Raising awareness at The Village Church to protect kids

SNAP DFW May 31, 2015

Yesterday, several members of the DFW chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests gathered outside The Village Church Dallas Northway campus. We stood for the protection of kids. We are very concerned that confessed pedophile Jordan Root, a member of TVC & a licensed professional counselor, may have victims in the DFW area and elsewhere, given his volunteer and work history involving vulnerable children.

A missionary from The Village Church (TVC) admitted viewing and having sexual images of children. In February, a church group corroborated this.
But, in a move that has created a firestorm of protest in Christian circles and on the Internet, church officials embraced him and disciplined his wife for moving to have their marriage annulled.
The offender is Jordan Root who did church work in East Asia. SNAP worries that Root may have hurt kids in there. His wife is Karen Hinkley. On Sunday, TVC pastor Matt Chandler has said he will apologize to her.
But SNAP says that an apology “does nothing to protect the vulnerable or heal those already hurt because of the crimes of Root and the actions of TVC staff.” The group believes “that kids are at risk now because Root walks free, living and working among unsuspecting families (and) that there are kids he has hurt who are suffering in silence, shame and self-blame.”
TVC staff should use their vast resources to alert parents, police, prosecutors and the public about Root’s crimes, SNAP says, and to aggressively seek out youngsters he has assaulted. The church has a moral and civic duty to help law enforcement investigation and prosecute Root, so that other kids may be spared devastating harm, the organization maintains.
The victims’ group is also urging anyone “who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Root or cover ups by TVC to call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.”
SNAP is also deeply skeptical of claims by TVC officials that they have “without exception” reported suspicions and knowledge of child sex crimes to law enforcement.” The group is also “deeply grateful to Karen Hinkley, the brave woman who is exposing possible child sex crimes in the church.”
From 2011 until 2014, according to Internet sources, Jordan Root was a therapist at Timberlawn Mental Health System is at 4600 Samuell Blvd in Dallas (214-381-7181).
As best SNAP can tell, he remains a licensed professional counselor in TX.
Root also worked at the First Baptist Church’s summer camp (May-August 2008), Dolfin Swim School, (September 2008-July 2010), In Class Learning Differences Aid (September-December 2010), a practicum counselor at Dallas Life (with families and children; January-August 2011), as a private children's swim instructor (June-September 2011), a mental health technician at Timberlawn Mental Health Services, (November 2011-March 2012), and as a therapist on the child and adolescent unit at Timberlawn Mental Health Services (March 2012-May 2014).
Between roughly 2003 and 2007, he also did babysitting work and volunteer youth ministry in Cedarville OH, Albany NY and Dallas. From 2008-2011, he did informal children's ministry work with refugee children in at Vickery Meadows and lived in the Santa Fe Trails apartment complex, both in Dallas.
TVC’s public relations director is Kent Rabalais and its Campus Pastor is Steve Hardin.
In a blog post, Karen writes, “The discovery of Jordan’s pedophilia and use of child pornography triggered a thorough upheaval of every aspect of my life… What is even more disturbing than his use of child pornography is that throughout the duration of these years, Jordan sought and gained access to a large number of children, many of whom represent some of the most vulnerable populations of children in our society… [TVC’s] treatment of Jordan as the victim and me as the perpetrator is an appalling reversal that evidences its priorities are not in line…”
Though she hopes that she’s wrong, Karen says she does fear that Jordan hasn’t confessed the “full story.” That said, the FBI did do an investigation of Jordan and found no evidence of child pornography on Jordan’s computer. Still, when she considers how many times she remembers Jordan interacting with children, sometimes in situations in which he was alone with children, Karen becomes sick to her stomach.
Amy Smith, a blogger and co-leader of Dallas’s SNAPNetwork, a survivors network for those abused by priests, has, for months, been following Karen’s story and writing about it at her WatchKeep blog. Regarding the church’s response yesterday, she says it was their mention of repentance in regards to Karen that stood out to her. “What does that mean for Karen in this specific situation?” she wrote in an email to The Daily Beast. “What do they think Karen needs to repent for? Seeking an annulment? Failure to submit to the authority of the elders’ counsel on the annulment?”
To anyone who approached us outside The Village Church yesterday and asked for more information about why we were there, we handed them a leaflet
Dallas church apologizes to wife of sex offender; SNAP responds
Words are easy. Reform is hard. Progress will happen if TVC staff take tangible steps to safeguard those at risk, help those in pain and prosecute those who have committed or concealed child sex crimes.
Finally, in a letter to church members, Chandler writes of “failures” by TVC staff.
That’s disingenuous. “Failure” is when a good faith effort somehow inadvertently goes awry. There was no “failure” here. Chandler and his colleagues acted with deliberation, thought and planning. They knew exactly what they were doing with Root’s crimes and Hinkley’s feelings. It’s a cop-out for them to talk of “failure.”
We urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Root or cover ups at TVC to speak up, get help, call police, protect kids, and expose and deter future wrongdoing. Breaking your silence is the first step toward healing, justice and prevention.
If you know or suspect child sex abuse, please report to law enforcement immediately, not the church.
The Texas Family Code 261.101 requires professionals to make a report within 48 hours of first suspecting abuse, neglect or exploitation of children. The Human Resources code Chapter 48 (48.051) requires a person having cause to believe that an elderly or disabled person is in the state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation to report the information required immediately.
*National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline
The CyberTipline® receives leads and tips regarding suspected crimes of sexual exploitation committed against children. More than 4.3 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation have been made to the CyberTipline between 1998 and April 2015.
If you have information regarding possible child sexual exploitation, report it to the CyberTipline
*Child Help National Child Abuse Hotline
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in over 200 languages. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are confidential.


