Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Amanda Blackburn didn't "give her life." She was murdered.



In a video posted on Sunday, 12/6/15, shown to Resonate Church, pastor Davey Blackburn said he "wholeheartedly believes that Amanda gave her life to see Indianapolis changed." He says he's taking a step back from Resonate and needs to take time to "process" and "get healthy." It's a "bit of chaos" for his little boy Weston. A bit??
Amanda didn't "give her life" Davey. She was murdered.





Friday, November 20, 2015

"It's such a conundrum" - Davey Blackburn when asked about justice for Amanda Blackburn



















At at about the 45:00 mark  Davey Blackburn repeatedly points and shoots a guy on stage with an air soft gun, shouting, "BOOM!" in his sermon at Resonate Church on November 8, 2015, 2 days before Amanda was murdered, shot in the head in her home.




Statement Analysis by Peter Hyatt of statements by Davey Blackburn in the days after the murder of his wife Amanda:

1. Statement of Pastor Finds Wife Murdered

2. Q & A: The Murder of Amanda Blackburn

3. Davey Blackburn: Life Insurance on Amanda

4. Statement Analysis Transcript: Davey Blackburn

5. Commitment in Language: Intrusion and Violence

6. "The Best is Yet to Come"

7. Pregnant Woman Homicides

8. Conclusion in the Amanda Blackburn Murder to Date

9. Davey Blackburn: The Identity of "We"

10. Arrest in Amanda Blackburn Murder

11. Blackburn Murder: Change of Language

12. "Amanda's Story"

13. Blackburn Murder: Human Nature and Language

14. Amanda Blackburn Murder: Opinions

15. Blackburn Murder, What Detectives Think: "No One Is This Lucky!"

16. Reasons Why Davey Blackburn Was Not Involved in the Murder of Amanda

Justice for Amanda Blackburn on Facebook













Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hidden Predator Act lawsuit alleges continual child sexual abuse by GOP political consultant Jim Collins, former youth pastor at First Baptist Church Vidalia, Georgia






Rising Up with Courage- daybreak on Kauai





A Republican political consultant from Georgia was sued this week for allegedly forcing boys to perform sex acts and videotaping it.

WSAV reported that attorneys for Matt Stanley filed a lawsuit against Jim Collins for abuse that occurred between from 1996 and 2002 while attending First Baptist Church Vidalia, where Collins was a youth volunteer.

Collins is accused of instructing boys to perform “individual sexual acts, both privately and in a group setting.” The lawsuit alleges that he recorded the boys performing the acts at least once while at church. The “highly inappropriate, sexualized physical contact with many of the boys” continued while Collins was chaperoning out-of-town trips, the lawsuit says.

Stanley said that he was abused “more than a hundred times” from the age of 11 until he was 18 years old.

Vidalia Man Accused in Third Hidden Predator Lawsuit

“Individuals who violate and sexually abuse children should be put on notice that we survivors are breaking our silence and rising up with courage to fight for justice.” explained Angela Williams, an abuser survivor and founder of Voice Today.
One of those survivors is named Matt Stanley.
...
Also named in the suit – 50 “Doe’s”. Those are unnamed organizations who the lawsuit claims “negligent” by not protecting children from Collins.
First Baptist Church Vidalia is located in Vidalia, Georgia and is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. The senior pastor is Bucky Kennedy. Kennedy is also on the Board of Trustees of Brewton Parker, a coeducational institution owned by the Executive Committee of the Georgia Baptist Convention. 

The lawsuit states that in 1997 Jim Collins was hired as the youth pastor at FBC Vidalia after serving as a volunteer.

Hidden Predator Act lawsuit
Allegedly what started out as Bible classes at Collins' home later turned to viewing of pornographic material by Stanley and other youth from the church.  Sexual molesting occurred at Collins' home and on youth church trips, according to the suit.
Stanley said, "As a boy I was sexually abused by Jim Collins.  Jim used his position of authority in my local church to perpetrate his abuse for most of my adolescent years.
"Mr. Collins must provide an accounting for his actions.  Through this lawsuit, I hope to raise the public's awareness that child abuse is real and can flourish without our vigilance.
"Parents, you must be on guard.  Ask hard questions. Demand answers.  If, God forbid, you find your child has been abused in someway, please do all you can to insure your loved one seeks out and receives the vital counseling and support they will need."
The suit also accuses up to 50 unnamed John Does at the church of gross negligence in hiring Collins and failing to protect children from his sexual abuse.
Attorney James Carroll says it's still to be determined if any others will be sued. "The 'Does' are in the lawsuit in case we do decide to bring in additional persons.  We do know the identity of those who were involved and whether or not they are sued is a decision the Stanley family will make.  By leaving the 'Does' in gives us the opportunity to amend the complaint," he said.



Monday, October 19, 2015

When Pastors Prey: Baptist perv Sammy Nuckolls



via Crime Watch Daily
Sammy Nuckolls, a man of God, preyed on his parishioners in the sickest of ways. As cops would uncover, the pastor's own home was exposed as a sex trap.







Amy Violette- betrayed by Sammy Nuckolls, a brave survivor speaks out



Peeping preacher's prison sentence stands
Prosecutor Steven Jubera suggested Nuckolls’ aims were not altruistic but driven by the same “narcissistic tendencies” that got him in trouble in the first place.
“House arrest is really not going to prevent him from doing what he did in his own home in the first place,” Jubera said.
Chatham said he was pleased to hear that Nuckolls is doing good work and adjusting well to prison. “Perhaps that is your calling,” he said.
As to Nuckolls’ motives, the judge said: “Only God Almighty can see your heart. What you are in front of me for is the pain and agony you have inflicted on 13 women here in my jurisdiction.”
Chatham said after 46 years as a prosecutor, defense attorney and judge: “I find our judicial system is second only to the Holy Bible to bring repentance in this world. I don’t know how many people would repent if they hadn’t been caught.”
Peeping preacher case comes to TV


Friday, October 16, 2015

Custom Ink responds to concerns about helping design shirts to raise funds for a convicted child rapist foundation



The Gregory Raymond Kelley Foundation was founded in 2014 to support a convicted felon, Greg Kelley, in prison for super aggravated sexual assault of a 4-year-old boy in Texas. 

The Gregory Raymond Kelley Foundation was founded in 2014 as a way to carry out Greg's passion for helping others while he unjustly remains in prison for something that he did not do. His supporters have rallied around him and we are free and want to use that freedom to serve each other in our community in Greg's name, just like it says in Galatians 5:13.

The GRK Foundation has had difficulties in the past raising funds online once sites like Go Fund Me were made aware of the nature of this foundation. Maddie Brimberry found a company, Custom Ink, to help design and host a t-shirt fundraiser sale to support the GRK Foundation. I called Custom Ink this morning and spoke with Jasmine who directed me to call Booster, a third party fundraiser for Custom Ink. I called Booster and was told that this is a Custom Ink issue. I went back to the Custom Ink site and began a chat with a Custom Ink agent. I have posted our conversation below.



Success! You are now chatting with 'Amanda M. '.
Amanda M. : Hi Amy Smith! Thank you for chatting with CustomInk! I'm quickly reviewing the form you've filled out to see what I can personally help you with today.
Amy Smith: Thank you.
Amy Smith:https://www.facebook.com/GRKFoundation?fref=ts
Amy Smith: GRK is a convicted child rapist in prison.
Amanda M. : I'm happy to help today. I'm sorry, about any confusion here. Let me take a peek at everything.
Amanda M. : One moment please.
Amy Smith: They are proudly thanking you for helping them raise funds for the rapist GRK. In the past other companies have shut them down (go fund me) when this was found out.
Amy Smith: I have asked questions on twitter about this as well but no response from you.
Amanda M. : I do apologize for the uncomfortable nature of this situation. It is not up to CustomInk or us as representatives to research or do background checks on our customers. We will absolutely not print anything pertaining to sexual offense, rape, demeaning behavior, etc. We will print the design if it follows all of our guidelines, in this case it does. Again I do understand the sensitivity of this matter and I absolutely understand your point. The customer is thanking us for the good job we've done with their shirts and our customer service not because we condone the behavior. We know nothing about this customer in any other capacity.
Amy Smith: I will post your response on my blog and let people know.
Amy Smith: I would want to know that a company does not care if they help a convicted felon in prison for raping a child.
Amanda M. : Amy, I sincerely apologize and I absolutely understand your point on this matter. While we do not agree with or condone the behavior in any way the design falls under our guidelines as it does not contain any vulgarities. We do have a legal team that reviews orders for such things as offensive language, vulgar material, etc.
Amy Smith: The name on the shirt, Gregory Raymond Kelley is a convicted felon in prison for raping a 4-year-old boy in Texas.
Amanda M. : I absolutely see where you are coming from. CustomInk is a platform for our customers, we don't feel comfortable determining guilt or innocence and who should or shouldn't be allowed to order shirts for their cause or reason.
Amy Smith: The state of Texas already determined guilt by a jury. He took a sentencing plea deal for 25 years in prison waving his right to appeal.
Amy Smith: I will post all of your responses on my blog.
Amanda M. : Thank you again for expressing your opinion and concern on this matter. I will pass your concern along to our team. I'm sorry that I'm not able to assist with this matter any further.
This chat has ended. Don't worry, if you think of more questions, open a new chat or give us a call at 1-800-293-4232.










 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Child sexual abuse lawsuit filed against TX pastor Billy Bob Burge and First Baptist Church of Rockwall after victim's abuse leads to suicide


DALLASSept. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Carla Sweet and Ed Gomez of Dallas, Texas, filed suit today in Dallas, Texas, state court against First Baptist Church of Rockwall: seeking justice for their son, John "Jeremy" Sweet-Gomez, who was repeatedly sexually abused by a Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church of Rockwall.
The suit alleges that a Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church of Rockwall began sexually abusing Jeremy when he was approximately thirteen years old. The abuse included sodomy, oral sex, and inappropriate sexual touching. The suit states that the sexual abuses and assaults occurred "on church property and during church-sponsored religious trips." Jeremy suffered repeated sexual abuse as a teenager; he later committed suicide. 

SNAP responds:

The lawsuit alleges that “Defendants entered into a civil conspiracy, accompanied by a meeting of the minds regarding concerted actions, the purposes of which were to conceal and minimize public knowledge of sexual misconduct and/or abuse by Pastor Burge. This conspiracy and concerted action was carried out by Defendants to conceal the fact that they individually and collectively committed acts of neglect, gross neglect, concealment, fraud, and breached fiduciary duties. Officials and agents or representatives of First Baptist Church of Rockwall, acting in concert, engaged in this conspiracy to avoid prosecution, to cover up sexual misconduct and abuse, and to conceal claims arising from crimes or conduct of their Youth Pastor.”
We urge officials at First Baptist Church of Rockwall to come clean with any information and to immediately report any known or suspected abuse by Billy Bob Burge to law enforcement. We hope that any other churches or places where Burge has had access to kids, including his current church employer Grace Community Church in Greenville, Texas, will aggressively reach out to anyone else that may have been harmed by Burge and urge them to call police.
We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered pastor Burge’s alleged child sex crimes to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Yesterday I was notified that Billy Bob Burge was listed as the athletic trainer at Greenville Christian School.  I took a screenshot today on the school website that lists Burge as a trainer for the football team.

As of 2 pm today, Billy Bob Burge's name no longer appears on the link to the football staff, after I responded in an email to the Greenville Christian School administrator that Billy Bob Burge's name was listed as the trainer for the football team.

Below is an email exchange with Greenville Christian School administrator Steve Bowers:

Thu 9/24/2015 11:53 AM

Mrs. Smith,

Billy Bob Burge has never been “on staff” at Greenville Christian School, he has volunteered on and off helping with our football team.  He is no longer a volunteer ball boy / water boy with our football team at Greenville Christian School.  Most definitely, we are currently putting a plan in place to notify parents of the situation so they can take proper action.

Sincerely,

Steve Bowers

From: Watchkeepamy [mailto:watchkeepamy@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2015 10:59 AM
To: Steve Bowers
Subject: Re: Billy Bob Burge

Will he be remaining on staff at your school? Will you be notifying parents and urging anyone else that may have been or being abused by him to call police? We are concerned there may be more kids at risk. I've heard from a concerned parent today who described a pattern of red flag behavior by Billy Bob. 

On Sep 23, 2015, at 6:05 PM, Steve Bowers <steve.bowers@greenvillechristian.org> wrote:
Yes - we were just made aware of it.

Steve

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 23, 2015, at 5:26 PM, Watchkeepamy <watchkeepamy@gmail.com> wrote:
Are you aware of this?



