Showing posts from March, 2014

Bill Gothard and Bob Jones University Abuse Scandal Connections: protecting leadership, silencing victims

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests held a media event last week at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina urging B JU officials to release the identities of all sex offenders (proven, admitted and credibly accused) who have worked at or attended the university and post them permanently on the school's web page. This would help prevent future crimes. Statem ent by Cathy Winterfield of SNAP : We are urging Bob Jones University officials to –launch an independent investigation into alleged cover-ups of child sex crimes and/or sexual harassment accusations that have surfaced recently against a nationally-known minister, and –permanently post the names of proven, admitted and credibly accused sex offenders who are or have been at the university on the school's website.    Earlier this month, a prominent Illinois-based Protestant minister, Rev. Bill Gothard, was put on administrative leave after as many as 34 women said that he sexually harasse

TX: a state in which it is a crime for clergy to have sexual relations with a congregant

In my last post , I discussed the recent departure of longtime Prestonwood Baptist music minister Todd Bell due to what several sources say is an affair with a choir member. Christa Brown of Stop Baptist Predators left this comment on that post: Hi Amy. Just want to share a bit of Texas law with you. Under the Texas Penal Code, section 22.011, a sexual assault is considered to be “without the consent of the other person if… the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person's emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman's professional character as spiritual adviser…” I have no clue what happened with Todd Bell and his reported “unfaithfulness” to wife, church and ministry… and from the reported statements here, it is impossible to know. But I do know that, if a minister engages in sexual “unfaithfulness” with an adult congregant, it is sometimes more properly viewed under the law as a “sexual assault” ra

Prestonwood Baptist Church and the Cone of Silence

After 22 years as the worship pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church, Todd Bell apparently resigned suddenly last week, or so I've heard from a few sources. He has been removed from the staff listing on the church website. *From what I've been told in an email (see below), Jack Graham spoke at the end of the service last Sunday, apparently after the cameras stopped rolling, about Todd Bell's resignation or firing. I'm not clear on which it is exactly. If Jack did speak openly and transparently that Todd "disqualified himself, " why has he never spoken about how Prestonwood minister John Langworthy disqualified himself too when he suddenly left Prestonwood in June 1989 after allegations surfaced that he was sexually abusing boys in the church? Why has Jack never mentioned Langworthy from the pulpit? Don't all members and parents deserve to know why a minister would leave suddenly because he was accused of child sex crimes? *UPDATE 3/5/14: I received