Tommy Gilmore is known to have repeatedly sexually abused a child while working as a youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Farmers Branch in Texas.
Even though other church leaders knew about Gilmore’s sexual abuse of a child, Gilmore went on to work as a children’s minister in numerous other Southern Baptist churches, including the church of former SBC president Charles Stanley and the church of former Florida Baptist Convention president Dwayne Mercer.
Years later, when the survivor of Gilmore’s abuse contacted FBC-Farmers Branch as an adult, the church sought to intimidate her and threatened to seek legal recourse if she persisted in her accusations. She fought back and mustered significant substantiating documentation, including: (1) FBC-Farmers Branch made a written court-filed apology for the “very serious sexual abuse” that Gilmore inflicted on her as a child and acknowledged that another church leader had known about the abuse at the time; (2) A music minister made a sworn statement attesting to his knowledge that Gilmore had sexually abused a child, to the fact that Gilmore himself had talked about it at the time, and to the fact that the child had talked about it at the time; (3) A third-party made a sworn statement attesting to the music minister’s description of the abuse as “consensual,” despite being reminded that the victim was a child below the age of consent; and (4) The Baptist General Convention of Texas made written acknowledgment of the fact that it had placed Gilmore’s name in its confidential file of “known offenders,” which required its determination of “substantial evidence” of abuse or a confession.
Despite all that, Gilmore continued working in children’s ministry. The survivor contacted 18 Southern Baptist leaders in 4 states (TX, TN, GA and FL), informing them about Gilmore’s sexual abuse of a child. Most ignored her. No one helped her. Gilmore continued in children’s ministry until the survivor finally mustered media attention.
Gilmore is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he is currently a member of First Baptist Church of Orlando. He has also been reported for sexual harassment of an adult congregant.
Articles and sites naming Gilmore and documenting this summary: