There’s a new Baptist sex abuser database, but SBC action is still needed

There’s a new, independent database for Baptist clergy abusers and alleged abusers

“My desire would be that the Southern Baptist Convention fund the establishment of a nonprofit corporation with a board of independent experts who take over the creation and sustenance of a database,” Burleson said, adding that it should help ensure that anyone who wants to work with children or youth in a church “has not had either a conviction or credible accusation of sexual predatory behavior.”

JD Greear

SBC leaders call for sweeping changes to prevent sexual abuse

“Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear stated at the 2019 SBC in Birmingham, Alabama, that a predator database to track sexual predators in the Southern Baptist Convention was on the table.” (quoted from Wikipedia)

If the SBC truly wants to care for clergy abuse victims and prevent new victims, it must create new, proactive institutional structures. The way forward lies in the creation of an independently administered database of Southern Baptist clergy sex abusers – those who have been criminally convicted, those who have admitted to abusive conduct, and those who have been credibly accused.

Christa Brown in Houston Chronicle Article

While Burleson says the Houston Chronicle has done a “needed service” to the SBC through its reporting, he feels there is room for improvement on their database. Due to legal pressure and lack of information, Burleson says “many, many stories” were left out of the reporting. A more thorough database is needed, he says, one constructed by an independent company. Burleson has two such companies in mind, but he is adamant that the SBC not try to build it on its own—just provide the funds to make it happen.

As far as who should be included in the database, Burleson wants to see Southern Baptist ministers “who have been credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse.”

Southern Baptists and Our Needed Transformation

“In 2007, SBC leadership rejected my proposal at the Southern Baptist Convention to implement a database to track sexual predators in the Southern Baptist Convention, a database that would be designed to prevent predators moving from one church to the next without being identified as sexual predators. After the motion was denied, I continued to write about the importance of any effort to hold accountable criminals in our midst and those who wish to cover for them.”

Wade Burleson

Stop Baptist Predators . Org

Houston Chronicle Abuse of Faith Database