Saturday, April 16, 2011


Responding to the Scandal
Kevin T. Bauder

We used to think that the problem of child molestation belonged to other people, but not to fundamental Baptists. Now we are learning otherwise. We are hearing more and more reports of sexual predation, pedophilia, and cover-ups on the part of fundamental Baptist leaders. The resulting impression upon the public is that the clergy of Baptist fundamentalism is unusually goatish, thuggish, and corrupt.

This is not the place to evaluate the truth of individual claims. In a few instances individuals have probably been accused unfairly. Over the past five years, however, too many of these episodes have been verified for us to dismiss them all. Men have gone to prison. More should. The problem is too widespread and has affected too many of the different networks of fundamentalism to permit us to believe that it is merely anomalous or that it is limited only to one branch of fundamentalism.

What is being exposed within fundamentalism is heinous. Pastors, missionaries, and deacons have preyed upon the powerless. Even worse, Christian leaders and Christian organizations have covered up the commission of these crimes. The effect has been to protect the perpetrators. Those who have suffered most—the victims—have been denied justice and have seen their abusers keep their freedom, their livelihoods, and sometimes even their positions of leadership.

So what are we supposed to do? If we are interested in truth and right, if we want to see Christ’s name exalted and not besmirched, and if we care about people, how should we respond to these reports? I wish to provide part of the answer to that question. More needs to be said, but fundamental Baptist leaders, churches, and institutions absolutely must adopt certain core responses.

Of course, certain responses are simply wrong. First, we should not blame the secular media for their reports on these scandals, nor should we dodge their questions. We are witnessing events that are not only newsworthy but salacious. We know in advance that the reporters neither understand nor sympathize with us. We must go out of our way to avoid any appearance that we have something to hide.

Furthermore, we must reject any temptation to blame the victims. An adolescent of thirteen or fourteen is an unequal match for an adult of thirty, especially if the adult is wrapped in the mantle of authority. Yes, the adolescent ought to know what is right and wrong—but our job is to protect youngsters from having to make adult choices. They are not yet prepared for those choices, and we must not treat them as if they were.

Nor should we blame the victims for going outside the fundamentalist network to seek justice. The whole reason that they have been forced to this extreme is because they could not find justice within the structure of the churches and other institutions that were supposed to help them. Our anger (and we should be angry!) should not be directed against the victims who have appealed to other authorities, but against those spiritual authorities who abdicated their responsibility to defend the powerless.

We must also refuse to allow ourselves to be distracted by extraneous considerations. Accusers should never be dismissed just because someone thinks they seem odd or neurotic. Those are actually behaviors we might anticipate in someone who was molested as a child. On the other hand, simply because the accused has a reputation for successful ministry does not mean that he is above accountability. The same character traits that can make a man a visibly effective preacher can sometimes make him an efficient sexual predator.

Those are responses that we should never make. We do have an obligation to respond, however, and that obligation includes certain right reactions.

Our first response must be to refocus upon personal integrity. Many accusations are true, but in the present atmosphere the possibility of false accusations ought to strike fear into every minister. All it takes is one, unsupported claim to end a ministry. Consequently, we have a duty to live our lives such that no credible charge can be leveled against us. We must go out of our way to ensure that we avoid even the appearance of impropriety. How? By common sense precautions. We will install windows so that people can see into our offices. We will never be alone with any female other than our wives and daughters. We will never be alone with a child, even of the same sex, other than our own children. We will never touch a minor in any way except in full view of other adults—and we will guard those touches carefully against misunderstanding.

Just as importantly, our second response must be prevention. We cannot change what has already happened, but we can do our best to ensure that it will not happen again. Every church needs a child protection policy. The policy should define when and where adults are allowed to have contact with minors at church activities. It should prohibit adults from being alone with minors in an unsupervised environment. It should require everyone involved in ministry to minors to receive specific training aimed at avoiding abusive relationships. Very importantly, it should require a background check for every church member who works with minors. It should specify procedures for pursuing complaints and suspicions. It should be widely distributed so that every parent knows its provisions. For a good example of such a policy in a secular organization, churches might look at the Cadet Protection Policy of the Civil Air Patrol.

Our third response should involve prosecution. When pastors and church leaders become aware of abusive situations, they should report these situations to police and child protective agencies. In fact, they should do more than to report. They should demand that the authorities take action. Concerns over confidentiality are badly out of place here, as are concerns over 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. Paul was not writing to the Corinthians about situations in which crimes were being committed or the powerless being victimized. In most states, pastors have a legal obligation to report any situation that they even suspect of being abusive. Justice and protection for victims requires action against abusers. Christian leaders have a duty to protect the powerless. Too often have they adopted the role of shielding the abuser.

The fourth response is more systemic, but just as necessary. Baptist fundamentalists absolutely must repudiate those models of leadership that foster abusive and predatory behavior. Too many fundamentalists equate spiritual leadership with bluster, demagoguery, egotism, authoritarianism, and contemptuousness toward deacons, church members, and especially women. We must stop tolerating such attitudes.

Pastoral authority extends no further than the right to proclaim and implement the teachings of Scripture. Pastors must recognize the God-ordained authority of the congregation, and congregations must hold pastors accountable. Churches must seek pastors who focus upon the exposition of Scripture, who are gentle in their dealings with people, who are open and transparent, and who welcome criticism and accountability. Most of all, churches must reject numerical and financial growth as a measure of success and realize that the very first qualification of any minister is that he must give evidence of knowing and loving God.

Baptist fundamentalism has endured dark episodes in the past, but none has been blacker or more ugly than the present hour. We have no one else to blame. We have been too lax for too long. If the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God, then we should welcome the purifying effect that the exposure of sin will have upon us, and we should respond rightly.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


It’s interesting to track the evolution of “bitterness” from what was said in scripture to what is being taught by Independent Baptist Fundamentalists today. Bitterness is only mentioned in passing three or four times in the New Testament. When listening to some pastors teach on the subject, you would think that Jesus traveled around doing nothing but warning the world about this terrible thing we call bitterness. Christians today have learned to fear the label of bitterness as they fear hell itself.

In some circles the name-calling and manipulation surrounding this subject is so bad that it's eerily reminiscent of the Salem witch trials. It’s become a peer pressure thing that is used to control and silence people from speaking their minds. Anyone who speaks their mind or bucks the system is likely to be accused of being bitter, and once that label is applied, they’re figuratively basically burned at the stake. It amazes me at how afraid the average Independent Baptist Fundamentalist is of getting angry or being labeled as bitter for any reason whatsoever.

Independent Baptist Fundamentalist Christians fear being called bitter because they know in their own heart what THEY think and do when someone else is given that title. There is immediate feelings of disrespect, scorn, contempt, and self-righteous pity. No matter what the accused person says in their own defense, they can’t be trusted because their words are contaminated and full of poison. These people are treated as if they have a contagious disease and are out to lead others astray. It’s basically an excuse to totally write a person off in an instant. Amazingly, Independent Baptist Fundamentalist' have had thier minds so programed that if the very thought that a person may be bitter enters their brains, they instantly shut down like a computer firewall protecting itself against a virus. I think for the most part, they can’t even help themselves anymore. It’s become an involuntary knee-jerk reaction that just snaps the moment the “B” word is spoken. Their ears instantly become deaf, attention span goes blank, and the walls of self protection shoot up. It’s like from the moment they hear or think that word, they don’t even think that they are talking to a real person anymore. In many ways it reminds me of the term "Commie" in the 1960s. The mere suggestion that a person my be a communist was all it took to completely destroy a persons reputation in an instant.

Several months ago, I posted on a facebook group, something entitled, “Are You Bitter” that basically pointed out that people should be angry about the abuse that is happening on a daily basis in their church. The point of the post was to confront people’s passive attitude concerning the pain that is caused in the hearts of people at the hands of the fundamentalist Baptist's. It was nothing short of amazing to see how many people couldn’t get past the fact that I used the word “bitter” instead of “anger.” I receieved personal messages here on facebook and emails. The entire debates broke out as to whether or not the words are interchangeable. People missed the whole heart of the post because the moment they saw the “B” word in writing their brains went into shut-down-mode, and they became blind to the heart of what was being said. I also lost many facebook "friends" over this one post as well.

