Please read the following statement from the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists regarding the May 22, 2022 release of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report.
WVCSB pastors, church leaders, and associational leaders:
We strongly encourage you to intentionally carve out time in your schedule and read yesterday’s release of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report.
The weightiness of these findings should humble us before God. We pray this process moves Southern Baptists towards repentance and an increased sense of urgency regarding such matters.
Let us join together in prayer for the survivors hurt by the actions of leaders they trusted. Our God knows the pain they feel (Hebrews 2:17). We recognize the courage it takes for survivors to share and relive their stories, and it is our hope they are heard and cared for, not ignored or marginalized.
We pray for the abusers as well, asking God to bring them to repentance and guard them against these overpowering temptations and the destructive power of the devil (Luke 6:27–28; Matthew 6:13).
West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists remain faithful to God’s call to care for others. We have been proactive in recent years in how we recognize, prevent, and care for the abused through training and awareness. We are encouraged by our messengers’ initiative to create a WVCSB Sexual Abuse Task Force last November, and our Executive Board will hear their report in two weeks. A complete report will be given to our messengers in November. We want to continually improve and grow as shepherds who protect the sheep God has entrusted to us. Our churches should be places of safety for the vulnerable and healing for the hurting.
The Lord stands by those who are battered and crushed (Psalm 34:18). May we do the same.
Eric W. Ramsey, Executive Director-Treasurer
Cleve Persinger, Communications + Partnerships
Tim Turner, Evangelism + Discipleship