Friday, June 4, 2010
According to a video segment on WXIN-TV in Indianapolis, Baptist pastor Chuck Phelps “reportedly made Tina confess immorality to the entire congregation.”
Tina was 15 years old at the time. And according to Tina, what she wasn’t allowed to say is that her pregnancy was the result of being raped by a church deacon.
Pastor Phelps is now at the center of rape cover-up allegations. At that time, Phelps was the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Concord, New Hampshire. Now, he’s the pastor of Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis.
Tina’s brother, Tom Dooley, spoke to WXIN-TV and issued this warning to the congregants at Colonial Hills:
“Basically, I'd say stay away from that church. If he's the one in charge of that church, stay as far away as you can, because if something happens to your child he's not going to do anything about it."
Dooley says that pastor Phelps misled the police in New Hampshire."He reported it as a young lady of near consenting age with an older man, not a 15-year-old who got raped twice," said Dooley. "She's the one who got kicked out of the church for getting raped and getting pregnant. The guy who raped her was a deacon in the church and was allowed to stay in his position as a deacon."
As reported by WXIN-TV, “accused rapist Ernest Willis is now 51 and was arrested days ago by New Hampshire police. Phelps is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice charges.”
"Anderson who has recently come forward to speak publicly about her ordeal says Phelps moved her to Colorado to live with a church family. She had become pregnant following the rape. . . . She has also said Phelps played a role in having her give the child up for adoption.”
"Former members of Phelps’ New Hampshire church say Phelps was running a cult at Trinity Baptist. They fear he will conduct the same time of church in Indianapolis.”
"If this has been done in Concord then the philosophy apparently hasn't changed. What would stop it from happening again in a church in Indianapolis," said Matt Barnhart, a former member of Trinity Baptist in New Hampshire.
And indeed, given that there is no outside oversight nor any denominational oversight for most Baptist churches, what would stop any Baptist church from becoming a cult?
When will Baptists implement safeguards similar to what other major faith groups already have?
In related news, the courtroom was packed yesterday in Conway, New Hampshire for the appearance of a Southern Baptist pastor and several church “elders” who were charged with failing to report the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl. Police said “the charge is very significant” because of “conspiratorial nature.”
Posted by Christa Brown at 12:11 AM