Anonymous said…
So what do think the Village Church should do to Jordan Root? What are you picketing?

The church has a plan in place where Root must check in and be accompanied when he is on the property plus he is not allowed in certain areas of the church campus.

Should the church just not allow him to come on the property? And then just let him go elsewhere where no parameters are in place? He has been investigated by the FBI. If you weren't happy with those results, that's a problem you should address with the FBI not the Village Church.

The Village has given multiple apologies on this issue. What are you waiting for? You guys won the battle! Congrats. Now move on. There are bigger battles to fight! I commend your efforts in what you are warring against. Really! You bring to the surface some dark issues that must be addressed. The Village Church has addressed them. Move on. Find your next battle. The justice you wanted so badly for Karen has been granted. Move on.

The more I read from you and your buds, the more I realize this is less of a "child protection" issue and more of a feminist/theological issue. Do you know how many people have come to the saving knowledge of Christ in the walls of The Village Church? Lots. Why would you try to tear those walls down? You won the battle and now you are shooting our wounded. Move on.

If you weren't happy with the multiple apologies that have been given, it's OK. You're name is not Karen Hinkley and you are not a member of The Village Church. The apologies weren't for you. Save the time you will spend in the coming days critiquing the apology and use the time to find another battle. Move on.
WMS4Yeshua said…
Figures you'd call yourself that since you have no spine. These 'apologies' from TVC are about as genuine as Bruce Jenner is a woman! TVC has only given lip service to this issue, and still is. Yes they should refuse to allow Jordan Root on the property, because he has been far from honest in this matter, and the fact that he has been around children in many situations leads one to believe that there ARE victims of sexual abuse at his hands! SNAP wants to make sure that any of these victims can reveal the evil and nightmare that he may have put them through, get the help they need, and bring this man to justice!
The investigation by the FBI went the way it did, because both Jordan Root and TVC have not been honest with them. I would hope that they continue to investigate both Root and the church, because they are clearly hiding something. Root still has a license to practice counseling, in particular around children, and the church's methods at keeping him from children leave MUCH to be desired. This is in NO WAY a feminist/theological issue, but an issue of protecting children!! This church is also guilty of spiritual abuse of Karen Hinkley, in that they treated her like the perpetrator/criminal (slander), and because she would not 'submit' to their un-biblical authority. They are harboring a potentially dangerous person, and as such need to be held accountable for this.
SNAP is doing what is right in this matter, and for you to even hint that this is about a feminist/theological issue, Is truly absurd. They may not be a member of TVC, but they have a responsibility to expose wrongdoing no matter who/what it is, so allow them to do this, and quit covering for and condoning the sins of this man and this church.
Anonymous said…
Let's review the facts (Facts. I know, something you guys struggle with).

There was an investigation by the FBI. The FBI. I'm not understanding what your not understanding. That's the investigative and security agency for the United States of America. Don't just breeze through that with a (read the following quote in a cartoon voice) "the investigation by the FBI went the way it did." That shows ignorance. You honestly believe the FBI weren't told the whole truth so they just moved on? Really? Please respond and at least expound on your knowledge of what the FBI knows. The FBI doesn't give a break to a church or a church member. It's the FBI. The FBI is not run by The Village Church. It's the, one more time, investigative and security agency for the United States of America. Also please tell me what they are clearly hiding? Maybe your Secret Service or something? Apparently you got the inside track. Share your knowledge.

So you are really suggesting that The Village Church not allow him on the property? I would hate to see your blog posts for the Apostle Paul or King David. Remember, God used those guys. The fact that he's been around kids should lead no one to believe that there is sexual abuse of children at his hands. I hope you never serve on any type of jury. If you honestly assume that being around kids immediately makes him a child predator you need to take up your issue with the FBI. Oh wait. Crap, they've already done an investigation. If you weren't happy with that investigation, take your signs up to their headquarters and let them know you mean business.

The Village Church has nothing to hide. Why in the world would they want to harbor a "child predator"? Please address this question. What do they gain by harboring a "child predator"?

Also, please explain to me TVC's un-biblical authority. Don't forget to support your response with scripture.
Jennifer said…
Anonymous is very brave behind his anonymity. I sincerely hope that you are never on the end of the kind of "care" that Karen has endured. I doubt that there would have been ANY apology at all, except that the situation has received so much public attention.It is more about the PR nightmare for the church and the leaders than about hurt people. Damage control is now the name of the game, that and making sure the brand isn't hurt and the faithful remain that way are the churches priorities.The church couldn't control the dialogue and they can't seem to see that the way they were trying to "make Karen come under their care" was abusive. The apology you think is so wonderful says," sorry, we didn't communicate what we expected to you clearly enough, but we will continue they way we are and stand by our procedures please forgive us." Because we are such nice people we will let you leave the church. This isn't even close to what is needed and the fact that the church can't seem to see it should give members food for thought.
Anonymous said…
Jennifer - How would anyone know that TVC's "care" was abusive. She wanted no part of it. The headlines read like TVC was determined to make this marriage work. This is far from the truth. TVC wants its members to "seek to preserve the gift of marriage and agree to walk through the steps of marriage reconciliation at The Village Church before pursuing divorce from my spouse." The Village Church isn't there to force your marriage to work. They are there to provide counsel and care in a difficult season to people who have asked for that counsel and care. Counsel and care they signed up for. What is so absurd about this. Anyone who thinks this is control or abusive needs to find accountability in their lives.

Maybe you should pump the brakes on your judgement. Afterall, the only story you've heard has come from Karen Hinkley, who has been hurt. I'm sure Karen has bitterness, frustration and anger built up after walking through such a horrific experience with her ex-husband. I would never minimize her situation. It's heartbreaking. But let's not throw all the stones at The Village Church. All communication I have read from TVC has a loving tone - it's just the reader who has something against TVC who chooses to swap the word "control" for "love".

The things TVC addressed in the sermon from Sunday does a great job of showing areas where they need to do better. The fact that you claim they will "stand by our procedures" lets me know you either didn't listen to the sermon or choose to only hear the things you want to hear. The whole point of the sermon was to acknowledge the fact that they didn't treat Karen right. They let the procedures govern the lack of care/love they should have shown. Procedures are still in place but the love/care for the person trumps those procedures.

Anytime a situation blows up like this, it forces people to take a step back, analyze exactly what happened, admit where things went wrong, and then move forward after lessons have been learned. Who knows if TVC would have issued an apology had it not been for this story blowing up the way it did? You certainly don't know for sure. I doubt you've stepped foot inside The Village Church. You don't know the heart of anyone involved in this from the TVC side. I know their apology was real. If you don't feel the realness of their apology and only pull what you can criticize from it, then once again, leave it alone. It wasn't for you.

Anonymous said…
As a fellow member, TVC has not "addressed the issue." They have begun to address the issue. There is a major difference. We aren't out of the woods yet, and they have yet to establish what steps they will be taking to protect their members—both from pedophiles and from their domineering interpretation of the Member Covenant.

All TVC members should scour the Covenant and the church's Bylaws before renewing their membership. We need to make sure we know what we're agreeing to, because, as they're currently written, the bylaws do a lot more to protect the church's brand than they do to protect us from a corrupted, domineering view of Eldership.
Anonymous said…
Agreed. All TVC members should scour the Covenant and should have previously scoured the Covenant before signing it in the past. It would prevent issues like this from happening. Make sure to not skip over the multitude of scripture references that tie everything back into the Bible. That's important. It takes lots of pressure off of the potential members "interpretation" of what's included in the Covenant. I don't mean for that to sound snarky. I absolutely think all doctrine should run parallel to scripture and if you don't see that it runs with scripture you should call it to attention.

Thank you for sharing your view on this.
Anonymous said…
Oh don't kid yourself. There are piles and piles of child victims. There is no way he was addicted to kiddie porn for 10 years, worked with kids daily, and didn't ever once abuse any of them.
I suspect there will be a giant list of victims exposed in the weeks and months ahead.
Anonymous said…
If there are victims then I hope that every bit of that is brought into the light but once again that's the FBI's job. It's not yours, not mine and not TVC's. If you know for a fact of these "piles and piles" of child victims then you should take that info to the FBI. Once again, I respect what this website strives to do but make sure your aim is in the right direction. I understand the possibilities of what Jordan Root is/was capable of but if the goal is to bring justice for "piles and piles" of children, I beg you to not spend your time picketing in front of TVC. Please take your concerns (which it is clear to see how much you guys want to make sure justice is served where it needs to be served) down to the Dallas FBI office (1 Justice Way, Dallas, TX 75220).
Unknown said…
Jordan admitted to having "an overwhelmingly desire to molest kids in my care" but that he didn't. He also admitted to masturbating to thoughts of children in his care but denied ever touching them. Children in poverty ridden countries aren't taught about good vs bad touching like they are here in the U.S, they might not know that how he [possibly] touched them is wrong. Yet, TVC has requested the parents not be told. How can counselor strained in this area speak with those children to find out if the parents aren't made aware?
Anonymous said…
Concerning The Village Church that has an abusive controlling grip on its members thru membership covenants which are actually legal contracts. first, in the gospels who had copious lists of rules and who came to set them free from them, and who crucified Him for it?
second, The Village Church has represented to its members that they must submit totally to their guidance in all things as if the members couldnt hear from Jesus or the Holy Spirit without their leadership. Wow, they sure missed Jordan Root and his sins, before this went public they had repeatedly placed him in home fellowship groups with families that have children. They discerned nothing wrong with him, called him faithful, a brother in Christ and a missionary of such trust that they sent him to Asia! Karen Root is the only person showing any discernment at all in this situation and TVC would have us believe that they can 'tell' that he is now repentant? and just like anonymous above keeps saying, TVC says, move on, we apologized, move on, nothing to see here!
If not for SNAP and other orginazations that didnt let go or stop when they came up against crimes of this nature churches like TVC would still be putting children at risk. Since TVC has made no changes or proposed any and repeats publicly that they have all safeguards in place and are confident in their measures of providing child safety, it begs the question of how many other Jordan Roots attend this church?
Sadly, TVC's public treatment of Karen Hinkley shows an obvious pattern of disregard for victims of all kinds, how many emotionally abused women and men attend TVC whose abusers are not under discipline? how many domestic violence victims are there at TVC whose abusers are under no discipline? How many abused kids at TVC that have seen this whole public shaming (and certainly have heard talk at church) of a brave adult woman that tried to speak up but was disciplined and shunned, are going to come forward if they have been abused?
King David did sin. The bible says he sinned in hid it in darkness but God rebuked him openly in public. God has not changed even though some churches want to cover sin and crimes with excuses and faux apologies.
A. Amos Love said…

