Monday, June 23, 2008

New SBC X-Com officer: words or deeds?

At the same time that the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee rejected a predator database, it also elected new officers. The new chairman of the Executive Committee is Randall James, assistant pastor of First Baptist Church of Orlando. (See his photo at the link.)

I couldn’t help but notice this small fact because I’ve been told that my own perpetrator, Tommy Gilmore, now goes to First Baptist Church of Orlando.

Do you think the Executive Committee’s new chairman, Randall James, has informed people in his church about Gilmore’s past? About the fact that Gilmore’s prior Texas church made a written apology for Gilmore's sexual abuse of a kid? About the fact that Gilmore is listed in a secret file at the Baptist General Convention of Texas based on a confession or substantial evidence of sexual abuse? About the fact that another Southern Baptist minister made a sworn statement showing he knew about Gilmore’s sexual abuse of a kid?

I wonder.

While rejecting the database, Executive Committee president Morris Chapman said this: “We must determine that when we know someone is a sexual predator, we will expose him… whether he is a pastor, a member of the staff or a member of the church.”

Nice talk, I suppose. But do even the Executive Committee officers actually do this?

Did the Executive Committee’s new chairman, Randall James, do this? Did he expose the truth about Tommy Gilmore to the people who most need to know -- i.e., the parents of kids in the church?

In rejecting the database, Morris Chapman also said this: “Those who would overpower our children and violate their trust must come to know that they will not be coddled, they will not be protected, they will not find refuge in our churches.”


Obviously, Gilmore had no trouble finding refuge in Southern Baptist churches, and in very prominent ones at that. Previously, he was children’s minister at the church of Florida Baptist Convention president Dwayne Mercer, and before that, he was children’s minister at the mega-church of former SBC president Charles Stanley. And all the while when Gilmore was working with kids in Florida and Georgia churches, there was another Southern Baptist minister, James A. Moore, who knew about Gilmore’s sexual abuse of a kid in Texas, and kept quiet about it. Yet, Moore is still a minister.

Looks to me as though Southern Baptist churches not only coddle the perpetrators, but they also coddle the cover-uppers.

And none of Morris Chapman’s fine words do anything to alter that reality.

In the end, preaching doesn’t protect kids against clergy-predators. Deeds do.

Disclaimer: Two people have told me that Tommy Gilmore is now at First Baptist Church of Orlando. However, I am unable to positively confirm this since I have no access to the church’s membership roster. Likewise, I do not know whether or not he may be serving in some unofficial capacity, for example as a Sunday School teacher.


Anonymous said...

When they won't even publicly rebuke or even feign disappointment in Steve Gaines...we all know what Morris Chapman said is simply good sounding words. Did Chapman publicly rebuke Gaines? Or did he ask SWBTS not to have him speak? Of course not.

AS a matter of fact, chances are that some of the predator coddlers will be invited to speak at seminaries and state associations. Seems to make them even more popular when they ignore the Word.

Or maybe even a big name SBC pastor will preach in the pulpit of a known predator. (Jerry Vines-Gilyard)

These men are phonies and deceivers to the people of the SBC. They are like the men in the Body described in Jude. They were set out long ago for condemnation. Even if they do not do the deed they enable it by their actions or non-actions.



XSB pastor said...

Having left the sbc some time ago, I saw first hand that things were done regularly using a false spiritual veil to mask the dark underside of the convention beast. The love of money and the praise of men steer this monster.

A thorough data base connected to federal sources would be a severe blow to this pseudo-religious conglamorate. There would a great accounting to be given by many of the "convention stars", both past and present. Hardly any would have many degrees of separtion from the countless rapists and pedophiles that have found safe-haven in the machinery of this billion dollar monstrocity.

Publishing and freshly registering the names of these wolves would cause not only a great stirring among the sheep, but it may well persuade many injured lambs to come forward to expose en masse the false preachers. The exodus of the digusted and disheartened would greatly tarnish the image and weaken the coffers of the sbc beast.

At the heart of this would be the revelation that the greatest part of these cowards wearing leadership badges failed to follow our LORD's most urgent love GOD and love each other.

This revelation would scripturally disqualify the lion's share of them from their high profile and higher salary perches as so called ministers and executives. The legal ramifications would cause these pretenders to run for the safe house of 'church autonomy', believing that this would relieve them from any responsibility and distance them from chaos and misery that they have help create.

At last, the unregenerate church membership that they have born through the years of systematic easy believism programs, literature, and carnal strategies will be exposed, thus exposing the falsity and erroneous doctrine and practice of the monster.

But rest assured, they will continue their religious double speak that will pacify any worries of the anesthetized masses, while the perpetrators of these malicious felonies will continue to prey on the innocent.

These crown wearers, both great and small may recline into their extravagant dwellings, CEO run churches, corner offices, and eventually into the comfort of the lush retirement that their atrocious careers have afforded them...they may do so thinking 'all is well, all is well'...their secret lives and villainous denials and destructive practices may not cause them one moment's discomfort in this life...but they will one day look into the searing eyes of a JUDGE who will not be fooled, nor will HE be impressed by all their 'creature deeds' and 'religious' accolades' attained in the flesh, but will make the pronouncement in eternity that is apparent to most in this life...that they are unknown to HIM.

A La. pastor

gmommy said...

That's what Morris Chapman should have said!
Thank you la pastor.

The SBC can't handle the truth...but you shared it here.

gmommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christa Brown said...

"false spiritual veil"... "pseudo-religious conglamorate" ... "religious double-speak..."

You said it, LA Pastor!

"Hardly any would have many degrees of separation from the countless rapists and pedophiles that have found safe-haven in the machinery of this billion dollar monstrocity."

Yes, I believe this is likely true. When I tracked the web of connections my own perpetrator had within the SBC, it was pretty shocking. And of course, mine is just one story among countless others.

Anonymous said...

LA. Pastor,

All I can say is Amen and Amen! What you said is so true. I especially agree with "But rest assured, they will continue their religious double speak that will pacify any worries of the anesthetized masses, while the perpetrators of these malicious felonies will continue to prey on the innocent."

That describes every 1st Baptist Church (in OK) I was ever a member. The anesthetized masses (and I was part of that group) believe that double speak because they have been taught since cradle roll to believe every word that is said in the pulpit -- that man might not be God but he is as close to God as any person can be. I don't believe a word of that now, but I grew up believing it all.

And the perpetrators did and will continue to prey on the innocent because that is what they do best. No one questions them or their words or their deeds, because we are taught they are Godly men, called of God, and led by God. How can you ever question someone who is almost God?

It all makes me sick to my stomach and angry and very sad. If I had been allowed to be in touch with my feelings as a child, I would have known I felt that way. Unfortunately, I was only, always happy because: 1. my parents told me I was; 2. we are never sad because we have the Lord; 3. I was not allowed to be angry because anger was a sin. Now, as pathetic as that all seems, I am sure there are many out there who grew up just like I did -- the good old SBC way.

I don't see how anyone who has "seen the light" can remain in a church that is so full of lies and hypocrisy and filth. Yet, I know plenty of people have chosen to do that. Isn't it just a little bit like selling your soul so your family will be happy.

I'm sorry. Obviously, I got side tracked. La. pastor, thank you again for your words.

Phyllis Gregory

Christa Brown said...

Phyllis: I grew up with similar indoctrination. 1. Sadness? Not possible. Not allowed. We were the elect, the chosen, the saved. Sadness wasn't an option. 2. Anger? Not possible. Not allowed. It wasn't an option. These emotions, and even the thought of them, were suppressed.