Just over a week after a Southern Baptist Convention committee determined that six of 10 churches did not need further inquiry regarding their handling of sexual abuse, Pastor Rodney Brown, leader of one of the six churches, repented and apologized for not earlier firing a staff member alleged to have abused several children because the staffer was a friend.
“Recently I have come to realize that I failed my duty as pastor in not taking action against an individual who had been accused of child abuse in the past at another church. This was because of my long‑standing friendship with the accused,” Brown, who leads Trinity Baptist Church in Ashburn, Georgia, said in a statement to The Christian Index last Thursday.
“Other victims have now come forward naming this person and he has admitted to assaulting several young people many years ago. I now realize that what I first thought was an isolated incident was much more. I should have understood that earlier and not doing so was a great mistake on my part. I cannot apologize enough for my actions,” Brown said, noting that the staff member has since been fired.
“Although there has never been any known abuse at Trinity, the person accused has been terminated from the staff at Trinity. He was also asked to immediately resign his church membership, which he did. He has been directed not to return to Trinity.”
Last month, SBC President J. D. Greear named Trinity Baptist Church among 10 churches he argued should face inquiries into whether they concealed sexual abuses or knowingly hired sexual predators.
Brown had previously told the Baptist Press, that the now fired staffer had confessed he had molested a “young teen” decades earlier and had repented.
“Church leaders came back to me and said, ‘Rodney, the man says he’s repented,’” Brown told BP. “We’re not his judge. We’ve not seen anything to indicate any of this at our church.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair