This website and database were created by Dominique and Megan Benninger. While this database was inspired by SBC abuse, we have opened it to include Baptists of all flavors, not just SBC. If a perpetrator has any ties to a Baptist church or organization of any kind, you may submit them here.
Church abuse advocate Christa Brown’s work has been the foundation and inspiration for this database. As documented in her book, Christa suffered sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a Southern Baptist youth pastor and was further traumatized by the refusal of Southern Baptist leadership to do the right thing. Her abuse was covered up, and for years, she was stonewalled and vilified by SBC leaders. Her abuse has never been publicly acknowledged or properly dealt with to this day. Christa bravely started her own database, painstakingly reviewing and entering convicted, admitted and credibly accused SBC perpetrators on her own website, StopBaptistPredators.org. Christa has continuously called for SBC denominational leaders to provide an official database of abusers. We began reading Christa’s book shortly after our own experience at an SBC church with the alleged coverup of a convicted child molester Donald Foose who served as pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church, as well as superintendent of Oakwood Baptist Day School for over a period of twelve years. You can read our story here, with additional documentation provided here.
As we read Christa Brown’s book, we became more convinced than ever that a new database was needed that could capture the profiles of as many predators and enablers as possible. As we discussed the idea of a database, we had many ideas of how we could make it work. Meanwhile, Megan wrote this poem as a sort of mission statement:
by Megan Benninger
Christa’s called for 15 years
Through shattered heart and angry tears
To have a list
With your assist
To save the little lambs.
Though she persists
You still dismiss
Her simple clear request.
So since you won’t, we’ll take the charge.
Don’t trust you anyway.
We’ll make the asked-for warning space,
A central online database,
For all the world to heed.
Hang millstones ‘round the proper necks
Spare more victims’ innocence.
Preserve their bodies, save their souls,
Thwart their trauma, all because
We made the simple list.
And now we say, the story’s ours.
We’ll tell it on our own.
You will not give
You’ll wish you could control.
Megan had recently taken Ashley Easter‘s Advocate Edge course and reached out to Ashley to ask if the idea of starting a database would be too ambitious. Ashley thought it was an excellent idea and introduced us to a group of advocates from the For Such a Time As This Rally. We brainstormed and connected together with them and a small group of like minded advocates (including the administrators at The MAP List) over a period of about two and a half months in early 2020, as we worked diligently on the framework of an online database.
At about the same time, we discovered another new database, AnglicanWatch, that had been set up very similarly to what we had envisioned. We reached out to the owner of AnglicanWatch, Eric Bonetti, who was more than happy to share how he set up his own database. Eric has graciously given us lots of advice and guidance as we have navigated this journey. We truly could not have done this project without his help!
So now it is here, a crowd-sourced database for Baptist convicted abusers, credibly accused abusers, and enablers of abuse. We hope you will all join in by entering new profiles, adding information to existing profiles, making corrections as needed, and spreading the word. This database is only useful if the world knows it exists!
If you want to create your own online tracking database to report abuse for your own denomination, we would be more than happy to share with you how we approached this database – all things considered, it really wasn’t that complicated to set up. Together, we can change the world when we move beyond silence.
We could never thank you enough, Christa Brown, for your inspiration and database records that were the foundation for this database. And thank you to the Houston Chronicle for your Abuse of Faith database that was also instrumental to populating this database. Both of your databases provided a foundation upon which we could consolidate records together, and then build and expand with new records. Thank you, Ashley Easter, Eric Bonetti, Ilse Ackerman, Laura Sider Jost, and all the other advocates who helped support us in this endeavor. We are grateful for you all.