Amy Smith 

Yesterday morning I tweeted to Steve Lawson, Founding Pastor at Grace Community Church in Greenville, Texas where Billy Bob Burge is on staff as the Connection Pastor. 



He immediately blocked me on Twitter.

I received this email from Haley Lawson yesterday afternoon.







I have received a few calls from people concerned about more victims of Billy Bob Burge. One concerned parent said that we need to ask about the many sleepovers Billy Bob Burge had at his house with boys. There seems to be many red flags of predatory behavior displayed by Burge where he has had access to kids in Rockwall, Commerce and Greenville, Texas: First Baptist Rockwall, First Baptist Commerce, Commerce High School, First Baptist Church of Greenville, Grace Community Church in Greenville and Greenville Christian School. 

We urge anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered any abuse by Burge to come forward, contact police, seek justice, begin to heal and protect kids.

The light of truth and knowledge is our greatest tool to protect kids.

How to Prepare Your Kids for the Dangers of Sexual Predators

If you are looking for a guide on how to prepare your children for the dangers of sexual predators, The Well Armored Child: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Sexual Abuse, by Joelle Casteix, might be the book for you. Casteix outlines how to take your child from being an “easy target” for sexual predators to a “hard target,” one who is not likely to experience sexual abuse. She summarizes: “The purpose of this book is to give you the tools to identify and stop the 90 percent of predators who are never arrested or convicted.”
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines sexual abuse as:
The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; or the rape, and in cases of caretaker or interfamilial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.
All of these avenues of abuse can leave a lasting and devastating impact on children.
The book’s author, Joelle Casteix, writes from a perspective of a child sexual abuse victim. She includes a thorough explanation of why she is qualified to write this book and the abuse that she endured throughout her high school years. Her personal experience bleeds through to each page. She now works to advocate for and mentor other child sexual abuse victims.


Update

Burge could not be reached for comment, and Don French, business administrator at First Baptist Church of Rockwall, said “it was 25 years ago” and would not comment.
 



Friday, September 11, 2015

Reckless endangerment of children at First Baptist Church Bedford, Texas

Photo by Danielle Grobmeier of Dallas Morning News



Earlier this week, FOX4 News in Dallas broke the story locally of a Baptist minister indicted on 29 counts of rape and sodomy of a child in Alabama who is now working at a church in the Dallas area. First Baptist Church Bedford hired Charles Kyle Adcock about 8 months ago as a music minister. Pastor Steve Knott apparently was aware of Adcock's charges when he hired him. Church leaders spoke with Elizabeth Dinh of CBS11 yesterday saying that they spoke with Adcock and believe his story that he is not guilty. We know about this story now because concerned parents spoke out.


Yesterday, we held a SNAP news conference at FBC Bedford to protect kids. 


“We think it’s incredibly irresponsible and reckless to have hired him in the first place,” says Amy Smith, who works with SNAP: Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Smith say she took to twitter to blast First Baptist’s pastor for hiring Adcock, and says she was immediately blocked from the church’s feed. Smith and another supporter staged a hastily arranged protest outside the church this afternoon. And although they were outnumbered by press, she insists it doesn’t take a crowd to warn parents.
“What we know about predators is they rarely have just one victim” says Smith, “and they’re very manipulative and often will find places like churches to have a position of trust. That word ‘minister’ signals to most churchgoers that he is safe.”
...
And there are also children at Bedford’s First Baptist Church. SNAP advocates are encouraging parents to talk to their children and if they suspect any inappropriate behavior or contact, they’re asked to take those concerns to police. And by all means, says Smith, avoid church leadership.
“Sadly, many times, it’s a very typical, dangerous response– which is to protect the institution of church, and the image and reputation of the perpetrator or the pastor of the church, or the name on the building… instead of children,” says Smith, “and we say, `why take the risk?’ Why take the risk of hiring a guy who’s about to go on trial for 29 counts of rape and sodomy of a child? Why take the risk? Err on the side of caution and place the safety of kids, first.”
Yesterday afternoon, Adcock's bond was revoked and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Thursday, WHNT News 19 also learned Adcock has a new arrest warrant in Colbert County for violating the terms of his bond, for working around children.
Assistant District Attorney Angela Hulsey filed a motion to revoke Adcock’s bond stating, “the State has received information that the Defendant is employed by First Baptist Church in Bedford Texas as a Worship Pastor, which would allow him unsupervised contact with minors. This type of employment is a violation of the conditions of the Defendant’s release on bond.”
WFAA News 8 Dallas
At First Baptist in Bedford, Pastor Steve Knott hired Adcock to lead the adult choir and work with the church's audio/video equipment.
"We think it's incredibly irresponsible and reckless to have hired him in the first place," said Amy Smith with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
Smith said it doesn't matter that Adcock was not directly working with children in Bedford.
"Having a position as minister automatically places him in a position of trust," she said.
The church member who spoke with News 8 said a group of members talked to the pastor after learning of Adcock's past.
He said they also had a long talk with Adcock and decided to support him. The choir director has pleaded not guilty.
Adcock was arrested in Frisco in August of 2014 on the Alabama charges. First Baptist in Bedford hired him while he was free on a $500,000 bond.
"That's very alarming," Smith said.

