Statement of Facts
Here is a summary of the facts.
- The youth pastor was engaged in sexual activity with an older teen boy who was of the legal age of consent.
- The youth pastor also selected and groomed at least two very young boys who were nowhere near the legal age of consent.
- At a children’s camp near Stillwater, OK, these young children were taken from their cabin in full view of the other children and spent the night in the youth pastor’s private cabin.
- They were raped by the youth pastor.
- The other boys at camp were not directly abused, but were aware of what happened.
- The older teen boy/ lover reported these rapes to a deacon.
- The other children who witnessed the abduction voiced their disgust and anger to their parents and deacons as well.
- Due to the church’s mishandling of this abuse, many of these boys would be forever changed in their views on church and Christ.
- One victim committed suicide in 2004.
- There are currently members/former members of FBC Sapulpa who have first hand testimony about this man’s abuse that could get him investigated.
- The rapist is still in ministry and needs to be brought to justice for this and other crimes. He is a danger to others.
- FBC Sapulpa members have testimony and evidence that can expose this child rapist and possibly put him in prison for this and other crimes. This information has never been reported to law enforcement.
A Call to Action
FBC Sapulpa, here are some things that need to be on your to-do list…
An accused pedophile needs to be brought to justice.
Law enforcement needs to be officially notified and a police report filed.
There a deacons still serving at FBC Sapulpa who were active in the church at the time the pedophile was sent away. They have intimate knowledge of the case. They need to be questioned and their information turned over.
You need to recognize that some of these people will lie to protect themselves and have selfish reasons to continue the cover-up. You can expect excuses like “it was a long time ago” or “we need unity in the body.”
Though they weren’t initially involved, the current pastors of FBC Sapulpa and most of the current deacons are aware of the cover-up and continue to play an active role in discouraging any movement on this case. They need to repent and use their position to lead this church in the appropriate direction. They also need to fully cooperate with the authorities.
The church congregation as a whole is finally being made aware of the rape, cover up, and death of a victim. As a congregational church who has rejected 9Marks elder rule, they still have the authority to move business at a monthly meeting. Taking all the above information into consideration we propose the members of FBC Sapulpa make the following recommendation at the next monthly business meeting:
Whereas it is now well known that children that were entrusted to the care of The First Baptist Church of Sapulpa were sexually abused by a former children’s pastor.
And that other children were present who were not physically abused but have experienced long-lasting emotionally harm by what they witnessed.
And that no investigation was ever conducted and the crimes were never reported to law enforcement.
And that the accused pedophile has never faced justice and continues to work in ministry and is a danger to others.
And that no effort was made to acknowledge or aid any of these victims.
And that many of them have lived lives adversely affected by this abuse and the subsequent handling by this church which includes struggles in personal relationships and in spiritual matters.
And that Jesus commands us in Matthew 5:23-24 that if any brother has something against us we must not bring a gift to the alter until we have sought them out.
Therefore be it resolved by the members of The First Baptist Church of Sapulpa that the following course of action be taken.
The deacons of FBC Sapulpa working with the Reconciliation Team and Business Team shall make a recommendation to the church for the selection of an outside independent and neutral investigative organization to investigate the abuse allegations. [Consider using G.R.A.C.E. Link here. They’re baptists friendly.]
The church shall seek out the victims and diligently attempt to know their hearts and determine if reconciliation is appropriate or possible. The church will attempt to reconcile if possible. An admission of guilt for the church’s actions in the past, and an apology, and a plea for forgiveness are essential and will be formally made by this church to all surviving victims.
The deacons shall contact the family of the victim who committed suicide and carefully reveal the truth to them in charity and minister to them as appropriate.
The church shall make a complete report to law enforcement and cooperate fully in any subsequent legal investigation.
The church shall advocate for justice for the abuse victims.
Dear FBC member, don’t think that because you weren’t involved at the time or because you didn’t know, that you somehow get a free pass. It may be easy to ignore but if you belong to this church you own this problem. It is your church’s greatest evil and it needs to be addressed before the church will ever prosper. Will you continue to support a church who proudly bows its neck rather than confront its sins? Will God bless you for this? Through apathy, will you enable your leaders to continue to stonewall an investigation and demean the abused?
It seems you now have a simple choice to make. Its the same choice that was made by the church so many years ago. Will you try to save face and protect your name and the name of the church? Or will you reach out to the forgotten victims and their families? All heaven and earth are waiting for your answer.
And they’ve waited long enough.
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” -Jesus