Southern Baptist Convention admits it's under federal investigation of sexual abuse

Southern Baptist Convention
Posted at 5:09 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-13 19:16:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Southern Baptist Convention admitted Friday afternoon it was under a federal probe from the Department of Justice.

In a letter written by its executive committee, the Nashville-based group explained the Department of Justice will investigate multiple Southern Baptist Convention entities.

The denomination was under fire this year after sexual abuse victims pushed for action from its leaders. That resulted in a pages-long list of known abusers in the denomination. Marked on the list are some pastors who served Tennessee communities. This comes after a scathing 288-page report by Guidepost Solutions that detailed how the committee mishandled sex abuse allegations and stonewalled numerous survivors. Years before, the Houston Chronicle investigation into sexual abuse within churches made the allegations public.

"Individually and collectively, each SBC entity is resolved to fully and completely cooperate with the investigation," the group wrote. "While we continue to grieve and lament past mistakes related to sexual abuse, current leaders across the SBC have demonstrated a firm conviction to address those issues of the past and are implementing measures to ensure they are never repeated in the future. The fact that the SBC Executive Committee recently completed a full transparent investigation is the evidence of this commitment."

The group wrote that they realized their efforts to address years of past transgressions weren't over, and that the DOJ would be looking at the "scourge of sexual abuse."

The Justice Department hadn't immediately responded to comment about the impending investigation.