I have found that many Independent Fundamentalist Baptist's use the bitterness topic as an excuse to retreat from anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. If they tell themselves that the person they're talking to is bitter, they give themselves a full pardon from having to listen to any part of the conversation. It’s a way (in their mind) to commit a legal character assassination and the easiest and most accepted way to simply write someone’s words and message off without giving it a second thought.

A sermon, “Losing Your Religion” was given to an Independent Baptist Fundamentalist pastor and his staff to listen to. The entire staff sat quietly in the room and listened to the sermon together. Many of them were visibly moved and challenged. Their countenance resembled that of a person who had been stranded on an island for 20 years and had finally found a boat. There was hope in the air. Others were scribbling notes as the CD played. As the sermon neared the end, some of them had their head in their hands, and others were moved to tears. The moment the CD was finished, the senior pastor cleared his throat and said two simple words that instantaneously changed the spirit of the entire room; “He’s bitter.” Within seconds, everyone in the room was back to normal as it they hadn’t heard a single word. Tears were dried and gone. The prospect of freedom had escaped them and those who had taken notes tossed them in the trash on their way out. Not another word was spoken about the message from that day forward.

Though I suspect that the comment section below may be inundated with people trying to school me as to the difference between bitterness and anger, the bottom line is that human beings cannot distinguish any difference in their heart. It’s the same no matter how you slice it. If you have a fear of being bitter; you fear being angry, because to your heart, they’re one and the same. If you look up the word “bitter” in the dictionary, the first word used to define it is the word “anger.”

If Christians are made to fear bitterness, it goes without saying that they will naturally fear getting angry as well. They’ll naturally view any form of anger as a prerequisite to bitterness. This is a significant problem for about a million reasons, but the first and perhaps most powerful reason is that if a person rejects any form of anger in their life, they basically cripple themselves emotionally. They literally have to reject themselves.

For us to successfully prohibit ourselves from experiencing anger at any level, we have to remove entire circuit boards from our brains. The problem is that within the fabric of those very circuit boards is a little thing called common sense. Once those circuit boards are removed, common sense goes out the door with it. Our ability to empathize with others is also taken away. Even our discernment into spiritual truth becomes stunted. To forcefully remove any emotion from the human psyche, a person must remove themselves from themselves. I believe that this is exactly what this generation of Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Christian people have done. It amazes me how many people openly admit that they haven’t the slightest idea who they are. I honestly think that all of this can be traced back to our mindset on the subject of bitterness. It’s amazing to count the number of believers whose eyes were opened to the lies of their church the moment they allowed themselves to become unashamedly angry at something that happened to them. While anger and bitterness certainly have the potential to destroy our lives if we allow either to control us, I also believe that both anger and bitterness are the precursor to finding freedom from bondage. In my experience, the people who refuse to allow themselves to get angry, end up finding themselves in the deepest possible bondage. They’re literally blind. The people who finally allow themselves to get angry, find that their eyes pop wide open to their present state of bondage. Through their anger they are able to see exactly what is happening to them with amazing clarity. I have found that anger is one of the greatest motivators in the world. When we look through the Old Testament it is amazing to see how often people used their anger to make a change. Today however, we have been taught that to even have a small trace of anger is a weakness.

I am convinced that pastors and Fundamentalist College leaders repeatedly place unwanted stigmas and stereotypes over bitterness because it’s a way to ensure continued silence and submission to their authority. They know that the moment someone allows themselves to get angry; their eyes will be opened and their mouth will NOT remain shut. An angry person is more likely to state the obvious and ask embarrassing questions that everyone else is terrified to ask. If you can convince a crowd of people that getting angry is uncool and even dangerous, you’ll own that entire crowd.

What some of fundamentalist leaders call bitterness is, for believers, the exit door from their religious bondage. It’s interesting that regardless of the terminology and tone that I use when explaining this, there is always someone who accuses me of being bitter. They don’t bring this accusation because my countenance and tone was hissing in bitterness. They accuse me of it because in their minds they cannot fathom anyone having the guts to say the things I say unless they were angry. They also use the accusation of bitterness as an excuse to shut themselves down to what I’m saying so they won’t have to deal with it. It’s like a “get out of listening to Cathy free card.”

