- Baylor University
- First Baptist Church of Waco
- Columbus Avenue Baptist Church
- First Baptist Church of Robinson
- the YMCA (which reportedly fired him)
- Truett Seminary at Baylor (as a student)
- Pecan Grove Baptist Church
- Williams Creek Baptist Church
- First Baptist Church of Riesel
- Northlake Baptist Church in Dallas
- Waco Center for Youth (where his clergy credentials allowed him to work as a chaplain with emotionally disturbed youth!!!)
- Crossroads Baptist Church
- Baptist Student Union at Schreiner College
With the exception of the YMCA (where he had multiple abuse allegations) and the Waco Center for Youth, all of those churches, schools and organizations are affiliated with the same umbrella organization -- the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Wouldn’t you think they could have some system for keeping track of abuse allegations? Wouldn’t you think their affiliated entities could communicate with one another? But apparently they don’t. Even at the end of his career -- and even after so many abuse and assault allegations -- Matt Baker got a job working with college kids at a Baptist Student Union. It was a position funded by the Baptist General Convention of Texas itself. Investigative journalist Skip Hollandsworth offered an explanation for this huge institutional failure. He pointed out that, among Baptists, “there are no rules” requiring a church to inform others about a minister accused of abuse. “In fact,” he explained, “to avoid defamation lawsuits, leaders of a church have an incentive to keep their mouths shut when it comes to questionable behavior among clergy, which is perhaps why First Baptist officials said nothing about the allegations when other churches later called, interested in hiring Matt.” So that’s how it works in Baptistland. Church leaders just “keep their mouths shut,” and predatory ministers simply move on. This closed-mouth system is flat-out dangerous. It shouldn’t take a murder to bring to light a pastor’s career history of “preying on innocent people.”
For more on the history of abuse and assault allegations against Matt Baker, see my prior postings, “Baptist leaders silent at the start of trial” and “Why didn’t Baptists bust him?” For links to all of my 12 columns on the Matt Baker case, see the bottom of this posting.
1/25/10: The list of places Matt Baker worked is derived from information gathered and reported by Texas Monthly magazine.