NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — One man from Springdale and one from Centerton were two of hundreds of people on the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) alleged sex abuser list.
Southern Baptist leaders released the more than 200-page list of abusers on Thursday.
In all, 18 Arkansas SBC church personnel were named in the findings.
Natalie Tibbs, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Benton County, said churches should be a refuge, but for many victims, it was the opposite. Tibbs said child abuse can be easily swept under the rug and abusers are usually people in positions of power.
“The fact that they may have experienced trauma may not be physically obvious, but when they tell you, it’s not up to us to deny or to think that couldn’t have happened,” Tibbs said.
Southern Baptist leaders released a statement in regards to the newly released report.
“Our prayer is that the survivors of these heinous acts find hope and healing, and that churches will utilize this list proactively to protect and care for the most vulnerable among us,” they said.
You can view the full SBC statement here.
Richard Riley and Timothy Lee Reddin are two abusers from Northwest Arkansas. In 2017, Riley was sentenced to 24 years in prison for sexual assault. Riley was a teacher at Life Way Christian School in Centerton. Reddin received a 10-year sentence with 25 years probation in 2019. Reddin was the pastor at Turner Street Baptist Church.
Tibbs said going forward if anyone ever shares instances of abuse, action should be taken quickly.
“Create a safe space where somebody feels heard and where somebody feels validated and supported,” Tibbs said.
A hotline is now open for survivors. You can call 202-864-5578 to report abuse allegations. You can also email SBChotline@guidepostsolutions.com.
You can view the full report here.