You ask @ Monday, June 01, 2015...
“Also, please explain to me TVC's **un-biblical authority.**
Don't forget to support your response with scripture.”

Didn’t Jesus teach “His Disciples” NOT to “lord it over?”
Or, “Exercise Authority?” Like the Gentiles?

And, didn’t Peter teach, elders, are NOT to Lord it over God’s heritage???
WE, His Sheep? His Ekklesia? His Church? His Disciples?

Some scriptures showing “His Disciples” are NOT to “Lord it Over,” Or, “Exercise Authority,” Like the Gentiles.

Mark 10:42-44 NKJV
But Jesus called them (His Disciples) to Himself and said to them,
“You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles **lord it over** them,
and their great ones “Exercise Authority” over them.
**Yet it shall NOT be so among you;** (His Disciples)
but whoever desires to become great among you
**shall be your SERVANT.**
And whoever of you desires to be first
**shall be SLAVE of ALL.**

1 Pet 5:2-3 KJV
Feed the flock of God which is among you,
taking the oversight thereof, NOT by constraint, but willingly;
NOT for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Neither as being **lords over God’s heritage,** but being ensamples to the flock.

Dontcha notice...
TVC elders have been “Lording it Over?” and “Exerciseing Authority?” Like the Gentiles? A lot? ;-)

Dontcha notice...
When those, who call themselves “elders,” “church leaders,” at TVC...
Design a “legal contract,” a “church membership contract,” that is NOT in the Bible...

That is the so-called “elders” at TVC - “Exercising **un-biblical authority?**

When those, who call themselves “elders,” “church leaders,” at TVC...
Instruct, apply pressure, to “sign” a “church membership contract,” that is NOT in the Bible...
To protect this 501 c 3, non-profit, tax deductible, Religious Corporation, the IRS calls church…
From "legal" consequences for applying un-biblical "church discipline"

That is the so-called “elders” at TVC - “Exercising **un-biblical authority?**

When those, who call themselves “elders,” “church leaders,” at TVC...
“Exercise Authority?” and “Lord it Over?” someone who resigns their membership...

From an **Un-Biblical** 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation...
That the IRS calls church...

By saying you can NOT resign because you are NOW under “church discipline?”
A term NOT found in the Bible. An un-biblical term...

That is the so-called “elders,” at TVC - “Exercising **un-biblical authority?**

When you believe the lie you start to die...
A. Amos Love said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A. Amos Love said…

You ask @ Monday, June 01, 2015...
“Also, please explain to me TVC's **un-biblical authority.**
Don't forget to support your response with scripture.”

Was wondering? Why? You would want a response supported with scripture?
When most of what The Village Church, the “leadership,” does and teach...
“Ignores” and “Twists” scripture?

I’m-a-thinkin, for something to be “Biblical” you can find it in the Bible?
Are any of these things found in the Bible?

Acts 29???
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

“Church Membership???”
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

“Church Discipline???”
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

“Church Membership???” So you can know who can “legally” be subject to “Church Discipline???”
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

A Disciple of Jesus, “signing” a “Church Membership Contract???”
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

A Disciple of Jesus, calling them self, pastor? Or leader? Or reverend?
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

A Disciple of Jesus, calling another Disciple pastor/leader/reverend?
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

A Disciple of Jesus, taking the “Title/Position” pastor/leader/reverend?
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

A Disciple of Jesus, being "Hired or Fired" as a pastor/leader/reverend?
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

A Disciple of Jesus, who taught other disciples about...
Go to church? Join a church? Tithe to a church? Give money to a church? Apply for Church Membership?
Church Leaders? Church Growth? Church Planting? Local Church? Church clean up Day?
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

A Disciple of Jesus, who became...
A Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People, in Pews.
NOPE - NOT in the Bible - Un-Biblical

Well, there is lots more, BUT, you get the drift...

Most of what The Village Church, the “leadership,” does and teach...
“Ignores” and “Twists” scripture.

If I want to be as one of His Disciples? In the Bible?

Do I ever “sign” a legal “Church Membership Contract???”
Do I ever take the “Title/Position” pastor/leader/reverend???

What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

Anonymous said…
Quote: "There are piles and piles of child victims. There is no way he was addicted to kiddie porn for 10 years, worked with kids daily, and didn't ever once abuse any of them."

So much for innocence until proven guilty.

chapmaned24 said…

Note in 1 Cor 5 that Paul judged someone just on the basis of a report. And he had harsh words for the congregation for keeping him in the church.

But, for some reason, you don't want to kick out the wicked. You want to keep the wicked among you, and kick out the righteous.

Oh, to have the Apostle Paul alive today to put your attitude in check.

Ed Chapman (Not anonymous)
amen!!! and Sola Scriptura. ;) We are the Church and we follow the Good Shepherd.
There are many facts in the documents shared that suggest Jordan confessed but did not do the hard work of repentance that includes transparency about where he got the child porn. In fact, according to TVC, he was scared he'd be arrested. Though that is a natural fear, it also indicates more concern with image protection than 180 turnabout. TVC punished a woman he used as a cover for his pedophilia and shamed her publicly. They have yet to realize that that is their sin and that she is blameless.
Darrel said…
If TVC and Matt Chandler had anything that resembled Christianity about them they would have long ago done what Paul prescribed in 1 Co. 5:1-8. Mr. Root should have been turned over to satan for the destruction of the flesh in order that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. But no! The (self-perceived) reputation of TVC, MC, Root, and all the henchmen that continue to cover this up are all that matters. The children have already been thrown under the bus and launched from the Acts 29 catapult so now all that remains is damage control, face saving, and a mountain of lies to do what they do best: Sweep Beneath Carpet, the real definition of "SBC". The reality of what TVC, MC, and all the rest have done is to throw the One whom they claim to love and serve under the bus. This entire debacle is a mockery of the Lord Jesus Christ and is in keeping with the false gospel that they have preached from the get-go, one that excludes Biblical repentance. Hiding your sins from God and hiding the truth from law enforcement in order to escape the just consequences is NOT repentance. It is another lie in a long list of lies. But we, as "fellow Christians" are supposed to accept the tepid (actually it is to be considered "non-responsive") statement of (faux) repentance from Root and all involved as if it were satisfying to God Himself. We are required to forgive and forget (ESPECIALLY forget) just because Root is sorry that he got caught. God does not forgive anyone until there is GENUINE repentance, a plea for mercy, and TURNING away from the sin. Root only seeks mercy from his peers and not the God that created him and until he does we as Christians are under no obligation to forgive Root much less forget what he has done. Real repentance would include contacting the children's parents privately, confessing his sins to them and seeking their forgiveness first. Publically, the frequency and times of his activities must be revealed in generalized terms so as to minimize further damage, but nonetheless revealed. I know the folks (anons) at TVC read this so it's time to MAN UP and really show fruits worthy of repentance and honor the God you claim to love and serve. Up until now, all your efforts have done nothing but insult Him.

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