Was Derek L Smittle Listed in SBC Abuse Investigation Report?
Derek L Smittle, a youth volunteer at First Baptist Church in Centerton, AR, was arrested on January 14, 2019, for first-degree sexual assault involving a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old churchgoer. Despite the pastor’s claim that Smittle was not a youth pastor or in a position of church authority, Smittle told police he had been teaching Sunday School and hosting Bible studies at his home for four years. He pleaded guilty to sexual assault in December 2019 and was sentenced to 119 days in jail, ten years probation, and the requirement to register as a sex offender.
Southern Baptist Convention 2022 Report
According to the Washington Post, a 300-page report was launched on Sunday, May 22, 2022. The document contains horrible brand-new details concerning particular abuse instances and clarify how denominational officials actively resisted abuse avoidance and change for several years.
Southern Baptist Convention leaders have announced a comprehensive and independent 3rd party examination that discovered that abusers were typically disregarded, forgotten, or perhaps criticized by high-ranking church representatives from within this religious denomination of larger than 16 million members. Moreover, it revealed these leaders often deceived their own members to avoid them from understanding the rampant sexual misbehavior.
Continue reading about the Southern Baptist Convention 2022 Report
A Story of Disregarded Abuse
Nearly all of these reported occurrences fell outside of the statutes of limitations, making it unclear how many abusers were in fact charged. According to the report, an internal list of predators was kept.
The report states that a key Southern Baptist leader was credibly implicated of sexual assault only one month after completing his two-year term as the convention’s president. The report likewise names 3 previous presidents of the convention, a previous vice president, and the previous head of the SBC’s administrative arm as renowned SBC leaders who aided in covering and even encouraged thought abusers.
Accountability in the Baptist Church
Russell Moore, the former head of the SBC’s policy branch, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, mentioned ‘this is not all Southern Baptists, look at all the good we do.’ The bombshell report demonstrates a pattern of stonewalling, intimidation, coverup, and retaliation.” He anticipates this report will bring much-needed reform and hold those accountable for their actions.
The document claims that a principal Southern Baptist official was credibly accused of sexual assault merely 1 month after completing his two-year stretch as the convention’s president. The report also names three prior presidents of the convention, a former vice president, and the former head of the SBC’s administrative branch as notable SBC leaders who aided in covering and actually motivated thought sexual predators.
He wishes this report will instigate much-needed change and hold those accountable for their horrific acts of abuse.
For more information about resources available to survivors of sexual abuse in Arkansas, visit our page: https://abuseguardian.com/sexual-assault-lawyer/arkansas/sex-trauma-therapist-ar/
Abuse Guardian for Arkansas