Many people mistake directness, confidence and conviction for bitterness and anger because both mindsets seem to produce the same results. In both scenarios a person isn’t afraid to standup and boldly proclaim the truth. If people become afraid of getting angry, they’ll follow along with anything they’re told to do. Make no mistake about it, when any of us buy into this way of thinking and refuse to allow our hearts to express aggravation, indignation, irritation or exasperation; we lose. When I hear people make comments about abused believers, calling them “a bunch of bitter people who were hurt by the church,” I see exactly what they are doing. They’re using the feared labels to lock the cell doors of those who are still in, and they are manipulating those who have left to shut up and sink so that the accusers themselves can slip back into blindness and bondage.

When I watch people begin this path of freedom, I can literally count the steps that they’ll go through like clock work. The first hump that most people have to overcome is that constant inner battle and fear that they’re being bitter or critical. They’ve been taught to fear the appearance of being critical like the plague. They’ll say this over and over when expressing what’s happening to them spiritually. Almost every sentence they use begins with, “I don’t want to sound bitter.....but,” or “I don’t mean to be critical.....but.” For many well meaning folks this is the biggest obstacle they have to overcome before they can find freedom. They beat themselves to death over and over because everything within them is pointing out the truth and noticing the lies. The mere act of knowing when they’re being lied to makes them feel like they’re being critical and un-submissive. Words like “critical” are cleverly and purposefully tucked next to words like “bitterness” for a very specific reason. If you can get someone to fear being critical, they’ll never open their mouths again. In Independent Baptist Fundamentalism, the word “critical” has become the gold ring in the snout of controlled Christians. They have become so hypersensitive to it that their “leaders” can effortlessly tug them around wherever they want like helpless dumb animals, and the people follow quietly because the people are so afraid of opening our mouths and sounding critical.

In my opinion, the Independent Baptist modern day view of bitterness is simply not scriptural. Yes, there is scripture that warns people from allowing bitterness to control their entire lives, but there isn’t scripture that would justify our current perceptions of bitterness today. They have successfully convinced the followers to become terrified of it. If there is even the slightest bit of irritation over something, they become instantly nervous that a root of bitterness is about to get them and drag them to hell. I’m sorry, but this message simply is NOT found anywhere in the Bible. This is a modern day phenomenon, and I believe that it’s not by accident.


* Law 1 Never outshine the master.
* Law 2 Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies.
* Law 3 Conceal your intentions.
* Law 4 Always say less than necessary.
* Law 5 So much depends on reputation. Guard it with your life.
* Law 6 Court attention at all costs.
* Law 7 Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit.
* Law 8 Make other people come to you; use bait if necessary.
* Law 9 Win through your actions, never through argument.
* Law 10 Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky.
* Law 11 Learn to keep people dependent on you.
* Law 12 Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim.
* Law 13 When asking for help, appeal to people's self-interests, never to their mercy or gratitude.
* Law 14 Pose as a friend, work as a spy.
* Law 15 Crush your enemy totally.
* Law 16 Use absence to increase respect and honor.
* Law 17 Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability.
* Law 18 Do not build fortresses to protect yourself. Isolation is dangerous.
* Law 19 Know who you're dealing with; do not offend the wrong person.
* Law 20 Do not commit to anyone.
* Law 21 Play a sucker to catch a sucker: play dumber than your mark.
* Law 22 Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness into power.
* Law 23 Concentrate your forces.
* Law 24 Play the perfect courtier.
* Law 25 Re-create yourself.
* Law 26 Keep your hands clean.
* Law 27 Play on people's need to believe to create a cultlike following.
* Law 28 Enter action with boldness.
* Law 29 Plan all the way to the end.
* Law 30 Make your accomplishments seem effortless.
* Law 31 Control the options: get others to play with the cards you deal.
* Law 32 Play to people's fantasies.
* Law 33 Discover each man's thumbscrew.
* Law 34 Be royal in your fashion: act like a king to be treated like one.
* Law 35 Master the art of timing.
* Law 36 Disdain things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best revenge.
* Law 37 Create compelling spectacles.
* Law 38 Think as you like but behave like others.
* Law 39 Stir up waters to catch fish.
* Law 40 Despise the free lunch.
* Law 41 Avoid stepping into a great man's shoes.
* Law 42 Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.
* Law 43 Work on the hearts and minds of others.
* Law 44 Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect.
* Law 45 Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once.
* Law 46 Never appear perfect.
* Law 47 Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop.
* Law 48 Assume formlessness.


You've probably heard it said that Christianity is the only army that shoots its wounded. Like most aphorisms, this statement is right on target. Millions have experienced religious abuse -- whether it's a well-publicized event like what happened to Elizabeth Smart or to Catholic Altar boys molested by pedophile priests -- but it's most common in Christian churches and para-church organizations, which are run by ambitious leaders. When the leader has a narcissistic streak, which is frequent, religious abuse is always present.

That's why Recovering from Religious Abuse has just been released by Simon & Schuster. Until now, there has been nothing that addresses the problem, while also offering a solution that helps the victims. Using an 11-step method, wounded Christians -- those who have been used, abused, and discarded by self-righteous religious leaders -- can reconnect with God in a healing, transforming way.

After being victimized, most wounded people lead half-lives, consumed with anger, bitterness, shame, and pain. They question whether the best years of their lives have already passed, hoping they haven't but suspecting that they have. They are prone to depression and acting-out behavior, which includes over eating, over spending, alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography and promiscuity.

Because such leaders call into question a person's relationship with God, this kind of abuse is particularly devastating emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Such malicious castigation, which is internalized by the abused person as true, crushes the spirit of the recipient, and they retreat from the life they were living to follow the script of their destruction -- becoming a self-imposed prophecy.

Recovering from Religious Abuse shows how the dynamics of abuse works but, more importantly, it details a method for the abused person to identify what has happened, while providing a way for them to recover fully. For those who have been victimized, the key is to recognize that God still loves them just as much as ever and that they can once again experience love, joy, kindness and serenity -- not just occasionally but routinely.

If this has been your experience and you want to reconnect with God in a positive, meaningful way, you can. In a very short time -- just ninety-one days -- you can become stronger than you ever imagined possible, divesting yourself of the crippling chains that have imprisoned you since your abusive experience.

Religious abuse occurs frequently and can happen to anyone -- regardless of gender, religious affiliation, or time of life. Most abuse is inadvertent -- not intended to inflict permanent damage to a person. This is not the type of abuse dealt with in Recovering from Religious Abuse. Throughout the book, the focus is squarely placed upon those who misuse their positions of authority. Such leaders not only believe they have the right to do so but they also believe they are entitled to treat others as they do.

The consequences of their abusiveness are frequently catastrophic -- nearly as devastating as a parent telling a child that he or she is unloved and unwanted, which is a negative imprint that can last a lifetime, diminishing the recipient's self-worth. If unchecked, it can lessen a person's lifelong accomplishments. The same is true for those who are victimized by religious abuse.

It's particularly destructive because it either directly or indirectly implies that the person's relationship with God is flawed, making the abused person feel alienated from God. It diminishes that person's value, making them feel unworthy of God's love and care. Being estranged from God is like being estranged from a parent: no good can come from it.

If this has been your experience, if your life has changed from what it once was -- from what you thought it would be, Recovering from Religious Abuse can help you. If your negative experience has filled you with self-pity, if you experience little fulfillment, if you are grinding out your days in mediocrity -- with little love, meaning, or joy in your life, Recovering from Religious Abuse can help you regain what you've lost.

This recovery program has been created for disenfranchised Christians, lapsed Catholics, and those in recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, ALANON, Overeaters Anonymous, and sex and love addiction. It's specifically for wounded, hurting people who want more from life; it's for those who want real fulfillment. The simple 11-Step program, upon which Recovering from Religious Abuse is based, can help you recover from any type of abuse -- including spousal abuse -- but it's primarily targeted for those who have experienced religious abuse.

It's rare for church leaders to give more than lip service to the issue of religious abuse, except for pedophile priests. Most routinely dismiss it as a minor problem. If you're one of the walking wounded, however, you've felt the pain, experienced the shame, and tasted the betrayal. You understand the significance of the problem. Once you've experienced it, you never forget what it feels like. The pain eventually diminishes, but the scars never heal -- not completely. They leave you unable to interact spontaneously, as you once did.

If this has been your experience, there's hope for you. You can have a quality of life you thought was lost forever. Take some time each day for the next three months -- just ninety-one days. Reconnect with God in a rich, healing way -- a way that will restore purpose and meaning to your life. If you do, you will smile at the future once again, knowing that God is leading you each step of the way.

This program is simple, but it's not easy. It's hard work, requiring soul-searching honesty. If you're diligent, however, you'll regain your vision and purpose. Although abusiveness may have robbed you of your joy, God wants to restore all that you have lost, enriching your life in the process. Remember, it wasn't God who abused you. He is the solution to your restoration -- not the cause of it, which is clearly spelled out in Recovering from Religious Abuse.


15-Year-Old Allegedly Raped, Then Forced to Confess to Church
Former Baptist Deacon Ernest Willis Arrested 13 Years Later for Allegedly Molesting Fellow Church Member

June 3, 2010
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Tina Anderson was only 15 when she said she was forced to stand terrified before her entire Baptist congregation to confess her "sin" -- she had become pregnant. What she wasn't allowed to tell the group was that the pregnancy was the result of being raped by a church deacon, a man twice her age.

Courtesy Freedom From Abuse
Tina Anderson is shown on March 23, 1998 with her newborn daughter. Anderson was only 15 and alleges she was raped by a church deacon.
She says her New Hampshire pastor, Chuck Phelps, told her she was lucky not to have been born during Old Testament times when she would have been stoned to death.

While questioning the girl before church officials crafted the speech she would deliver, Anderson said Phelps' wife asked her, "Did you enjoy it?"

That was only the first step in Anderson's "church discipline," one of many ritual practices in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church (IFB), which Anderson, now more than a decade later, says preys on the vulnerable.

"I was completely in shock, but too scared to go and tell anyone because I thought I would get blamed for what happened," Anderson said.

"I truly believed that it was my fault," she told through tears.

Her mother sought help from the pastor and they agreed to send her thousands of miles away to Colorado to live with another Baptist family.

There, she reportedly was homeschooled and barred from seeing others her age until she gave her child up for adoption.

But in February 2010, after keeping her secret for 13 years, Anderson -- a 28-year-old mother of three more children who lives in Arizona -- was contacted by police and agreed to press charges.

All the years that she lived with the memory of the alleged abuse, she held it tight. "You are told not to talk about it," according to Anderson, who also accuses the pastor of concealing her whereabouts.

Today, the man charged with rape has been arrested and Concord's Trinity Baptist Church is at the center of that scandal for allegedly protecting one of its members and perhaps hiding the victim from police scrutiny.

Ernest Willis, now 51 and a former church member who lives in Gilford, N.H., is accused of raping Anderson twice -- once at Anderson's home where he showed up when her parents were away and a second time in the backseat of a car when he was teaching her to drive.

In a seven-page statement to police obtained by, Anderson said Willis offered to take her out of state where abortions for minors are legal, then asked if she wanted him to "punch me in the stomach as hard as he could" to trigger a miscarriage.

Willis has been charged with four felonies -- two counts of rape and two counts of having sex with a minor. He was released on $100,000 personal recognizance bail and will be arraigned June 16 in Concord District Court. Calls to his house seeking comment were not returned.

"We just received the files and have not had a chance to review them," said Assistant City Prosecutor Tracy A. Connolly, who would not say if there were more alleged victims.

Police have told the Associated Press that they are looking into obstruction of justice charges against the church for possibly sending the victim away so they could not prosecute.

"Without a victim, it makes it very difficult to have a case," Lt. Keith Mitchell told the Concord Monitor newspaper. "That basically made the investigation very difficult."

Police records do not show whether the church assisted detectives in finding Anderson or whether they were silent. Willis refused to give a statement at the time, according to the Monitor.


The Baptist pedophiles and sexual predators are just as busy as ever.......Apr 3, '11 3:46 PM
by Teresa for everyone
It might seem to those not in the "know" that they have been ESPECIALLY busy within the last year, but most of us know better don't we?

What I think is happening is that the NEWS has become much braver about reporting it, unlike when we were all at NB. These pieces of filth have seen their "heroes" get away with it in decades past, and are making the grave mistake of thinking that they can weasel their way out of abusing kids as well. I wonder how soon the national media will finally see the connection here, and notice that the Catholics have NOTHING on these Baptist abusers. I also wonder how soon the Catholics are gonna realize that they have unfairly been put in the spotlight as having the market on child sexual abuse for the past several decades? I'm pretty sure its not gonna be long, so HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS! The named sexual predators who have been put on the hot-seat on our humble little message board just might be making the national news soon! Whose "heroes" will they be then?

1.Vincent Brookfield, former Baptist minister
7 counts of child sexual abuse
Tulsa, OK 4/1/11

2. Larry Chapman, pastoral counselor, graduate of Birmingham Theological Seminary, degrees from*Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College
Charged with sodomy and sexual abuse

3. Youth Pastor Brent Girouex Molests 14 Year Old Boy 60 Times
Council Bluffs, IA

4. Joe Nelms, youth pastor of Pacific Coast Church-San Clemente, CA and First Baptist Church-Lindale, TX
Charged with molestation of 14 yr. Old beginning in1993

5. Russell Eudy, former superintendent of Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church’s Abundant Life private school (and alleged friend of NB favorite PHIL KIDD)-Sherwood, AR
Charged with failing to report child abuse under the state’s mandated reporter laws

6. Dr. Clinton Feemster, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church-Kings Mtn., NC and Asst. Professor od Divinity School, Gardner-Webb Univ-Boiling Springs, NC
Charged with trying to solicit sex from an undercover detective

7. Denny Wall, pastor of Hico Baptist church and part-time teacher and coach at Alamance Christian School-Graham, NC
Charged with having intercourse with a female student who attends the school

8. John Diehl, Assoc. Pastor of Piner Baptist Church and former missionary to Africa-Covington, KY
Charged with sex crimes against a minor

9. Michael Wheeler, host for students of Faith Christian Academy-Allentown, PA*
Charged with sexual abuse of children for allegedly video-recording boys, invasion of privacy, furnishing alcohol to minors and corruption of minors

10. Christopher Settlemoir, former pastor of Antioch Baptist Church and principal of its school-Warren, MI
Charged with two counts each of first-degree and second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 15-year-old student and two counts of accosting children for immoral purposes related to two other boys

11. Carl Lloyd, former youth pastor of Sonrise Baptist Church-Hartselle, AL
Charges related to an inappropriate sexual relationship he had with a member of his youth group

12. Madison Madison, church bus driver for an unnamed church-Reidsville, NC
Charged with and pled guilty to inappropriately touching a teenage girl

13. James Watkins, pastor of Bible Baptist Church-Cle Ellum, WA
Charged with and convicted of raping and molesting a boy over a period of six years

14. Thomas Elliott, youth minister at Autryville Baptist Church-Roseboro, NC
Charged with soliciting a minor over the internet for a sexual act and attempted indecent liberties with a minor
October, 2010

15. William "Billy/Bill" Cabe, pastor of Riverside Baptist Church (and avid worshipper of Mack Ford), former director of Riverside Baptist BOYS HOME, former federal prison inmate-Rock Hill, SC
Charged with (and accused of for the SECOND time) practicing medicine illegally at his church and fondling a boy

16. Melissa Jones, wife of youth pastor for Salem Baptist Church-Decatur, GA
Charged with and PLED GUILTY to criminal sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy

17. Ernest Willis, member of Trinity Baptist Church-Concord, NH
Charged with two counts of rape and two counts of having sex with a minor



A half-smiling portrait of a deceased radio preacher steals the attention of all who enter the small lobby of Mountain Park Baptist Boarding Academy.

It's the visage of Lester Roloff, who is seen by several Missouri reform schools as a hero in the battle to bring wayward teens to Jesus, while fending off the demons of government control.

Mountain Park's Web site proudly says that the school's founder was personally trained by the minister. Elsewhere in Missouri, Agape Boarding School and Thanks to Calvary say they are not Roloff schools, but their leaders praise the pastor's work and display photos of him. Agape has named one of its dorms in Roloff's honor.

Roloff, who died in a plane crash in 1982, is perhaps best known for his "Family Altar" radio ministry, which was once broadcast from Corpus Christi, Texas, to more than 140 stations.

As his radio ministry grew, the fundamentalist Baptist preacher began reaching out to drug-addicted men and rebellious teens. By the late 1960s, he was taking in dozens of wayward girls, most of whom were pregnant.

His philosophy was to immerse the girls in a monastic lifestyle of Bible teachings. He kept the teens in check with the rod of corporal punishment. It was a pattern for dealing with defiant teens that appealed to parents from across the country and is still followed today. But Roloff left another legacy.

In state after state, and in decade after decade, teen reform homes inspired by Roloff have been investigated for abuse, raided by child protective service officials, and ultimately forced to close for failing to comply with state laws.

When a home was closed, ministers would simply pack up and move where laws were friendlier. And for the exiled, Missouri has proved to be a safe harbor.

The founders of Mountain Park moved to Missouri from Mississippi in 1987, after a judge ordered teens removed from the school. And in 1996, Agape Boarding School moved here after regulatory hassles in Washington state.

But Missouri's first encounter with Roloff homes dates back even further, when two of the original reform schools founded by Roloff were booted out of Texas.

By the time the Rebekah Home for Girls and Anchor Home for Girls came to Missouri in 1985, the reform schools had been the subject of 12 years of court battles.

The schools, which Roloff opened in Corpus Christi in 1967, caught the attention of investigators in 1973, when visiting parents reported seeing a girl whipped at the school. According to news reports, 16 girls at the school told investigators they had been whipped, paddled, handcuffed and in some cases confined to "cells."

Court battles followed, and at one point, Roloff was jailed for refusing to follow court-ordered reforms. Supporters rallied behind Roloff for years, but ultimately Texas forced the reform schools out.

Here, the Roloff ministry found favorable laws and a convenient location outside Kansas City. Boys and girls occupied unused space at Richards-Gebaur Airport and nearby Calvary Baptist College.

Over the next 18 months, police and prosecutors began hearing allegations of abuse from teens who had run away from the school. According to news reports in the Kansas City Times, a 16-year-old turned up at a hospital with a broken wrist, claiming he had been beaten when he tried to escape. Another boy had half a testicle removed after a classmate kneed him in the groin and the school refused to offer medical care. The victim's mother did not press charges.

Police told the Times of escapees who described isolation cells and beatings with a wooden paddle. One boy told of having to lick his own excrement as a penalty for soiling his pants.

Two days after the stories appeared in 1987, the Missouri homes moved the kids to a Louisiana reform school with ties to Roloff.

But even after all the allegations of abuse, Missouri remained friendly to Roloff homes. Within months of the departure of the Kansas City homes, the founders of Mountain Park picked the state as their base camp.

Supporters of the Roloff homes say the ministry has been unfairly criticized over the years.

David Gibbs III is an attorney with the Christian Law Association, which has defended Roloff homes in court for decades. He said the media tend to fixate on a few unfortunate incidents.

Still, across the nation, states have closed the door on Roloff's teen ministry.

In 1983, allegations of abuse at Ruth's Home of Compassion in Rome, Ga., ultimately led the state to close the school for failing to obtain a license.

And for decades, Louisiana locked horns with the New Bethany Home for Girls. Though the school was not officially a Roloff home, Roloff was at one point listed as a board member of the school, according to news reports. The state removed students at least twice, and an administrator at a sister school in South Carolina served one year of probation after investigators in 1984 found a teenager lying on the floor in a narrow padlocked cell.

More recently, in Texas, then-Gov. George W. Bush pushed through laws in 1997 that allowed the Roloff homes to reopen there. But claims of abuse resurfaced at the homes.

In 1999, two boys claimed they were made to run over thorns and dig in a filthy pit throughout the night. The incident resulted in a criminal misdemeanor conviction for a school employee for unlawful restraint. It also served as a sort of last straw for the Texas Legislature.

Last year, Texas once again did what Missouri has not - closed the door to Roloff's ministry by requiring all faith-based residential programs to obtain a license or shut down.