We hope that anyone else who has been harmed by Adcock will come forward and contact police to begin to heal and to protect others.

The light of truth and knowledge is our greatest tool to protect kids.

I will update this post with any new information.
Update

Former Bedford minister in jail in Alabama
Judge revokes bond of former Shoals youth minister charged with sex crimes
Charles Adcock turned himself to Colbert County authorities on Monday morning and appeared in court, where Judge Hal Hughston revoked his bond.  He ruled that Adcock's new job would have put him working around children, a violation of his bond agreement. Prosecutors in Muscle Shoals requested his bond to be pulled as soon as they found out about the position.
"This is a flagrant disregard of the court's order," said Colbert County Distict Attorney Bryce Graham. "It is beyond belief."
He is now back in the Colbert County Jail, where he will await trial in January.
...
"Given what he's been accused of and indicted for,  it's incredibly irresponsible and reckless to take that risk with children's safety," stressed Amy Smith with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. "He's been here long enough, he's had a chance to possibly groom other families to trust him, other children."

Sunday, August 9, 2015

An open letter to every senior pastor whose church wants to minister to those who pose a risk of harm: guest post by Simon Bass



Simon Bass is the CEO of CCPAS (Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service), the leading independent Christian child protection charity in the UK. CCPAS has been safeguarding children since 1977. In light of my most recent posts on churches' mishandling of pedophiles and registered child sex offenders volunteering and employed in positions of leadership and trust in churches, I have asked Simon to give his expert guidance in context of these "offender-focused" churches. 

The Village Church

Elevation Church

Fairfax Community Church

Simon Bass:  The Christian Social Worker Who Protects Children From Christian Abusers

An open letter to every senior pastor whose church wants to minister to those who pose a risk of harm

It is commendable that your church wants to support sexual offenders in being part of your worshipping community, after all the gospel is for the ‘whosoever’. It is not meant to be critical in pointing out that as a pastor you are likely to have an optimistic view of people borne out of the Christian doctrine that no one is beyond God’s redemption; we are all sinners, but our sins are redeemed by God’s saving action in Jesus Christ. We are unworthy and undeserving by ourselves but God’s grace is poured out for the redemption of all who believe. Sometimes it is difficult to see beyond this, to have a critical understanding of the nature of perpetrators of sexual harm.

As shepherds you have a duty of care towards your flock, and especially those who are vulnerable; those children and adults in your congregation. As a good steward it is vital that before contemplating ministering to anyone who has committed sexual offences such an undertaking is not done so naively – the risk of harm to children is just too great. I say this based on the recidivism rates for sexual offenders, which sadly includes those who profess a faith in Jesus Christ. If we have learned anything from the clerical abuse scandals that have plagued the Catholic Church and other major denominations it is that professing faith does not mean we become sinless. Those who have sexually molested children will always pose a future risk to them. This is not to deny the transforming work of Jesus Christ but recognition of the addictive nature of sexual crimes.

In every fellowship there will be survivors of sexual abuse (based on national and international statistics of the number who have been victims of abuse in childhood). Many look to the church as a place of sanctuary and struggle when churches have sympathy and mobilise resources for perpetrators of abuse, whilst the pain and safety needs of victims are ignored.

How you as a pastor respond to perpetrators who have molested children must always have as a starting point the safety of children. Then you should give due consideration to the needs of survivors, and the affect ministering to perpetrators of abuse can have on them. If you appear to be one-sided you will alienate many in the church, and especially those who have been harmed. Survivors of abuse will only ever have confidence in your church if their voice is heard when you are working with those who have committed sexual violence against them.

I would urge you as pastors to use appropriate language when talking about sexual offenders, and by this I am talking about those who have molested and raped children, and filmed then shared these abusive acts. Don’t describe sexual offenders simply as offenders, nor describe them as ex-offenders, as it can be perceived that there is a denial of their offence and ignoring that they will always be a risk, and it consigns the abuse to the past. Certainly don’t describe their behavior as being about mistakes in the past, which is just too dismissive.

Boundaries
Ensuring your church is a safe and welcoming environment requires that you have a child protection policy in place, and that all your leaders have been trained in child safety, including safer recruitment, that you have clear working practices including what to do where abuse is disclosed or suspected. This would also include how you address the pastoral and counseling needs of those who have been affected by abuse. With this in place you will be better equipped to minister to sexual offenders, remember they will look for acceptance, and the church is often the only place where this can be found. It is understandable why sex offenders are drawn to church.

Some manipulative sex offenders will target churches, professing faith and using language and acting in ways suggestive that they are repentant, knowing they will be accepted, in order to gain contact with children in order to abuse them. Other sex offenders who truly want to turn away from the crimes they have committed will show fruit in keeping with repentance. One clear way is for the sex offender to agree to never working with children or wanting to have any position or authority within the church which would give rise to a child believing them to be trustworthy. This requires wisdom in considering what roles and titles you give to sex offenders to ensure they are not seen as a person in a position of trust.

Children are trusting, and if they believe a person is safe to be around because that is the impression you give at church, they are not going to be weary when approached outside of church. It is imperative that you engage in a covenant contract with the sex offender, outlining the boundaries they are expected to keep and how the church may be able to support in their rehabilitation to prevent the likelihood of them re-offending. Living with the consequence of the crime isn’t denying redemption. This should be written drawing on a professional risk assessment from their probation or law enforcement officer, or others involved in their aftercare. It should clearly state the crime they committed, and any sanctions or restrictions they are under, and what sex offender management plan that may be in place. Key leaders in the church need to be aware of this contract. Don’t assume that members of the church will refer to the sex offender register.

Be very clear as to what offences have been acknowledged, and dealt with by the courts, as further admissions can lead to you as pastors needing to mandatorily contact law enforcement. A situational risk assessment should also be undertaken to ascertain if you are able to provide the level of support and supervision needed to ensure the sex offender can be monitored sufficiently so as not to put children at risk. Churches don’t just operate in one building but include meeting in homes for bible studies and as a church family there will be offers of hospitality. These need to be included in the contract, which should be constantly reviewed, and remain in force indefinitely.

Other considerations
I have known sex offenders who have said the church should cease the contract such as at the time of the end of their probation. The risk they posed though had not changed so the contract should remain. Certainly don’t give public ministry to sex offenders or opportunity for them to share their testimony. It is grossly offensive to survivors of abuse, for some it is an opportunity to groom a congregation and other sexual offenders will get sexual gratification from re-telling their story. It is unfair to their victims, not least because it risks identifying them.

I believe that sex offenders can be part of church but because of the nature of the offence there are many aspects of ministry that they should not be involved in, starting with not having any role where they are in any position of trust. Many churches provide pastoral support and recovery programs but again this is not something a sex offender should be involved in. Due to the predisposition to sexually abuse a child, this is a matter for long term intense therapeutic intervention; this disqualifies sexual offenders from acting as facilitators within certain recovery programs, for example where providing care or counsel to anyone dealing with addiction, especially sex addictions or pornography. This is simply foolhardy. I have known sex offenders who began viewing pornography and then downloaded child abuse images. Some victims of sexual abuse have become addicted to alcohol or drugs in order to cope with that abuse. For these reasons it is therefore totally inappropriate to have a sex offender involved in these ministries.

Finally
Churches should always be a place of acceptance and refuge and welcome, so let’s first ensure that survivors of abuse believe this first. Working with sex offenders require you as pastors to recognize that this is a specialist area where you should be working collaboratively with appropriate professionals and their agencies.  It’s therefore vital to work with law enforcement and get support from organizations such as G.R.A.C.E. and Stop it Now!,  and survivor advocacy organizations such as SNAP.

Simon Bass
Chief Executive, CCPAS www.ccpas.co.uk