Response to the Southern Baptist Abuse Task Force Report

Response to the Southern Baptist Abuse Task Force Report

05.26.22 | by John Meador

    From Pastor John Meador

    The content of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force is weighty and grievous to me as a pastor and to us at Cross City Church. We are heartbroken for the survivors’ pain and trauma and are praying for their healing and health. At the same time, we admire their courage in reporting their stories. We are also disturbed by the existence of any sexual abuse in SBC churches and call for lamenting, repentance, and change.

    Several of our Cross City Church staff and church members were together last June at the 2021 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention as we overwhelmingly approved an independent sexual abuse investigation of the SBC. The goal was to bring to light every reported instance of sexual abuse that may have occurred at any of the 47,000+ SBC churches over the last two decades. This report is the result of that vote. The Task Force investigated several hundred reported cases and discovered two accused pastors who remain active in SBC churches. These findings are sobering. We stand in support of the victims, and we call on the SBC to take substantive, immediate action to prevent future sexual abuse.

    Cross City cares greatly for our people and their protection. We take a vigilant, preventative approach and take the accountability of our processes, hiring, and administration very seriously. Background checks are conducted not only for our staff but for volunteers who work with our children or students. We conduct initial Ministry Safe sexual abuse training for staff members and require a refresher course every two years. For accountability purposes, adults are not allowed to be alone with children in a classroom setting, and we keep security at a high level.

    We stand with others calling for dramatically increased accountability and transparency in the Convention, its leadership, and each of the autonomous Southern Baptist churches. The Church should always be a place of safety and healing, and Cross City is committed to both. Our mission of leading all people to follow Jesus compels us to protect from abuse and help any victim find safety and hope. We’re praying for those affected by these unacceptable acts, and we’ll continue to work to be part of the solution in the battle against sexual abuse.

    The SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report is available in its entirety at this link: