The eight members of Alabama Baptists’ Sexual Abuse Task Force are organized and ready to start reviewing policies and practices of Cooperative Program-funded entities and the State Board of Missions. The first round of meetings will take place in late February and the second round in late March.
The task force was established following a motion approved by convention messengers Nov. 16 during the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting at Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville.
“We appreciate the entities embracing this process and look forward to partnering with each one to accomplish the task at hand,” state convention president Buddy Champion shared when announcing the members of the task force Nov. 22. “We are confident that after a thorough and exhaustive review that our processes will be improved and we will all be better equipped.”
Champion serves as an ex-officio member of the task force.
Serving as chair is Craig Carlisle, director of missions for Etowah Baptist Association. He said to the leaders of the groups being reviewed: “Our task is actually very simple and straightforward: To help you and strengthen you as you take every precaution to protect your ministry against sexual abuse in these days and the future.”
The motion reads that “the newly elected president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention name a Sexual Abuse Task Force of at least seven members with the newly elected president being an ex-officio member. The purpose of this task force would be to review the policies and practices of our Cooperative Program-funded state convention entities and auxiliaries, including the State Board of Missions, related to sex abuse. Reviewing members of the task force will not include paid staff of the entities, auxiliaries or State Board and will report back to the 2022 Convention. The executive director of the State Board of Missions will serve as a resource for the task force. Expenses of the task force will be covered by the State Board of Missions.”
Groups being reviewed
Along with the State Board of Missions, the entities and auxiliaries being reviewed are: Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries, Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, Alabama Baptist Retirement Centers, Alabama Citizens Action Program, Alabama WMU, Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center, The Alabama Baptist, The Baptist Foundation of Alabama and University of Mobile.