Monday, August 20, 2018

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor expresses concern that other kids are at risk for sexual abuse: Eddie Struble update



From my 2011 post regarding sexual abuse concerns about Southern Baptist music minister/church leader, Eddie Struble:
A few months ago I was made aware of specific concerns about a minister credibly accused of the sexual abuse and stalking of at least one teenage boy of which I am aware. This music minister, Eddie Struble, was formerly on staff at Second Baptist Church, a Baptist megachurch in Houston, with a membership of more than 53,000. He left that position a couple of years ago and sometime after that was hired as the interim music minister at Humble Area First Baptist Church but is no longer on staff there, as of October 2010, and has moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He also worked as a vocal coach atHits Theatre in Houston. Prior to working at Second Baptist, he was on staff at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis and Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa.
I also have a few other posts about Eddie Struble.

Former Second Baptist Church of Houston minister accused of child sex abuse: more information and more questions

Amy, 

 Saw your blog on sexual abuse of children and teens and wholeheartedly support it, provided everything checks out. In the case of ES, everything said about him preying on a boy, a young man really (*of 16/17) is true. 

*editor's note: the Houston police department report states that the abuse began on 12/01/06 and continued until 10/15/09 which I believe would correspond to said victim's age as 14-17 years old.

Classmates know that he visited the boy in question daily at his home until the wee hrs.

 Many of us knew ES both from church where he had an impressive position as director of a large choir and orchestra, and also from the school that our own kids went to, where he liked to hang out at games. He knew almost all of the students there, was very 'huggy' with them, had their cell phone numbers etc. When the pastor was told about the above situation, the matter was referred to relevant church staff, who said they had ways of investigating such matters and to leave it to them. 

ES was removed from office somehow, but the church never reported back. When asked, they answered that 'it was true', as I suspect the police reports you show testify to. So the voicemail on your web site by Second is pertinently untrue, and a way of the corporate church to avoid legal responsibility since they did not report the matter (possibly to protect the family and ironically, feeding the rumor mill that keeps bringing up these questions).

[voicemail mentioned above embedded here]


 This had immediate unintended consequences, namely that ES applied to schools in the area, including ours. Luckily our kids' school was aware, even somehow responsible, since ES had actually traveled with the school's sports teams on a road trip or two (while not employed by them nor having any kids at the school himself, can you believe it!?! Our kids had been very aware of ES inclinations by then (the investigation by Second took 2 months) and had warned the classmates and the school staff, who by then became very concerned about the school's reputation and role in the matter).

 I believe he was finally served with a restraining order by the school since he kept showing up and contacting kids by phone and on Facebook etc. 

 A supporter 

Denying and Enabling Child Sex Abuse

Texas is a state in which it is mandatory for any citizen to report known or suspected cases of child abuse. Texas is also a state in which it is a crime for clergy to have sexual relations with a congregant. 
I was contacted last week by a former member of Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. I will refer to her as Catherine (pseudonym). She is very concerned because she is aware of the abuse allegations about Eddie Struble and was compelled to contact me after she learned that Eddie is seeking a committee chair position with Texas Christian Homeschool Prom. I responded to Catherine asking for further information. She informed me that she had spoken to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Charles Carpenter about her concerns. Charles is a former Birchman Baptist member who allegedly witnessed an sexual incident involving Eddie Struble and a teen boy from Birchman Baptist Church. 

I emailed professer Carpenter last Friday with my concerns. I urged him to make a report to police. He replied a few times to my emails. His last reply was in response to my questions, "What happened? What did you witness?"

According to Catherine, Charles Carpenter witnessed Eddie Struble behaving inappropriately (kissing and fondling) with a teen boy who had recently turned 18, but there are concerns that grooming behavior had been going on for perhaps a couple of years. Eddie was a church leader in the music ministry, so he was in a position of trust. Eddie is 45 years old and married with kids. 

Eddie left Birchman Baptist Church and is now attending Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Emails from Charles Carpenter:







Note that Charles Carpenter states that "the person Eddie was with was not a minor nor did Eddie know him as a minor," yet in the same email, he states that he spoke to "concerned parents who have vested interest in this manner." He also states that he approached pastors Bob Pearle and Joey Tombrella "about what happened." Bob Pearle is the senior pastor at Birchman Baptist Church. 
I agree that others are at risk; and to prevent this I followed the biblical mandate to approach and explain to the pastoral staff (Bob Pearl and Joey Tombrella) what happened. If they decide to sit on the information that is there decision; and they may have information that I don’t. They may even be supporting and rebuking in ways I am not privy to. From what I gather they have taken some precautions. As to whether or not it is effective I don’t know.
Last Friday I also recieved a text from a former minister's wife from Birchman. I had called her husband about the concerns about Eddie Struble a few years ago when he was on staff at Birchman Baptist. She had asked Catherine for my number to contact me.



I have known about abuse allegations of boys by Eddie Struble since 2011 when I was contacted by some close friends who are former members of Second Baptist Church in Houston. My friends knew of the advocacy I had recently begun in an effort to expose and report a pedophile minister at my former church in Dallas, Prestonwood Baptist. I did some research and found the Eddie Struble police reports from 2009 and posted these on my blog. A few months later, I received a call from the mother of the victim contained in those reports. Eddie had abused her son for about 3 years, from age 14-17. A helpful youth pastor at their new church, after leaving Second Baptist, had helped them see that Eddie was a wolf in sheep's clothing. Eddie had even convinced the parents that he was a good influence and mentor to their son. They did the right thing rescuing their son and reporting the abuse. I do believe that if the victim (now an adult) were to decide in the future he is ready to proceed with prosecution, he could contact police, give them his statement and continue with his report.

Over the years it seems that so many people have had very credible, serious concerns about abuse by Eddie. Some even know victims personally. Please, if you suspect or know of abuse, call police immediately or utilize the cyber tip line reporting tool at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. I believe that there is a trail of Baptist churches that have handled these allegations about Eddie internally and failed to make a mandatory report to law enforcement. It is not the job of pastors to investigate abuse allegations. That must be done by law enforcement professionals after a report is made. I have reported the information shared with me about this abuse.


There are police reports from Houston police department and a corresponding report from Spring Valley police department











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