal is a Deadly Poison
It seems a little strange that Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary in Louisville and an SBC “kingpin,” has nothing to say on this issue. Mohler was more than happy to share his thoughts on the Sandusky scandal at Penn State, but has no comment when a church in his own denomination is involved.
I will never apologize for the truth. The light of truth and knowledge is our greatest tool to protect kids.
Protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded, prevent the abuse.