Survivors hope their stories can help other survivors of sexual abuse as the Southern Baptist Convention struggles to weed out predators in its 47,000 churches in the United States.
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They include the following videos:
‘I didn’t want that’
Dillon Price was routinely molested by the pastor of his church in Fort Worth, Texas. He remained silent about the abuse for years, and at one point became suicidal. He recently decided to speak out to help other victims.
‘I was so terrified, but I was also trusting’
This Texas woman says she was only 12 when her pastor’s son invited her in for a Coke and then raped her.
‘Accountability is finally taking place.’
Former Southern Baptist Pastor Doug Myers was sent to prison after he sexually abused boys in Florida and Maryland. One survivor asks why the Southern Baptist Convention didn’t do more to stop him.
‘Why didn’t I matter?’
Jules Woodson was sexually abused by the youth pastor of her church near Houston in 1998. Her abuser, Andy Savage, later moved to Tennessee, where he worked as a pastor until Woodson came forward and he was forced to admit to abusing her. She wonders why the Southern Baptist Convention hasn’t been more proactive about helping victims or removing church leaders who turned a blind eye to abuses.
A Houston Chronicle investigation found a trail of abuse by Southern Baptist missionaries stretching back for decades. Mission board officials kept the allegations internal.
‘I have never forgotten’
Anne Marie Miller told the International Mission Board in 2007 that one of their top missionaries allegedly abused her. The board did not notify police.
Their most common targets were teenage girls and boys, though smaller children also were molested, sometimes in pastors’ studies and Sunday school rooms.
‘I stopped believing in God’
Nicole and police investigators say Houston youth pastor Chad Foster used his position to take advantage of members of his youth groups.
‘Stalking his prey’
Bryan police detective Travis Hines describes his pursuit of Joe David Barron. Barron, now out of prison, says he wants to be judged on he has responded to his mistake.
At least 35 Southern Baptist ministers and volunteers were accused of sexual misconduct but that didn’t stop them from working at churches.
‘The devil inside him’
Medina County investigator Wayne Springer says sexual abusers groom not just their victims, but those around them.
‘I can tell him’
Medina County investigator Wayne Springer says sexual assault cases involving church officials can be tricky.
‘I’m no longer your victim’
Scott Holden, a prosecutor in Anderson County, describes the strength it takes for victims to confront their abusers in court.
Abuse of Faith
In the past 20 years, about 400 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News found. They were pastors. Deacons. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school and Christian school teachers. Church program volunteers. They left behind more than 700 victims.
‘The destruction of innocence’
Prosecutors, convicted pastors discuss sexual assault.
‘I need to talk to you, Mom’
Gwen Casados, mother of Heather Schneider, says her daughter’s life was ruined by a pageant coordinator at Houston’s Second Baptist Church.
‘The voice of God’
Houston psychiatrist Harvey Rosenstock explains the devastation of a child being abused by a religious leader.