Alabama Baptist leaders issued a joint statement today (May 23) in response to the Guidepost Solutions report released by the Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Task Force on May 22. The statement reads as follows:
“We are saddened and grief-stricken concerning the reports of cases of sexual abuse and how they were handled. This is a time of deep lament and sorrow. Most of all, this needs to be a time of prayer.
“We join many others in praying for the survivors of sexual abuse. No one should ever have to experience this kind of deep betrayal and violation.
“For years now, Alabama Baptists have forged a partnership with MinistrySafe to train pastors and church leaders so that churches can be safe places.
“On Friday, May 20, State Board of Missions trustees voted to add $200,000 to enhance that offer of training for our family of churches as we continue this ministry effort.
“In addition, the State Board of Missions website has for many years made resources available to help churches and leaders prevent, deal with, and protect others from sexual abuse.
“We urge our Alabama Baptist family to continue to pray God’s blessing and healing for the survivors, and we are also praying for current leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Buddy Champion, president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, chair of the Alabama Baptist Executive Committee, and pastor of First Baptist Church Trussville
Greg Corbin, chair of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and senior pastor of Lakeside Baptist Church in Birmingham
Craig Carlisle, chair of the Sexual Abuse Task Force of the Alabama Baptist State Convention and director of missions of Etowah Baptist Association (Gadsden area)
Melissa Bowen, vice chair of the Sexual Abuse Task Force and retired attorney, Prattville
Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions