Let me say up front that I DID try to reach out to Jerry Vines to get his side and get some of my questions answered. I do not have his phone number but I did send an email at the Contact page of his website, asking for him to call me about the Darrell Gilyard section of his book. I left my phone and email, but as of the date of this blog post, I have heard nothing from Jerry Vines.
Jerry Vines and his publisher, B&H Publishing Group - a division of the SBC's LifeWay Christian Resources - have some serious explaining to do on why Vines' book is not truthful on a pivotal aspect of Vines involvement in the Darrell Gilyard saga: the attempted attack by Gilyard on one of Vines' own teenage church members back in 1991.
Here is the excerpt from Vines' book (with my emphases) that I'm going to address:
"There were rumors [about Gilyard]. Accusations of moral improprieties began to surface. All of them were denied by Darrell. Dr. Patterson checked them out as best he could. There were inconsistencies and contradictions in the stories. Some were made by church members who had moral failings themselves. One accuser was a member of the KKK. As it turns out, all the rumors were true. A young person in our FBC, Jacksonville church met with me about a matter of impropriety as well. I didn't understand it to go beyond some flirtation. They were both single at the time. Perhaps I misunderstood."That "young person" Vines refers to is Tiffany Thigpen Croft, a high school senior who Gilyard attacked in 1991 while Gilyard was the traveling evangelist for the high school choir and orchestra of Vines' church during the spring of 1991.
Did you get that? Darrell Gilyard was supposed to be the "man of God" to give spiritual teachings to Tiffany and her fellow high school students, but instead Gilyard used the privilege - after grooming Tiffany for a period of time prior to that - to attempt a sexual attack on Tiffany. Thankfully Tiffany escaped, and she was able to report the attack to her parents.
And Tiffany reported it to her pastor, Jerry Vines.
Now let's go back and look at the last sentence again:
"...A young person in our FBC Jacksonville church met with me about a matter of impropriety as well. I didn't understand it to go beyond some flirtation. They were both single at the time. Perhaps I misunderstood."There is almost nothing in that sentence that is true. To characterize Gilyard's attack on Tiffany as a "flirtation" is an insult to Tiffany and her parents, and every other young woman who has been victimized by an abusive pastor - especially the multitudes that were victimized by Gilyard. When most people use the word "flirtation" or "flirt", it is in the context of a female "flirting" with a man - this seems as a direct attempt to imply that Tiffany's own actions invited or in some measure caused Gilyard's attack.
Vines says "Perhaps I misunderstood". How could he have misunderstood, past tense? Tiffany was brave enough to report the details of the attack to her parents and to Vines immediately after it occurred. And according to this 1991 Dallas Morning News article, Paige Patterson and presumably Vines, knew of multiple allegations of Gilyard's sexual improprieties with young women all the way back to 1987! Let that sink in!! The obvious question Vines should have answered in his bio: why on earth was Gilyard given the opportunity to be around his high schoolers in 1991 when Vines and Patterson knew of allegations against Gilyard all the way in 1987? To say "perhaps I misunderstood" and that he thought Gilyard's attack on Tiffany was a "flirtation" defies common sense and is just not believable.
Also in the excerpt above, Vines claims "...they [Tiffany and Gilyard] were both single at the time.". A very clever way to characterize the situation to make it appear as though Tiffany and Gilyard were very close in age, or peers, or mutually consenting young adults.That could not be further from the truth. Of course Tiffany was single - as are 99.99% of HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS, Jerry!!! But Gilyard absolutely was NOT single at the time. He was married with at least one child. Why didn't Vines write something like, "...the young person was only a high school senior, and Darrell was a married 29-year old very influential pastor?" Not that it matters if Gilyard was married - an attack on a teenager is an attack on a teenager - but why would Vines and his editor at B&H get this fact wrong in his book and leave out the important fact of Tiffany being a teenage high school student, and Gilyard a predatory preacher with prior allegations, preying on a very young woman who looked up to Gilyard? Are we to believe Vines and B&H Publishing were so careless that they didn't fact check this? And even more disturbing: why did Vines not call Tiffany or her parents BEFORE publishing? How about the courtesy of a phone call to Tiffany to let her know what's coming out, and to make sure Vines has his facts straight? Where was the B&H editor? Or perhaps this was Vines' attempt to minimize the validity of Tiffany's claim and the seriousness of the incident now 23 years later?
Perhaps the explanation for Vines' misrepresentation of Tiffany's encounter with Gilyard in 1991 is so Vines can partially deflect the criticism he has taken since Gilyard's arrest in 2008, for choosing to go and preach at Gilyard's church twice after he retired in 2006. I and others have been very critical of Vines for not using his influence and raising the warning flag here in Jacksonville when Gilyard came to pastor Shiloh Baptist in 1993, and I have been critical of Vines' decision to preach at Gilyard's church knowing Gilyard had attacked one of his own teenage church members. I've often wondered if Vines' preaching at Gilyard's church in 2006-2007 affirmed Gilyard, giving him a renewed sense of power, and thus more opportunity to attack young people at Shiloh. But I guess that doesn't matter, because as Vines says "There were 35 professions of faith the first time..." he preached at Gilyard's church.
One of the questions I have: did Vines have a legal, or at least a moral duty to report this incident to the authorities? That is an answer I would have liked to ask Vines if he had called me. As Tiffany will explain in her own words very soon, Gilyard began the "grooming" process of Tiffany when she was 17. What obligation did Vines have as a minister to report this attack? Did Vines report this attack to Homer Lindsay? Did Homer Lindsay know of the prior allegations of Gilyards abuse? I think not. Those who knew Homer would agree that Homer would never allow Gilyard within 10 miles of high schoolers with multiple allegations of sexual abuse. But maybe Vines will tell us himself.
So while Vines writes his book to make himself and Paige Patterson look like heroes who did everything in their power to stop Gilyard - the truth is the real hero in this ugly saga was Tiffany Croft. Paige Patterson was for SURE not a hero. As I said above, Patterson knew of multiple allegations of Gilyard's sexual improprieties in Dallas dating all the way back to 1987. It is safe to assume Vines knew of these as well - being a close friend of Patterson and the one who recommended Gilyard to attend Patterson's Criswell College - yet Vines now claims in 1991 he thought Gilyard's attack on Tiffany was a "flirtation".
No, the hero was Tiffany, not Jerry Vines or Paige Patterson. Let me explain why Tiffany was the hero.
What was not put in Vines' chapter on Gilyard is that "young person" - Tiffany Croft herself - played an important role in 2008 in putting Gilyard behind bars. Seventeen years after Gilyard's attack, when Gilyard was charged with sex crimes against minors at Shiloh Baptist Church, Tiffany started a blog "Let's Stop Darrell Gilyard Together", to encourage Gilyard's victims to come forward to testify and help put Gilyard in jail. Gilyard was a powerful man in Jacksonville. He was a member of the Mayor's anti-crime task force. Many of his church members were people of influence and were thought to be exerting pressure on victims' families to not follow through with talking to the police. But Tiffany told her story to, and worked with the Jacksonville Sherriff's Office and the State Attorney's Office to gather information that could be used to help prosecute Gilyard. Gilyard was successfully prosecuted and spent several years in jail for having sex with minors in his church.
At the time Tiffany was writing her blog back in 2008, many people accused Tiffany of attacking God's man, of stirring up trouble and "dissension" with her blog. There were many very hateful comments directed to her on her blog by local church members meant to shame and intimidate her into silence. Then, imagine Tiffany's shock to find out that Detective Robert A. Hinson of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office - one of Vines' long-time church members - requested a subpoena from the State Attorney's office to force Google to give him information about Tiffany's blog, at the same time Hinson was "investigating" my blog to uncover my identity. Tiffany ignored all the pressure and criticism and did what she knew to be right, as I wrote about here.
So the part of the story where Tiffany used her blog to put Gilyard away didn't make it in Vines' book. But Vines did have something to say in his autobiography about blogs in general:
"I don't care for blogs too much. A lot of negative blogging brings an ugliness to the Christian community. I suppose it is like every other form of communication; you can use it for positive or negative purposes. I just see it abused so often, I guess."Well, maybe so. But at least one blog - Tiffany's blog - was used for a positive purpose: helping send Darrell Gilyard to jail. Too bad blogs weren't around in the late 1980s when Gilyard started his abuses, as word would have reached Tiffany in 1991, and the parents of the minors Gilyard abused in 2007, and Gilyard's dastardly deeds could have been prevented. Blogs and free-flowing information via social media can do what cowardly "men of God" too often refuse to do: protect people from predatory pastors.
Did I just say that? You better believe I did.
And this blog is being used for a "positive purpose" today, Jerry: to set the record straight on Gilyard.
I'm assuming Vines, even more so now, still does not care for blogs too much.
And when Tiffany tells her entire story in her own words - which is coming soon - I imagine Vines will like blogs even less than he does now.
If Vines was told as you say, he should hang his head in shame, take his "biography" off the market as containing false information (lies) and admit that he was wrong about Gilyard and Tiffany, to apologize to her and all the others who were abused by Gilyard because he DID NOT DO HIS JOB AS A PASTOR, to intervene and stop the abuser. VINES, you are a liar and a coward.
Man, I sure hope you're right, because you're really making some serious accusations. I know nothing about this case so I have no way of knowing if you're right or not.
I hope you are wrong about this matter. I know for fact that there were several prominent pastors that were involved with a young preachers "restoration." If it were me, and in all fairness, I had your reputation, you had better believe I would have my facts in order. You are entering into some unchartered waters on this matter.
This matter was vetted out pretty good and I think that these preachers do a pretty good job of keeping up with accountability on their own. If I know about it, then it is pretty near to public record.
This seems article and the reason behind it seems malicious, in my opinion. I really do not see how you could definitely know the whom or when Dr. Vines was referencing in his book. How do you know he was referring to TTC?
You are correct. This is a serious accusation and I am afraid this matter is not going to end well...for WatchDog.
Arce - you begin conditionally with the word "if." Then you end with an absolute and attempt to make the subject of the article responsible for Gilyard's bad deeds.
Whom are you responsible for? Could you have stopped a family member from similar abuse or stealing or some crime that hurt innocent victims? How about the folks in Texas? If they had pressed some formal charges of some sort then maybe Gilyard would have gotten locked up well before he began his underage molestations. You cannot lay the blame at Vines feet simply because he was a former pastor of FBC. What about the parents or her confidant best friend? They don't know how to file a complaint? What else are you going to blame Dr. Vines for?
Let the facts emerge before you make a judgment. No offense intended, but this is not a professional and unbiased journalistic piece that you are reading.
The facts have been out there for some time. It all hinges on whether you believe a man who has been convicted of sex abuse charges already (Gilyard) when he covers for Vines, or the young woman and her family members, as well as others, that Vines was told and did NOTHING.
Not reporting is a crime, and, in most jurisdictions, a pastor, as supervisor of a staff, is a mandatory reporter.
"I really do not see how you could definitely know the whom or when Dr. Vines was referencing in his book. How do you know he was referring to TTC?"
I'll give you three guesses how I know with 100% certainty Vines was referring to Tiffany - I think you'll get it on the first guess.
And by the way - you don't have to use her initials. It's ok to mention her name. Tiffany. She doesn't need your protection by just using her initials and not her name.
"You are correct. This is a serious accusation..."
You bet. Serious is right. What is serious is what happened to Tiffany in 1991, and the other young women prior to that and after that. THAT is what is serious, my friend.
Vines could have let this issue die. He could have been completely truthful and transparent in his book to help pastors coming behind him to not make the same mistakes he made. Or at least he could have called Tiffany PRIOR TO the publishing of the book to make sure that what he was writing was accurate and not hurtful to Tiffany.
But he and B&H chose not to.
That is damned serious.
The Apostle Paul speaking:
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” (NLT)
If you claim to know God as your Father, Savior, and Helper and your absolute, number-one desire is for the fruits of the Spirit to be evident in your life, then your response to this or any story on this blog or all other blogs needs to reflect “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV). You should be calling for prayer and unity, nothing more, nothing less. If, on the other hand, you feel the urge to lash out against someone like a snake does against its perceived enemy, then you have blatantly closed your heart against that person and, like it or not, how does God’s love abide in you (1 John 3:17)?
When you hear about some injustice going on within the circle of God’s family, the thing to do is just ignore it. You can blog and blog and blog until you’re blue in the face, and you might even attract a small yet vocal number of others who will choose to commiserate with you, but you are NOT going to make any difference to the story. Even if you happen to be 100% correct about the thing that upsets you, it is GOD who will bring that person into judgment, not you and your opinion or anyone else’s (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Worry about and work on your OWN walk with the Lord. And if it’s any consolation, even if some people ARE getting away with something here on this earth, as Jesus said, “they have their reward” (Matthew 6:5), so let it go!
Wow - such vitriol. How do you know whom he is referring to? You stated you did not speak with him.
"How do you know whom he is referring to? You stated you did not speak with him."
Just use your thinking cap. I'm sure you can figure how I know with 100% certainty, before I hit "publish" to post this article. There is no doubt. Get beyond that, please.
Billy it is against THE LAW to not report sexual abuse. Vines had the mandate to report such and failed to do so which makes him complicit.
724 - you are the first yo suggest that a law was broken. If vines broke a law, then you believe she was a minor. Then her parents broke the law as well? Get the story right.
If she was 17, then yes, her parents broke the law as well Provided that they knew what had happened.
I see only two possibilities here: (1) Dog is wrong and Vines was referring to someone else (and I don't see any way Dog could know with certainty he was referring to Tiffany unless he talked to Vines, which he said he hasn't done), or (2) Vines is one brazen rascal, claiming that he "misunderstood" as "flirtation" the account of the girl whose testimony sent Gilyard to prison.
Anon - those are not the only two possibilities. And yes, I am 100% confident who Vines was referring to without talking to Vines. He didn't call me. But use your imagination, put on your thinking cap, and you'll figure it out. :)
All: I am confident having followed the Gilyard case and Tiffany's blog for many years, reading and following what both Dog and Tiffany was going through at that time, this information is quite accurate. Dog knows what he is talking about.
....but what does any part of this story have to do with you and your walk with the Lord, assuming you claim to be a follower of Christ? Is your declaration of Vines being complicit going to make any difference at all? If so, then how are YOU going to bring him to justice?
You have a bad take on this issue
Pastors covering up and ignoring sexual abuse SHOULD be everyones business.
BTW, I have NO legal jurisdiction in the matter but am a concerned parent citizen and christian. Yes, we are told to expose wickedness and evil. I would invite you to read God's Word sir!! Especially the prophetic books of the Old Testament and James in the New Testament.
The only other possibility is that you were there and even if you were there the time element is a problem. I would point out that Vines is writing of a time when Gilyard was single. Am I to understand that Vines misstated
the marital status on top of everything else? I think you are both writing of separate instances.
Yes. His book is wrong. Gilyard was not single when he attacked Tiffany. And it was an attack. Not a "flirtation". And he was referring to Tiffany.
Hey Billy - If I stole some money from you, or photographed your wife and daughter while they were showering, or molested some children you loved, or crashed into your car... Would you ignore it and let God handle it? Hypocrite. Why say such stupid things. Seriously, are you mentally challenged, perhaps a handicapped individual with no ability to think or reason? If so, I sincerely apologize for this reply. Or are you actually advocating that we ignore all injustice and "let God handle things" after the offender dies and goes into the afterlife? Please explain.
If you do not know how the Dog would know, and Debbie as well, then you thinking is too narrow and you would fail the logic course in most colleges. And no, the Dog did not have to be physically present to know.
Your mental capacity or lack thereof is showing. And you have swallowed the Vines lie, hook, line and stinker.
Not precisely on this particular post's topic, but here's something Ronnie Floyd said this week which I believe is spot on, it just is downright bizarre coming from his lips:
"Some of us have a heart to be so real with people that we just think if we're cool enough, we're going to get [the numbers]," said Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. "We're never going to be cool enough to win our towns, our rural settings, to win our cities, to win the nation, to win the world, to win the nations. We're never going to be cool enough; the only thing that's going to bring that is a binding movement of the spirit of God that comes only when we are going up to be with God." Floyd continued, "Some of us would rather be known for the way we dress, or the kind of music we sing, or our style of preaching, or the way we choose to live more than being distinguished by the powerful presence of the glory of God," he said.
Amen, Ronnie. Now, let's see you, quite literally, put your money where your mouth is, and get rid of all the "seeker" pop culture/entertainment oriented nonsense at your church. And stop trying to look and dress like someone half your age. Sell off all the multi-million dollar buildings that aren't used for anything but entertainment and give the money to true ministry causes. Then your words will ring true.
Also, were the Dog to be wrong about who it was that was the victim, that would mean that there were two victims that went to Vines, and he still did NOTHING about it, which would mean that he is doubly beneath contempt as a most uncaring pastor.
Arce - this is a serious matter. Try to refrain fro the insults and condescending comment. I humbly admit your obvious superior intellect.
OK, Tom, I finally get the message. To all who responded to my blog, you just don't get it, so let me say it loud and clear now: I AM NOT REFERRING TO THE GOINGS-ON BETWEEN PASTOR VINES, TIFFANY, ET AL. I AM POINTEDLY MAKING MY REMARKS TO ALL YOU BLOGGERS AND THE CONTENT OF YOUR REMARKS, NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS! It is absolutely amazing to me that NO ONE wants to deal with the issue of what comes out of their own heart and onto the pages of this blog. You cannot defend that you call yourself a Christian, as 1 John so eloquently and succinctly mentions, by spewing the words that you do for ALL, the whole cyberspace audience, to see. Our witness of love for each other is to be readily seen BY THE WORLD as proof of our belonging to God. So next time you feel the urge to write/blog, ask yourself if Christ can be seen in your word choices. If we all did that, then this blog of Tom Rich's would not exist. So, Tom, I'm outa here and for probably 99.99% of your fellow bloggers, they're probably giddy with glee that "they won!" I will continue to pray for you and for anyone else who chooses to participate in the on-going vitriol (what, 7 years now or thereabout?) that God would challenge your hearts to be continually more like HIM instead of the world. Oh, and one last thing, I'll make sure the door hits me when I leave!
"I AM POINTEDLY MAKING MY REMARKS TO ALL YOU BLOGGERS AND THE CONTENT OF YOUR REMARKS, NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS!"
Using the All Caps key means that you are screaming. Doing this while chastising others for not having a Christian attitude is hilarious.
Take your own advice brother.
This blog is for those who care about integrity in the ministry. Perhaps you would be happier reading one of the cheerleader (head in the sand) web sites.
I appreciate Billy's attempt to bring civility and Christ-likeness to the issue. But, Bily, you just do not understand. Blogs are open season even on other believers because people can sit behind a computer and spew vitriol at whom they wish and not have to take responsibility for it. Having said that, Mr. Dog is right on in this I do believe.
If all reported in this blog is true, then it looks like Jerry Vines DOES need to be forthcoming about his Gilyard comments.
He is wrong to impugn the character of Tiffany, the victim of the attack.
Sad to say, but even now the blog SBCvoices, which has had many women commenting in the past, and even one writing a post now and then, rarely has women commenting.
I have to wonder about the influence of CBMW and of the sin of misogyny on what has happened to Southern Baptist women in the past.
If the SBC does not address this particular Vines/Gilyard matter, I think it will lose even more credibility (especially with women) but I hope that people will try to be fair and focuse in on those at the very top who are in control of what information is made public and what the SBC choses not to talk about.
There are, and will remain, many decent Southern Baptist people who are in no way marred by the behavior of the few. It's just that the 'few' happen to be in positions of authority, where they can unfortunately do the most harm to the Church. Women have no been well-treated or respected by some of these leaders. I am thankful for blogs like this one which attempt to stand up for victims of abuse. God Bless.
I don't appreciate Billy's intrusion and remarks under the guise of "civility" while shouting when confronted.
I will stand tall and call myself a Christian for standing with those who stand with the victims. Do you realize that those who have been sexually assaulted are dead inside? It changes who they are? Don't tell us to stop. Have heard it before and it's not for the reasons you have given with scripture taken out of context, it is to preserve the image of good people are head of the church and that is not true. This is just one of hundreds of stories in the Baptist denomination alone.
Vines made his comments about Gilyard and apparently Tiffany in public. Public comment is only fair.
I have heard the unity line before. In this case, Vines may have committed slander, but you say do not contest it, because protestation brings disunity. Billy, Vines comments bring disunity also. Vines himself appears to not be playing by your rules. If this is slander, Tiffany deserves her response instead of letting this stand as the record of merit.
Finally, if you have not noticed, your comments were public also.
Billy, stop reading and writing on this blog and let God handle it.
I think that Moses pretty well summarizes this thread. You see a lot of "if's" and "apparently's" along with a lot of unanswered questions about whom Vines is writing about. You say 100% certain that he is writing about . Vines does not name names. I hope that you are not relying on "someone's" opinion on that matter.
Start with this fact: I know with exactly 100% certainty that Vines' was referring to Tiffany Croft. 100%. I can understand if you don't believe me, but IF you start with that fact and work backwards, I think you can figure out how I'm not relying on "someone's" opinion. That Vines does not name names does not matter. Those who are familiar with the Gilyard situation, especially those in Jacksonville, would know it was Tiffany as well when they read that excerpt.
I am cagey, because I lack personal knowledge of the facts. Other commenters are certainly right. Gilyard could have assaulted another young person. I do not think that makes the situation any better, because now Vines had two young women come to him and he still preached multiple times at Gilyard's church. I do not know when Gilyard's first divorce was finalized.
However, WD does claim to be in possession of this information. I think it is reasonable to float him some belief with promise of future evidence.
"No minister, if guilty of sexual improprieties, especially with underage children, should ever be allowed to stand behind the sacred desk again. Let the truth be found and let justice be done," said pastor Jerry Vines, a past president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
All I can say is, A&E is missing out on a HUGE reality show concept.
No writers necessary, just cameras/mics in the ON position.
Let the truth be found and let justice be done," said pastor Jerry Vines...while allowing Gilyard to work with high schoolers at FBCJ, and when going to preach at Gilyard's church, and when going to speak at Trinity Baptist, while the lawsuits against Trinity for covering up child molestations by Bob Gray are still going on! Vines is a joke. A hippocrite. A spineless jellyfish who would rather go preach at churches and cash those checks where children are preyed on rather than have the courage to call them out publicly. The good old boys network is above children. And people call a blogger a coward for not putting his name on a post. Yet Vines is not called the biggest coward of them all. Disgusting. Maybe someday I will write a REAL biography of Jerry Vines. Yeah, I think I will. The unauthorized version. Talk about leaving a legacy of covering up child abusers. Sheesh, Vines. And you still get paid from FBCJ over $75,000.00 per year. Please. Stop milking that congregation of millionaries. Then again, why not fleece them for all they are worth like the Brunsons are doing. Sheesh.
To those who continue to TRY to rebuke the "harsh and critical comments" I believe what we are reading is decades of confused thoughts coming to voice. True for me personally. I was raised to respect the pulpit and the man who chose to answer the call of SERVANThood because he examplified the life we were to strive for...CHRIST first, OTHERS second. Usually tired both physically and emotionally from doing ALL the work of a church then preaching sundays.
During my 10+ years under Vines I learned (in snipets) that he (and others as well) had "worked Gods system". Loving the title "Prince of Expositors" Vines (and they) would tell you straight up that they dont "work" around the church or even administrat really. They Study and Preach...done! And travel to really cool places to do the same. Soooo not Lindsey:( Of course one would get egoitis. Gated home, high dollar car, body guards, expensive suits. Again...not Lindsey:(
P.Patterson not much different busy traveling the world "Big Game Hunting"? Now busy getting paid to travel and speak "Real Mens Events" so he can brag and sprinkle in Jesus. Heard him and in under five minutes ZZZZZZZZZ.
So neither had time to investigate the guy(s) including Caner that put in front of us?? I was there....They had time.
These men choose to take Gods plan in this direction (wealth) and critisizm comes with it. YOU are foolish if you insist on defending them.
The local, hard working pastors....when critisized you will get my benefit of the doubt and prayers.
Ill bet many here would say the same.
905 - the quote was made after Gilyard was arrested. To my knowledge and understanding there were no children involved and no issues where criminal jurisdiction migh be involved. Correct me if I am wrong, but TTC reported issues to Vines after she became an adult. To be clearer, there was no police reported incident until many years later. Vines comment came after we went through the presumed innocence, reasonable doubt, no doubt about moral issues, criminal arrest, and just before the trial. Really, if you are presented situation involving two people and no clear physical evidence - what would you judge or how would you justify banishment? Some of you are convinced that the appointed leaders have some sort of power to stop someone from breaking a law or preventing a church from calling a preacher. Do you really think that Shiloh pastor committee did not have Vines information?
These SBC leaders created a pathway for a young preacher's restoration. Obviously, this situation was a horrible failure of that process. How many of these preachers were successfully restored?
I read through Tiffany’s blog this week and I think that some highlights might be helpful for the discussion. Please realize, that I have organized this list not based on chronological blog posts, but by what I think might be a reader’s digest version.
In The Trail of Tears, she does a great job in providing Wade’s summary and laying out a history of events.
In The first signs of trouble, she provides an email from one of Gilyard’s classmates at Criswell College. The jealousy accusation is old.
In her post, Sins of a pastor, she details her mission and gives her personal story. While she was a member of the First Baptist Jax youth group, Darrell Gilyard tried to get her into his hotel room and when she refused he chased her down the hallway.
In Paige Patterson and Dr. Vines, she defends both individuals and notes that she contemporaneously talked to Vines about the case.
In Breaking the Silence, she provides an anonymous commenter claiming to be a deacon at Gilyard’s church.
In How Does CSA Happen, she details the process of clergy sex abuse.
This post on April 25, 2009 details her thoughts on FBCJax investigating her in conjunction with WD.
There is an elephant in the room and evangelical leaders such as Vines are denying it. They claim congregational autonomy as an excuse for a unified approach to this problem, and they may not be incorrect about the difficulty of a denominational database within the SBC for sexual predators and pedophiles. And this kind of database is only as accurate as the church reporting it. And all the church may do is fire the pastor and whitewash the reason why? Deniability is the easier course they feel. So the predator roams unsuspecting churches grazing for his next victim. This is a difficult topic that hasn't been effectively dealt with, and will visit convention meetings with greater urgency in the years ahead.
There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets and He seems to be doing a lot of it lately. It's time for people to seriously consider repentance and restoration before they lose everything.
When Christian men develop a fear of God, this stuff will end. Until then,it's just one big party in some places.
Excellent point Mark. There is no conventional way to track and expose these maligned and sick people. It is difficult to believe that we coexist with such evil. The problem is that you cannot look at someone and know their true intentions. No one can tell the difference in a thief or a missionary by looking at them. Perhaps the SBC should form a personnel department and hire and fire all the preachers.
I want to respond to the Anon/Ronnie Floyd quote and I know this is not completely on topic but why don't megachurches ever do anything for the poor? I don't hear a peep about how we should treat our fellow man.
It's all about "my" personal relationship with God. Perhaps that's how one can rationalize being a "man of God" while taking advantage of a vulnerable teenager who looks up to you for your own personal kicks. Cuz it's not about her to begin with. Why should any congregant think about the feelings of others when their own pastor focuses like a laser on the individual constantly.
Melinda you are spot on. There is very little of a mega church's budget that is put aside for members who experience financial hardships either due to layoffs. death or any other reason. And God help them if they are non-tithers!!
Denominational department to hire and fire all preachers is a radical turn towards centralization and un baptist ? How about pressure on insurance companies to make it a requirement that a thorough and critiqued background check be performed on church applicants? And if a pastor is fired the insurance company investigate. If the fired pastor is deemed a risk and is hired by another church that church's risk iassessment is increased and the insurance premium is increased because hiring that pastor may increase the risk of lawsuits. Somehow I suspect insurance companies could have a role in all of this -- especially with the lawsuits.
I suppose a background check for all employee's at minimum. Pastoral committee's could set minimal requirements. The SBC could implement some minimal requirements as well. Instead of pointing fingers at church leadership, we give them tools of prevention and some training. Maybe we take the pastor out of the equation all together.
Don't forget! June is accreditation time for Brewton Parker College over to Mt. Vernon, GA.
Listen closely and you will hear the creaking springs of the leather covered chairs in that boardroom on Southern Ln. in
Decatur, GA, as the pinched face SACS members take their seats.
Stay tuned for what will have to be vintage Caner banality following the phone call.
That would take away from the autonomy of the local church although I do agree background checks should be done before hand on canidates.
Post a Comment