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Was A.V. Ballenger Named in the Southern Baptist Church  Abuse Investigation Report?

In 1993, A.V. Ballenger, a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Hammond’s First Baptist Church, was accused of assaulting a 7-year-old girl.
At Ballenger’s sentence, three additional women testified that he had molested them as well. Ballenger was sentenced to five years in jail in 1996.

Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Helpline

Southern Baptist Abuse Database

According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was released on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The file includes horrible new details relating to specific abuse occurrences and sheds light on how denominational authorities actively hindered abuse prevention and reform for many years.

Southern Baptist Convention leaders have actually revealed an extensive and independent 3rd party investigation that found that abusers were frequently ignored, forgotten, or perhaps condemned by high-ranking congregation administrators from within this religious denomination of larger than 16 million people. Additionally, it exposed these leaders typically lied to their very own members to keep them from being aware of the prevalent sexual assaults.

Click to learn more about the Southern Baptist Abuse Database.

A History of Overlooked Abuse

Nearly all of these reported incidents fell outside of the statutes of limitations, making it unclear how many abusers were actually charged. According to the report, a secret list of predators was kept.

One victim talked about being treated with hostility as she alleged she was sexually abused by a youth pastor. The implicated pastor served in several Southern Baptist churches in several states. At a conference with the SBC leaders in 2007, a member of the Exec Committee “turned his back to her during her speech and another chortled.”

Accountability in the Southern Baptist Church

Russell Moore, the previous head of the SBC’s policy arm, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, mentioned ‘this is not all Southern Baptists, look at all the good we do.’ The report shows a trend of stonewalling, coverup, intimidation, and retaliation.” He desires this report will deliver much-needed reform and hold those responsible for their misconduct.

The report asserts that a major Southern Baptist leader was credibly implicated of sexual assault no more than one month after finishing his two-year term as the convention’s president. The report also names three prior presidents of the convention, a former vice president, and the previous head of the SBC’s administrative arm as notable SBC leaders who assisted in protecting and also motivated thought sexual abusers.

He anticipates this report will bring along much-needed change and hold those accountable for their actions.

To learn more about information and resources available to survivors of sexual abuse in Indiana, read our page:

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