Southern Baptist leader bemoans abuse crisis

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – People who’ve been abused by church leaders are hoping this week that their cries for change will be heard. 

A large audience of church groups from across the nation gathered in Alabama this week. 

For the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting.

Sexual abuse survivors and loved ones rallied, pushing for mandatory abuse training for clergy and a database for offenders. 

Many pastors say they’re glad the abuse problem is being discussed, and they hope they can bring new ideas back to their congregations. 

“We can’t hit an undo button for anything that has happened, but we can do a much better job training people going forward in terms of how to minister, how to prevent abuse, and how to report it,” says Garrick Conner.

A rule change that allows the Southern Baptist Convention to deal with churches that don’t handle abuse still needs a two-thirds vote from leadership during a second reading during next year’s conference.  

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