Carter was arrested on July 1. According to the Camp Cale website, Carter and his wife were “married 25 years on July 1st.” Some anniversary present, huh?
But here’s the thing I’m most concerned about. The Camp Cale website says that “Rev. Stephen Carter” previously worked as a “church planter for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, serving in the country of Belize.”
Do you think anyone in Southern Baptist leadership will make any effort to reach out to kids in Belize? To even try to see if there might be kids there who could have been hurt by this guy? To let their parents know? To offer them some help or counseling?
You know the answer to that. So do I. When it comes to clergy child molestation, Southern Baptist leaders have shown themselves to be a whole lot more concerned with image than with kids. They may talk about “precious children” but when it comes to action, it’s a different story.
This North Carolina camp story reminds me of the story a couple years ago when a camp leader at an Illinois Baptist camp was arrested for child pornography and indecent solicitation of a child. According to police, he “met both of his victims through a camp sponsored by the Illinois Baptist State Association.”
The press reported that the Illinois Baptist State Association “chose to contact less than one-fifth of the 67 churches that sent students” to the camp that summer. And even for the one-fifth of the "churches" they contacted, I wonder whether the church leaders ever actually told the parents of the kids who went to camp.
Southern Baptist leaders don’t have a good track record on reaching out to other possible child-victims when they learn about a minister charged with child molestation. Even in this country, it’s not something they do. So why should anyone imagine that they’ll reach out to kids in Belize?
By the way…. the Illinois Baptist State Association is the same Southern Baptist entity that forced its newspaper editor to resign after he published the story of a prominent pastor who was charged with criminal sexual assault on two teen girls.
Did you get that? They basically fired their own news editor for even writing about a pastor’s arrest on child molestation.
Furthermore, even after that Illinois Baptist pastor pled guilty, the Illinois Baptist Children’s Home Director wrote to the judge to urge that the child-molesting pastor should receive no prison time.
Do you see a pattern in these stories? I do. Where is there any genuine concern for the kids?
Updates: “Baptist camp director on leave after arrest,” Associated Baptist Press, 7/16/09; “Former Baptist camp director charged with abuse found dead,” Associated Baptist Press, 5/25/10.
See also: "Allegations should be assessed," July 18, 2010.